A gloomy economy creates uncertainty
The economy of Liberia is yet not on a good footing since 2017, absorbing shocks here and there with serious uncertainty and gloom about the future, especially under the current administration. This is evidenced by the Second Edition of the Liberia Economic Update released last week in Monrovia by the World Bank Group.
With poverty and food insecurity on the rise across the country, leaving most parents without money to send their children to school coupled with job scarcity and lack of investment, predictability of the economy under the current administration.
As the report reveals, a country with relatively higher operating costs than its neighbors but attains less progress is unarguably in a vicious cycle, moving nowhere. Despite salary harmonization, the government wage bill and consumption of goods and services are still high and the report suggests that to reduce wage bill, government could look at the Public Administration sector as well as consultancy services and acquisition of specialized materials.
Liberia’s total capital expenditures, according to the report, are relatively high compared to benchmark countries principally because of a high share of donor funding along with an increasing share of loans translating in increased external debt, leaving little room for sustainable borrowing.
This is unfortunate but is the reality today in Liberia. These gloomy pictures would be reversed only if the government budgeting process is in alignment with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, which the report observes is not happening.
Where in the world would a serious government budget its operational costs outside its roadmap for development, which is referred to as the PAPD. But this is happening now, as the World Bank report points out. What could be the motive behind this practice?
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning that is responsible to carve or draft the national budget should come up clearly to explain why the budget is not in alignment with the national roadmap for development. By this revelation from the World Bank, we may conclude that the government has been treating the PAPD as a mere document, put on the shelf to get dusted up with no intention for implementation.
It is but time the Weah administration aligns the budget with the PAPD to improve citizens’ lives because this is what was promised Liberians when they went to the poll: A better life thru the PAPD. To deviate now is nothing but sheer deception and running with mixed priorities which do not benefit the people.
A government that abandons its priorities and pursues short-term personal benefits at the expense of the greater good is not only heartless but cruel. It betrays the people’s trust placed in the leadership.
We call on both the Executive and the Ministry of Finance to seriously consider the Liberia Economic Update produced by the World Bank and return the right trajectory for sustained economic development and prosperity for all rather than a few.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-wasteful-spending-little-savings/