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Boakai’s vision unrealistic

--CDC raises doubt

Liberia’s immediate past ruling party, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) says President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s vision ARREST is nothing more than an unrealistic campaign sloganeering. 

The CDC responded to Amb. Boakai’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday evening, 29 January 2024, hours after the president addressed the nation before a joint legislative session.

The CDC claimed that the vision is built on impracticality, vagueness, and dishonesty.

“The President of Liberia while addressing the legislators unveiled a vision he termed as ARREST,” the party said. 

“Clearly, without mentioning how this vision may be implemented or paid for, and lacking strategy and specification for its implementation, is nothing more than an unrealistic campaign sloganeering.”

The CDC believes that the entire address by President Boakai was high on bland clichés, bereft of even the rudimentary ingredients for a sound legislative agenda, falling short of substantive economic or transformative details.

Contrary to President Boakai’s report that the ‘State of the Nation is in distress,’ the CDC insisted that it left the state of the nation stronger than it met it in 2018.

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“For example, President Boakai is inheriting 222.7 million US Dollars in the net international reserve,” the party contended.

It also claimed that President Boakai is inheriting over US$40 million in the consolidated account as of January 17, 2023. 

Meanwhile, President Boakai has indicated that the facts at the Central Bank of Liberia do not agree with the alleged US$40m claim by the CDC regime.

The ex-ruling party however argued that this amount was left behind by the CDC government compared to the under 7 million the CDC inherited when it took power from the Sirleaf/Boakai-led government in 2017.

“The CDC is appalled that even at this early stage, President Boakai would seek to mislead the public about the financial situation of our country by disputing the figures quoted by former President Weah during his farewell statement on 21st January 2024 which are available,” the CDC noted. 

It challenged President Boakai to publish the statement of the consolidated account of the period within 48 hours or the CDC will make public copies of the same.

On the question of his comments on the budget deficit, the CDC stated that the fiscal year 2023 budget was recast after actual revenue collection amounted to USD 710 million was achieved. 

“This actual collection represented the highest amount of revenue collected in contemporary Liberia; While serving as Vice President of this republic, his government never got close to this amount of revenue actualized.”

The opposition party said the ruling Unity Party government, at the close of 2017, allegedly concealed several domestic debts, including USD 107 million from the IMF through the CBL.

It also cited USD 65 million from commercial banks, among others, and wilfully failed to recognize these debts as part of the domestic debt stock. 

“This represented a gross understatement of debt stock. Of the 2.2 billion debt stock reported, about 60% was contracted under the Unity Party regime,” the CDC alleged.

Regarding agriculture, the CDC explained that during the campaign, then Candidate Boakia prided himself as the Agriculture Czar and could use agriculture for immediate economic revitalization and social transformation. 

But it alleged that on the contrary, while addressing the Legislature in his State of the Nation, President Boakai offered nothing new.

The CDC claimed that President Boakai also did not provide any specific strategy for agriculture growth except that he provided a vague vision of “strengthening collaboration with international partners and local farmers to improve production.’’ 

“How such will be achieved or will achieve growth is left to the imagination of Liberians and our partners alike,” the CDC continued. 

As for President Boakai’s legislative agenda, the CDC noted that the President seems to have forgotten that many of the bills he seeks to propose as a pillar of his legislative agenda were already submitted to the previous National Legislature. 

“The CDC offers its support in this regard to ensure those bills, of which it is the progenitor, are passed,” it noted.

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