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CBL ‘Economic Forum’ misses the point

Executive Governor Nathaniel R. Patray, III of the Central Bank of Liberia didn’t mince his words when he took over the helm of authority at the Central Bank last year, telling Liberians that he would set aside standards or bent the rules of the Bank to satisfy President George Manneh Weah. He did just that at the expense of the country’s monetary policy, sending the exchange rate sky-rocketing with corresponding rise in prices.
Now Executive Governor Patray launches an Economic Forum at the Central Bank of Liberia with a public dialogue on the theme, “Taking Stock of the Central Bank of Liberia’s Monetary Policy Regime and Operations over the Last Eighteen Years (2000 – 2018).”
Why does the Executive Governor want to take us back 18 years when the current dismal state of the economy, particularly the monetary system under his watch was never experienced in those periods even during the Liberian Civil War.

No, no, the rate did not shoot up to over 200 Liberian dollars to One United States Dollars during the entire civil war and even after restoration of democratic governance not until when President Weah came to the Presidency. Instead, if Patray and the rest of the CBL authorities meant well, the public dialogue should focus on how the economy can be fixed.

Liberians are yearning for solutions to salvage the bad state of the economy, not to take us to the past. We want to go forward with a healthy economy. The onus is on Governor Patray to tell Liberians how the US$25 million was reportedly infused in the economy without any impact on our monetary system.

At one point, the CBL under Governor Patray could not disburse money to commercial banks to serve the public, restricting customers to fixed withdrawals though they had more money in their accounts.

The Executive Governor also Co-chaired the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT) with Finance Minister Samuel Tweah in the controversial US$25 million mop-up of excess liquidity in the economy which outcome is still questionable in terms of transparency and accountability despite an audit by the General Auditing Commission.

President Weah has resolved to honorably retire Patray with full benefits for contributing to messing up the economy by selfishly satisfying his (President Weah’s) personal interest rather than the country at large. He will be rewarded with all benefits as a retiring Executive Governor for helping to crippling the economy.

Therefore, we view the launch of the so-called Economic Forum by Governor Patray as a clever attempt to divert public attention from the current degenerating state of the economy, because he lacks any workable strategy to advance.

Being so inept, as he has demonstrated at the CBL, Patray should just keep quiet and wait for his elaborate retirement package from President Weah, who he satisfied during his entire period as Executive Governor of the Central Bank rather than taking us to the past that was far better than now.

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