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CBL speaks on struggling economy

-at Patray's farewell

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The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) says monetary policy interventions need to be strengthened here, noting that the economy is struggling.According to a full speech published on CBL’s website Monday, 28 October, the Officer-In-Charge at the Central Bank, Dr. Musa Dukuly made the observation at the farewell ceremony of former CBL Executive Governor Nathaniel R. Patray who resigned on 24 October.

“Hon. Patray, we say thank you. You are leaving the Bank, but not the Liberian economy. Today, our economy is struggling. Growth is subdued and monetary policy interventions need to be strengthened,” says Dr. Dukuly.Mr. Patray tendered in a delayed resignation to President George Manneh Weah last week, nearly two months beyond the time he was expected to leave the Central Bank as part of measures to overhaul the leadership at the institution that has been rocked by troubling financial scandals.

In late May this year, President Weah announced that Mr. Patray who was also on the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT) would have retired from the CBL within three months.The President’s pronouncement came at a time the Bank was battling with claims of alleged missing 16bn local currency, while a subsequent controversial US$25m mop – up exercise ordered by President Weah added to the financial crisis that sparked a series of protests here.

Patray’s retirement was expected anywhere at the end of August, but he remained in office up to the time of his resignation on 24 October.Dr. Dukuly however, praised Mr. Patray for initiating several reforms, including development of the new monetary policy framework of the CBL which marks an important shift in the monetary policy strategy and decision-making at the Bank.

Dr. Dukuly also cites the strengthening of the foreign exchange auction system; and development of the national financial inclusion strategy.

“The effectiveness of these policies will require broader consultations and policy driven research. That’s why I am strongly optimistic that you are not leaving the economy and financial sector. We will remember your exuberant effort exerted to get Liberia back into the IMF program, and leading the process of the amendment of the CBL Act to strengthen governance of the Bank and the financial sector,” says Dr. Dukuly.

“Your leadership on the Technical Economic management Team (TEMT), working with your colleagues, brought significant changes in the economy, especially the stability in the exchange rate during July-December 2018,” he adds.By Winston W. Parley

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