Barely a day after the Central Bank of Liberia categorically denied here that 16 billion Liberian dollars went missing, as was reported in the media, Liberians at home and abroad seem divided over response coming from the CBL.
Expressing outrage on the missing moneys saga via mobile phone on a live talk show hosted by a local radio station in Monrovia Wednesday, 03 October, a resident of Paynesville James Kamara squarely blames the Central Bank for the misunderstanding and confusion, questioning why all this while the CBL kept silent, if there were no money missing, causing the country’s image to be tainted black, particularly in the international community.
“CBL should have come up long time and tell the Liberian people this is what unfolding; they just make people to feel bad about their own country; you see how were going now, how things looking in the country now? The Central Bank is causing more problems and among the government officials, no communication, anybody can just come up speak on behalf of the government,” James angrily expresses.
“Why you guys contradicting yourselves, now you are praising former President Sirleaf; are you guys serious? Even if fifteen billion in the vault, who authorized the other 10.5 billion LRD? The only legal money is the 5 billion LRD that was approved. The 10.5 billon LRD is illegal; the former president is still involved,” asserts Quincy T, a talk show host from Truth Fm 96.1.
Civic society activist Archie Sarnor notes that when Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs Samora Wolokollie appeared before the Legislature, he did mention LD600 million was left in the reserve vaults, wondering how it could be possible now for the Central Bank governor to tell the public that LD15 billion is in the vaults.
“In the interview with former President Sirleaf, when she was asked in respect to the missing LD16 billion, she said look at the capacity of our GDP, that is far beyond the line, and the Finance Minister said 1.5 billion, so that is two different things: the Information Minister did mention between LD15 and 16 billion, so much contradiction that give clue that something is wrong somewhere,” Sarnor narrates.
He continues that the government in collaboration with the Central Bank came up with that statement just to gain national and international credibility, pointing out if Central Bank says nothing is missing, that’s far from the truth.
“You see what this government has done? People coming up to say money is not missing, money is missing and the people know that something is going on; you remember when the president came on the radio the last time and said the Liberian people should hold their heart small because there is no money, and I came on the radio and said money in this country because if the president want us to hold our heart, he should stop building houses and focus on the people who elected him,” argues Montserrado County district#10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah.
Representative Kolubah notes that now the President has come back with GDP, noting that it is good the words of war is between President Weah and former President Sirleaf because either President Weah exposes former President Sirleaf or former President Sirleaf will expose President Weah.
By Ben P. Wesee-Editing by Jonathan Browne