The political leader of the Liberia National Union or LINU has uprightly blamed former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, for the bad state of the economy here.
Dr. Jones, who has since entered politics after his tenure expired at the CBL, is currently political leader of newly formed opposition party Movement for Economic Empowerment or MOVEE.
According to LINU, Dr. Jones’ loan scheme lately introduced at the Central Bank, where he infused huge unspecified amount of Liberian Dollars in the market thru loans credited to citizens across the country was a bad economic policy.
LINU leader Nathaniel Blamah, in an interview with this paper on Wednesday, February 8, at his party’s headquarters in Monrovia, noted that the micro-loan scheme introduced by the ex-governor was wrongly proffered and terribly administered.
According to him, loans were reportedly given to people, who did not have the capacity of using the funds here, instead; many of the borrowers took the money out to foreign lands for exchange for goods and services.
Blamah, a former contender in the 2014 Special Senatorial Election in Montserrado County, added that loans were given to market women, who were engaged in foreign goods and localizing the money; as a result, the loans were taken out, they had to buy the United States Dollars to travel to foreign lands to buy goods, putting direct pressure on the local currency.
He named the passage of the new law on the increment of taxes on daily consuming goods and services as another factor that is making living condition difficult for the Liberian people.
About two months ago, the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate passed a bill, imposing US$0.01 tax on domestic voice call by GSM Companies other goods and services, including water.
The decision was based on a report by the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning and Judiciary.
Part of the report voted also called for taxes to be increased from 7 to 10 percent on tobacco, 35 percent on imported water and 2 percent for locally produced water, and that taxes on residential buildings are increased from 0.083 percent to 0.25 percent, respectively.
The lawmakers also voted that taxes be increased on land within city or town limits from 2percent to 3.5 percent and that goods and services taxes be increased from 10 percent to 15 percent on hotel services, gambling services and restaurant services including GST on alcoholic beverages.
The LINU leader said the passage of such bill and subsequent signing into law by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and later printed into handbill shows lack of love for country and people.
He noted that the bad shape of the economy is never a surprise to him on grounds that the procedurals and methods of managing the economy have been terrible since the ascendency of President Sirleaf as head of the government.
Dr. Jones has not contacted for comment, but when the Public Affairs Director of MOVEE. Mr. Robert Sammy was contacted via mobile; his phone was perpetually switched off.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne