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Reginald Goodridge: Weah’s claim about economic growth is lavish rhetoric

By Lewis S. Teh

The national chairperson for the opposition Rainbow Alliance, Reginald Goodridge says claims made by President George Weah about the improvement of the Liberian economy during his Annual Message is lavish rhetoric. He notes that the economy is far weak, contrary to what President Weah said.

 “President Weah’s recitation to impress the Liberian people with economic growth is a lavish rhetoric that has got no place for the common people”, Mr. Goodridge counters.

Addressing a news conference over the weekend in Monrovia, he said for many years, the President’s citation about GDP growth had not had any impact on the hard-working mothers of Liberia, who are forced to sell their goods on the bare floor with uncollected trash with zooming from all directions.

Chairman Goodridge continues that Liberians are ashamed that foreign partners have labeled Monrovia as the dirtiest city in Africa, adding that any government that can’t clean its trash can’t claim to be a clean government for the people of Liberia.

President during his 5th Annual Message to the Legislature said despite challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy grew by 3.6 percent from negative 3 percent in 2020.

He said growth in 2022 is expected to hit 4.7 percent, through increased agricultural and public investments in social compact program, adding that in nominal value, the Liberian economy expanded by more than US$300 million in 2021 with inflation reduced to less than 6 percent in November 2021, from 13.1 percent in December 2020.

Addressing the 54th Liberian Legislature in joint assembly Monday, January 24th at the Capitol when he presented his economic agenda for 2022 and the state of the nation for the past year, the President reported that during the period under review, government succeeded in increasing gross international reserves to more than US$600 million, which represents more than four months of import of goods and services in compliance with ECOWAS convergence target.

But the Rainbow Alliance chair argues that growth should not be measured by opulence lifestyle of the President and his officials, noting that the purported growth of the GDP can only be interpreted by under compensation of the poor working civil servants, increase in crimes, and the expansion of disadvantage youths with widespread vulnerability of girls and boys into prostitution and drugs abuse.

He recalled that a month ago, the Weah-led government pushed through the national legislature a budget of more than 700 million United States Dollars without explaining to the Liberian people how the country’s broke economy will raise sufficient revenue to address hardship affecting the people.

It may be recalled here that in an  effort to democratically replace the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the upcoming 2023 presidential election, 11 registered political parties in Liberia joined forces to sign a declaration of intent to form an alliance called “The Rainbow Alliance.”

The 11 parties during their formation said they are prepared to engage the political landscape of Liberia in a constructive manner and subsequently deliver the country from the hands of self-seeking leaders.

The 11 registered political parties that affixed their signatures to the document establishing the Rainbow Alliance include the Liberia Restoration Party (LRD), Change Democratic Action (CDA) Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Democratic Justice Party (DJP), and Victory for Change Party (VCP).

Others include Grassroot Democratic Party of Liberia (GDPL), Redemption Democratic Congress (RDC), Peoples Unification Party (PUP), Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT), New Liberia Party (NLP) and the True Whig Party (TWP) headed by Mr. Goodridge, also former Minister of Information under jailed former President Charles Ghankay Taylor. Editing by Jonathan Browne


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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