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Senate abruptly cancels CBL hearings

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The hearing process for the board of governors and the executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL, Mr. Aloysius Tarlue, was abruptly canceled on Monday, July 5, 2021, after senators, members of the public, the media, and other officials of the Central had converged on the grounds of the Capitol Building for the hearing that is before the Senate’s Committee on Banking and Currency.

But to the dismay of everyone, including the battle cry wing of the Students Unification Party based on the campus of the University of Liberia, the confirmation was aborted just a few minutes to the commencement of the exercise.

It came as a shock as senators and officials of the Central Bank of Liberia were seen moving from the new annex of the Capitol to the main building of the legislature discussing.

After hours of waiting without any genuine information, the media was told informally by Maryland County Senator and Co-chairman of the Banking and Currency Committee that the committee chair, Senator Marshall Dennis of Grand Gedeh County has not been well and that the hearings are postponed to tomorrow, Wednesday, July 07.

Mr. Tarlue was recently reappointed by President George Weah following the completion of the five terms of his predecessor, former executive governor Nathaniel Patray. Mr. Patray was designated to have completed Ex-executive governor Milton Weeks’ term, which started from former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration.

According to the Act that created the Central Bank of Liberia, an executive governor is to serve five years and should serve more than two terms of the five years.

Since his re-nomination of Tarlue to the CBL, financial experts and economists are wondering whether he had lived up to promises made during his confirmation hearings before the Liberian Senate on December 07, 2019.

“My vision, as Governor, will be to rebuild confidence in the CBL and the banking sector, as a whole, in the next five years. This will be done through reforms aimed at improving governance, ensuring technical soundness in policies, and achieving financial sustainability of the CBL and above all ensure that the CBL is focused on carrying out monetary policies that seek to keep inflation low, stabilize the exchange rate, as well as ensure that Liberia has enough foreign exchange buffers,” Mr. Tarlue said at the time.

He further promised that a key priority will be to promote the independence of the Central Bank, review the Act that established the Bank, and where necessary, execute amendments.

He also promised to strengthen internal audit and control functions, among others with the approval of the board of governors.

In relation to ensuring technical soundness of policies, Tarlue told lawmakers and Liberians that he would have strengthened the research department of the Central Bank so those policy decisions are informed by proper analysis and evidence.

“We will ensure that the CBL is focused on carrying out monetary policies that seek to keep inflation low, stabilize the exchange rate, and ensure that Liberia has enough foreign exchange buffers. We will promote the soundness of the Banking sector by strengthening the CBL’s supervision functions – Currently, non-performing loans in banks are well above the 10% threshold,” he added.

On achieving the financial sustainability of the CBL, he also vowed to undertake strategic and functional reviews of the Bank’s operations.  The CBL is currently incurring operational losses due to various inefficiencies, including a bloated workforce, which its budget cannot sustain. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/cbl-to-tackle-nonperforming-loan-2/By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor, Editing by Jonathan Browne

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