Monrovia-Jan-31-TNR: President Joseph Nyumah Boakai has revealed that Liberia’s debt has climbed up to US$2.21 billion, an increase of 8.67 percent compared to December 2022.

Delivering his first State of the Nation Address to members of the National Legislature and Liberians in general, the Liberian leader disclosed that the stock of public debt in End-December 2023 stood at US$2.21 billion, an increase of 8.67 percent compared to the end-December 2022 stock of US$2.08 billion.

According to President Boakai, this represents a sharp increase of US$1.33 billion compared to the end of December 2017 stock of US$878.17 million (representing a 601.8 percent rise). President Boakai went on, “Our debt burden has grown astronomically. Certainly, the rescue mission was a necessity for Liberia’s transformation.”

President Boakai noted, “As I am speaking, Liberia is under sanction for lack of payment of dues to the African Union and the African Development Bank. Also, a default in payment of about US$650,000 to the European Investment Bank is preventing a disbursement of over US$13 million for the Sanniquellie-Loguato road.”

“We will reintroduce the Fiscal Rules and Travel Ordinance in addition to other measures to help address waste and abuse and ensure the return of prudent fiscal management. We will ensure that the executive leads by example,” the Liberian Chief Executive noted.

He added that the net international reserves position reported at the end of December 2023 was US$220 million adding that the report of US $40 million as the government’s consolidated account balance as at January 19, 2024 is not supported by the fact.

“The balance reported by the CBL as of the same date was US$20.5 million, highly encumbered, not US$40 million. To this end, we re-emphasize our earlier commitment to audit and ensure that regular audits will be a culture across all branches of government, not only the Executive,” President Boakai among other things noted.

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