By Mark N. Mengonfia
The recent request by President George M. Weah asking members of the legislature to have some 4 billion Liberian dollars infused in the economy has created huge debates among members of that body.
The communication from the Liberian leader in parts says “Honorable President Pro-Tempore, while we are aware that the Legislature is currently deliberating on pressing national issues, including finalizing deliberations on authorization to the CBL to print a new set of Liberian Dollar banknotes, the existing situation presents a volatile financial environment such that the current Liberian dollar vault cash position of the CBL is very inadequate to meet both current and future Liberian dollar liquidity demand of commercial banks, posing a potential security risk.
The president in his communication also said, “therefore, in the interest national security and to enable our people celebrate the festive season in a joyous way, I request the legislature, in accordance with Article 34(d) (ii) of the constitution of the Republic of Liberia, to authorize the Central Ban of Liberia to infuse the amount of L$4 Billion into the Liberian economy to ease the current liquidity pressure”.
This communication from the Liberian leader has not landed on a smooth ground at the Capitol, as some members have given their opposition to the printing or infusion of additional L$4 billion Liberian dollars on the Liberian market.
It has been interpreted in the public that the communication from the Liberian Leader means that the money which the president is asking for it infusion has already been printed and only needs to be infused as requested by the president, while others have the views that the president has requested to print the money and infused it into the economy.
At a press conference, Montserrado County District #16 lawmaker, Dixion Seboe who is also House of Representatives Chair on Banking and Finance, said the president’s communication implies when he said “in accordance with Article 34(d) (ii) of the constitution of the Republic of Liberia, to authorize the Central Bank of Liberia to infuse the amount of L$4 Billion into the Liberian economy to ease the current liquidity pressure”.
Rep. Seboe indicated that the president is only seeking permission to print the current Liberian dollar banknote to help alleviate the current situation.
“You do not need permission to infusion money in the economy, the president is requesting us to first give approval to print the money before infusion” the House of Representatives Chair on Banking and Finance intoned.
When asked if there was a procedure error for the president first address such a request to the Liberian Senate rather than the House of Rep., the District 16 lawmaker said, “there is no procedure error with that, the letter was sent to us, but the Speaker did not put it on the floor for discussion. Even if the senate reaches a decision and we at the House of Representatives do not agree, money will not be printed”.
According to information from the corridors of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of that body identified the error in the president’s communication something which made him to not place said communication on the floor for deliberation.
It appears like members of the Liberian Senate have also identified the error thus describing the previous communication from the president as the wrong letter indicating that the communication on social media is not true.
Although, the letter on social media was read in plenary of the Liberian Senate, but the Senate Pro- Tempore, Albert T. Chie has distanced the Senate from the Communication which has reached the public.