Consolidated Account Balance: Boakai Or Weah, Who’s Telling The Truth? By: Julius Konton

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The debate on the country’s economy has now widened with the latest statement from President Joseph Nyuma Boakai that state of the economy is a cause for concern especially with many Liberians facing perennial unemployment and economic instability contrary to previous statement made by ex- President George Weah.  “We must not just recognize the pain and frustration that permeate our society, but also work together to introduce and pass legislations that will prioritize economic reforms that foster sustainable economic growth and job creation” ,Boakai told members of the National Legislature. The Liberian leader delivering his State of the Nation Address pointed out that the net international reserves position reported at the end of December 2023,   was US$220 million. “The report of US $40 million as the Government’s consolidated account balance as at January 19, 2024 is not supported by the fact”, he clarified.  Moreover, he said the balance reported by the Central Bank of Liberia as of the same date was US$20.5 million, highly encumbered, NOT US$40 million, re-emphasized. The latest revelation by President Boakai now opens the pandora box as to President Boakai or former President Weah who is actually telling the Liberian people the truth as former President George Weah stated that he left 40m in the country’s consolidated account balance.  President Boakai at the same time in said respect reechoed the need to do an audit and ensure that regular audits will be a culture across all branches of government, not only the Executive. Providing more details, he indicated that stock of public debt at End-December 2023 stood at US$2.21 billion, an increase of 8.67 percent compared to end-December 2022 stock of US$2.08 billion.  This, he said, represents a sharp increase of US$1.33 billion compared to the end of December 2017 stock of US$878.17 million (representing 601.8 percent rise).  On other key national fronts,  Amb. Boakai said his government 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.

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