Liberian Parliament Abruptly Cancels Central Bank Hearing

Since his re-nomination, financial experts and economists are wondering whether Tarlue had lived up to promises made during his confirmation
Liberia’s President George Weah attends the plenary session of the Paris Peace Forum on November 12, 2019 in Paris. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / various sources / AFP)

After senators, members of the public, newsmen, and other officials of the Central had gathered on the Capitol Building grounds for the hearing before the Senate’s Committee on Banking and Currency, the hearing to be led by Aloysius Tarlue, was abruptly cancelled on Monday, July 5, 2021.

To the disappointment of everyone, including pro-students’ group, Students Unification Party from the University of Liberia, the confirmation was called off few minutes before the commencement of the exercise.

Senators and officials of the Central Bank of Liberia moved from the new annex of the Capitol to the main building of the legislature, discussing.

After hours of waiting without any clear directives, 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 Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Tarlue was recently reappointed by President George Weah following the completion of the five terms of his predecessor, former executive governor Nathaniel Patray. Patray was designated to have completed Ex-executive governor Milton Weeks’ term.

The Act of the Central Bank of Liberia provides that an executive governor is to serve five years and shouldn’t serve more than two terms of the five years.

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

 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,” Tarlue said at the time.

He also promised to commence strategic and functional reviews of the Bank’s operations to boost the CBL’s financial sustainability. The CBL is currently incurring operational losses due to various inefficiencies, including a bloated workforce, which its budget cannot sustain.

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