Monrovia, Liberia – The Central Bank of Liberia has explained that it never published the report that both former president George Weah and current president Joseph Nyumah Boakai referred to in their US$ 40 million and US$ 20 million dispute.
The Governor of the Bank, J. Aloysius Tarlue, informed the body that the bank did not provide the amounts that the former President George Weah and the current President Joseph Boakai had announced in his appearance before the House of Representatives plenary on Thursday, February 1, 2024, to discuss the circumstances surrounding the amount remaining in the government’s consolidated account balance on December 31, 2023, and January 19, 2024, respectively.
He states that as of January 19, 2024, the total balances in the government’s consolidated account are $2,434,886,996.88 in Liberian dollars and USD$27,665,071.82. He also notes that the grand total is the sum of the balances of $LD1,001,747,090.35 and $USD16,104,783.61 in the government’s consolidated account as of January 19, 2024.
Additionally, the report states that as of January 19, 2024, the government’s consolidated account balance in Liberian dollars was $1,433,139,906,53 and $11,560,288,21 in US dollars.
In response to lawmakers’ concerns that the CBL Governor convert the two figures and provide them with the total, the Governor refused, citing the fact that the Finance Ministry completed the conversion to obtain the amount that former President Weah had announced.
He claimed that President Boakai received the sum from the transitional team after the Central Bank provided amounts in US and Liberian dollars, but the bank did not interpret the data.
“This Central Bank will not mislead our leaders. The Finance Minister has the government’s everyday report, and we did not give former President Weah the numbers; the Finance Minister gave it to the former President; he’s the Finance Minister and the treasurer; he did the conversion and gave the total number. We didn’t give the figure to President Boakai; the transitional team worked with us, and we gave them all the numbers.”
The Central Bank of Liberia’s Deputy Governor for Operations, Madam Nyemadi D. Pearson, acknowledged in her speech that the bank had never supplied the numbers that the presidents had disclosed.
“We have never had any communication with either president; CBL does not engage in conversion.”
In contrast to the amount stated by current President Joseph Boakai during his recent State of the Nation address to the 55th Legislature, the testimony of the CBL in the House chamber on Thursday, February 1, 2024, has demonstrated that former President George Weah left a substantial sum of over $40 million in the government account, as stated in his farewell message.
This discovery suggests a significant discrepancy from the amount President Boakai reported, raising questions about the accuracy and transparency of financial records.
Rep. Clarence Gar of Margibi County is the chair of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Banking and Currency. The House plenary has directed the committee to conduct an investigation and report back to the full body on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.
President Boakai was correct in his claim, presidential press secretary Kula Fofana told executive press reporters during a press briefing on Friday, February 2, 2024. The amount reported in her report was for the years 2023 and 2024.