CBL Governor Weeks Resigns From Gov’t

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Milton A. Weeks has resigned as executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.

According to a statement from the Central Bank, Weeks informed staff at a general meeting on Tuesday, July 3 that he had tendered his resignation to President George Weah.

The Central Bank said the resignation would take immediate effect and that Charles E. Sirleaf, deputy bank governor for operations, would act as governor pending the appointment of a new executive governor.

Weeks reportedly advised Central Bank workers to continue carrying on the work they had started even after his departure.

“We continued that journey for the two-year period that I was executive governor and I am sure that journey would continue going forward, even when I am not here,” the press release quoted the outgoing governor.

Weeks also commended the entire staff for their hard work. He said, “All of you in some way or the other have touched my life and have made a difference in the last two years.”

Following the resignation of Weeks, Weah received and accepted the decision on the same day.

An executive mansion release said the president commended Weeks for his service to the nation and wished him well in his future endeavors.

While no one has spoken on the record to explain the cause of Weeks’ resignation, there have been reports in various news outlets that the resignation is connected to the Central Bank’s refusal to give a tangible sovereign guarantee to the US$536.4 million Eton road construction loan. Instead, the Bank reportedly chose to use the government’s consolidated account as a guarantee to the loan agreement.

The consolidated account is the government’s operational account in which national budget funds are deposited and withdrawn.

A senior government official, who spoke to The Bush Chicken on the basis of anonymity to speak freely about the matters, said Eton officials were not pleased with the consolidated account as a guarantee from the government and allegedly threatened to pull out of the loan agreement.

The official said Weah was apparently displeased that the former governor had withheld granting the required guarantee and his leadership was seen as stalling the execution of the loan agreement.

The source also said Eton officials wanted something more tangible from the government instead of its consolidated account, which does not always have money in it.

Weeks’ resignation comes at a time when the country has been facing rising inflation rates coupled with accelerating depreciation of the local currency against the U.S. dollar.

Following Weeks’ resignation, Weah appointed Nathaniel R. Patray as the new executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia. The appointment came less than 24 hours later.

According to an executive mansion release, Patray’s appointment is subject to confirmation by members of the Liberian Senate.

Patray is a 67-year-old resident of Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. In 2002, he served as executive director for administration at the Central Bank.

Featured photo by Jefferson Krua

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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