Senate Rejects Economic Management Team Report, Amends Rules for Impeachment proceeding

MONROVIA, Montserrado- The Liberia Senate on its second day sitting of the extraordinary session voted to reject a report on the status of the country’s economy presented by the Technical Economic Management Team of President George Weah.

The Technical Economic Management Team headed by Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah was invited by the Senate following a communication from Maryland County Senator Gblebo Brown. Brown raised concerns over the state of the country’s economy, as well as the reports of missing L$16 billion and the executive’s claim of infusing US$25 million to rescue the economy.

Tweah accompanied by some members of the team, including Central Bank Governor, Nathaniel Patray; Liberia Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Thomas Doe-Nah; and Commerce and Industry Minister, Wilson Tarpeh was also prevented from making further presentation on the Senate’s floor on Tuesday, after the senators agreed that the team was poorly prepared, and its report lacked detail and clear information about the current status of the economy.

Grand Bassa Senator, Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence said the report was sub-standard and lacked international best practice for a serious monetary report. They recommended that the team be made to redo the report before a second appearance.

Karnga said, the Economic Management Team’s report did not include the list of institutions and individuals who benefitted from the US$25 million given for the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to work with commercial banks to resuscitate the economy.

“This team needs not to go further to speak on this matter based on their unpreparedness and poor report presented to us,” she said.

In a three-page document, the Economic Management Team says it plans to improve the economy through the pro-poor agenda for prosperity.

“We are taking short turn measures in that direction and this is one of the reasons the president commissioned the sitting of the Technical Economic Management Team. When the team began after the president economic speech, it [team] started with a major plan in mind,” Tweah also disclosed.

“At the time the team was sitting, the Liberian dollar had depreciated by 25% and it was on a trend that was extremely upward. So, the immediate goal of the team was to reverse that and stabilize the economy.”

He said prior to the commissioning of the Economic Management Team, the currency exchange rate was L$163 to US$1. According to him, their analysis shows that that the country will continue an upward path based on the team’s intervention.

Following the presentation, Grand Cape Mount Senator, Varney Sherman expressed disappointment that the government’s team of experts could not address key economic concerns in their report.

“The status of this economy is serious, we call our experts here to come and advise us then, they come here talking on top of their heads and expecting us to understand an economic and financial graph on three pages. How do you expect me to understand the status of the economy on a three-page document? It’s not possible,” Sherman noted.

He said it was expected that the team of experts would address the different issues affecting the economy, including the reported printing of L$16 billion new banknotes.

“What is the status of the economy that’s one item that needs to be addressed all by itself. Then, tell us what you know about this printing of the L$16 billion and give us this information in a separate section.”

One of the concerns he said was to provide information on whether the US$25 million President George Weah promised to infuse into the economy was done.

Meanwhile, the Senate has voted to reschedule the appearance of the team of experts on Tuesday, November 13 with a more detailed and organized report explaining the state of the country’s economy. The report is expected to provide clear information on the reported missing L$16 billion and the infusion of US$25 million in the economy to mop up the excess Liberian dollars currency on the market.

At the same time, the Senate also voted to amend number 63 of its standing rule sessions 15, and 18, which explain the procedure for impeachment trials.

Prior to the Amendment, session 15 calls for the hearing of an impeachment trial as a normal legislative proceeding in which the Secretary of the Senate will take regular minutes, while Session 18 provides for witnesses to be examined by one person on behalf of the party producing them, and then cross-examined by one person from the opposing said.

The amended portion of session 15 now provides for impeachment trials to be conducted as in a criminal trial where counsels from both sides cross-examine witnesses. The amended provision of session 18 also states that a senator cannot volunteer or be called as a witness in any impeachment trial.

21 senators signed to amend the rule, while 6 others, including Margibi Senator, Oscar Cooper; Karnga-Lawrence and Senators Milton Teahjay and Armah Jallah of Sinoe and Gbarpolu counties refused to sign.

The senators took the decision amid bill of impeachment forward to it by the House of Representative against an associate justice of the Supreme Court, Kabineh Ja’neh.

Featured photo by Ida Reeves


Ida Reeves

Ida Reeves holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Liberia in Mass Communications and Sociology. She graduated from the Young Political Leadership School and has worked in the past for Farbric Radio, Freedom Radio, and Frontier newspaper.

The Bush Chicken is a young operation and we need your support to keep bringing you great content. Please support us.

Monthly   Yearly   One time

Gold Level Supporter—$250/year
Silver Level Supporter—$100/year
Bronze Level Supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Gold Level Supporter—$250
Silver Level Supporter—$100
Bronze Level Supporter—$50
Or pick your own amount: $
Contributions to The Bush Chicken are not tax deductible.

Related posts