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Our Message To Finance Minister Kamara

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE of Liberia Boima Kamara’s statement on the state of Liberia’s economy is no surprise. Minister Kamara told a news conference recently that Liberia’s economy is in recession and chances of salvaging it in the short term are far-fetched. KAMARA ATTRIBUTED THIS to the slow economic performance owing to lowering global prices for Liberia’s key export commodities, especially iron ore and rubber which he said has triggered downward adjustment of real growth from 2.5% to -0.5%.
HE ADDED THAT this implies difficulties in realizing the full-approved revenue envelope, especially the full tax revenue component, while stressing that the National Budget has experienced a critical breakdown – declining from 6.7% in Fiscal Year 2015/2016 to 3.6% in Fiscal Year 2016/2017.
FINANCE MINISTER KAMARA also disclosed that the National Budget dropped from US$622 million in FY 2015/2016 to US$600 million for FY 2016/2017. He stated plain blank that the Ministry is unable to raise the projected budget for FY 2016/2017, due to changes in economic conditions which underpinned the draft budget during early May 2016.
IT’S UNFORTUNATELY THAT Minister Kamara is not aware that this information is no strange news for Liberians. Long before he was appointed, the economy of Liberia experienced three successive budget shortfalls, courtesy of Amara Konneh.
EVEN THOUGH EXPERTS revealed revenue collection at the time exceeded projected target, the Unity Party Government made Liberians to believe that there were shortfalls in the budget. And as trained Harvard University economist, this embarrassing situation did not bother President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, but kept Amara Konneh in the same position and showered praises on him as doing exceedingly well.
THIS PROMPTED LIBERIAN economic experts and political pundits to conjecture that the so-called budget shortfall story was just a charade. This is while Liberians are not surprised by any means that their economy will go into recession at the time world economy is taking a downward trend. How can Liberia’s economy perform well at this time of world economy crisis, when it failed at the time it had surplus?
MOST LIBERIANS DISAGREE with all the reasons given by the Minister of Finance for the so-called recession in the Liberian economy, all because the government has not told Liberians the truth about revenue collection and the impact on the economy throughout.
TO SUGGEST THAT government can do nothing about the economy situation in short term is true, but is also an attempt for some functionaries of government to further bleed the economy at the time government is winding down.
BUT WE WANT to sound this caveat to the government. Liberians will no longer accept the looting of the finances of the country and that all of those linked to stealing public resources will face the consequences. Anyone who thinks the last few months of the government is an opportune time to widen their grip on public resources and further loot the country will have themselves to blame, because even the Heaven will not hide them from the wrath of the Liberian masses. This is our message and the message of impoverished Liberians who continued to sleep hungry and die from curable diseases.

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All Liberia Party Standard Bearer Benoni Urey speaking to media executives at his residence in Careysburg.

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