MONROVIA – Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah has said that as part of efforts to recover from a period of economic decline, Liberia is now cleaning up its own act to rebuild confidence and turn around its crisis-hit economy.
A Bloomberg report on Wednesday quotes the Liberian Finance Chief as saying that among the many ills, the Liberian government has agreed to cut back on its bloated wage bill, end borrowing from the Central Bank and improve fiscal and monetary governance.
“The steps are designed to restore investor confidence. We are optimistic that Liberia is on the path of recovery,” the report further quotes Tweah.
While stating that Liberia’s woes are not insurmountable, Tweah said: “I would’ve loved to have a better investment climate, instead we ran into quicksand, the foundation that was supposed to be strong plummeted so we had to restore that foundation before continuing our program.”
He said since the implementation of the reforms in Liberia, inflation has slowed to 26 percent and growth is expected to accelerate to 3.4 percent in 2021, indicating that the US$214 million facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will mainly be used for infrastructure projects and investments in the agriculture sector.
“There’s no way we can change this country without investing in electricity, road and agriculture,” the Bloomberg article quotes Tweah as saying.
Liberia is trying to recover from a period of economic decline after the nation’s currency lost more than a fifth of its value against the dollar and inflation accelerated to 30 percent by the end of its previous fiscal year in June. During 2019, public debt increased by almost a third.
A December report from the IMF said the country’s budget for the current financial year is credible and consolidates public finances, including “rightsizing the compensation of employees and implementing long-overdue comprehensive civil service reform.
The country has also put in place systems and measures to improve fiscal monitoring and control, as well as reforms of the Central Bank, the report indicated.