President Joseph Boakai policy agenda presented to lawmakers lacks clear implantation and funding strategy and is fraught with dishonesty, the main opposition Congress for Democratic Change said in a statement late Monday night.
The party disagrees with the President that the state of the nation is in distress. CDC said in its rebuttal the Boakai’s first state of the nation address that it left behind a better economy compared to what it inherited in 2018.
“We like to report to you that the CDC left the state of our nation stronger than it met in 2018,” Mulbah Morlu, the party’s National Chairman said.
“President Boakai is inheriting 222.7 million US Dollars in the net international reserve, and over US$40 million in the consolidated account as of January 17, 2023. This amount was left behind by the CDC government compared to the under 7 million the CDC inherited when it took power from the Sirleaf/Boakai-led government in 2017.
“The Unity Party government, at the close of 2017, concealed several domestic debts, including USD 107 million from the IMF through the CBL, and USD 65 million from commercial banks, amongst others, and willfully failed to recognize these debts as part of the domestic debt stock. This represented a gross understatement of debt stock. Of the 2.2 billion debt stock reported, about 60% was contracted under the Unity Party regime.”
When former President George Weah and the Coalition for Democratic Change took power in 2018, the economy had contracted 1.6 percent in 2016 following a slump in iron-ore prices and the fallout from the Ebola crisis, which at its peak in 2014 isolated the country and claimed thousands of lives.
While economic growth recovered in 2017 to an estimated 2.5 percent, an inflation rate of 11 percent meant that prices for staple foods such as rice and oil were surging upon the inception of the CDC administration.
Liberia’s debt, which stood at 34.1% of gross domestic product at the beginning of Weah’s tenure in 2018 is projected by the International Monetary Fund to reach 57.1% of GDP at the end of 2023 but begin to decline from this year at 56.1%. The economy is expected to grow 5.4% this year.
Per-capita income remains about a third of the level prior to the civil wars between 1989 and 2003, only about 7% of roads are paved and just over a fourth of the population have access to electricity, according to the International Monetary Fund.