President Sirleaf making remarks at the commissioning ceremony
Monrovia, Liberia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 officially commissioned six newly appointed and confirmed senior government officials of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia including members of the Board of Governors the CBL, urging them to remain mindful of their duties and responsibilities assigned to them.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement on Wednesday, when she commissioned Hon. Boima S. Kamara, Minister of Finance and Development Planning; Mr. Milton A. Weeks, Governor, Central Bank of Liberia in the C. Cecil Dennis, Jr. Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Others commissioned were Mr. David M. Fahart, Melisa Emeh, Kollie Tamba and Elsie Dossen Badio, all of whom constitute the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
President Sirleaf called on the newly commissioned officials to work together collectively and collaboratively for the betterment of Liberia. The Liberian leader said: “I feel it is important in the context of recent experience to point to the importance of the roles and responsibilities which you are to assume, particularly, with reference to the role of the Central Bank.”
She said consistent with role of Central Banks all over the world, the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia holds a unique position, amongst public officials, because he or she can act with enormous independence and autonomy. She said, for example, the Minister of Finance can only propose a budget to the legislature each year on behalf of the President. The Budget according to the President must be passed by into law by the legislature each year after full public debate and signed in to law be the President. She said this system provides substantial oversight for the people on how financial resources are used. “The Central Bank is not subjected to a rigorous budgetary process,” President Sirleaf emphasized.
The Liberian leader said the issue of Central Bank autonomy, is a very serious issue in Liberia, because the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia has greater autonomy, than Governors of Central Banks in other countries.
President Sirleaf said under the circumstances, sometimes it is much more difficult to take actions when problems arise. President Sirleaf said Article 13 3 of the Central Bank Act states: “That a member of the Board of Governors can be removed from office only by impeachment by the Liberian senate upon the signing of the majority Board of Governors and the recommendation of the President for any of the specified reasons ” . The Liberian leader said it was very important to set these principles in order to reemphasize the importance of the Central Bank being depoliticized and its officials apolitical.
President Sirleaf challenged the newly commissioned to assume their new roles with commitment and called on them to be mindful of the tremendous responsibility at hand during these difficult economic and financial times. She said she will be counting on their competence, experience, integrity and cooperation with each adding, “Your duty and loyalty is to Liberia alone” she emphasized.
Speaking on behalf of his commissioned colleagues, Liberia’s new Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Boima S. Kamara thanked President Sirleaf for the confidence reposed in them to serve the country and promised to work in the best interest of the Liberian people. He said the road ahead is challenging but have committed themselves by serving with diligence and honesty.
He thanked Liberia’s international partners including the IMF, ADB, World Bank, USA, and China, Germany, Norway among others for their continued support and commitment to Liberia’s development efforts.
The Commissioning Ceremony was attended by senior government officials including Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, President Pro-Tempore – Armah Z. Jallah, members of the legislature, he cabinet, members of the diplomatic corps among others.
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