Acting Finance and Development Planning Minister, Dr. Samora P.Z. Wolokolie Acting Finance and Development Planning Minister, Dr. Samora P.Z. Wolokolie

Finance Ministry Plans Mitigation Mechanism To Address Negative Impacts of "Declining" USD Featured

The Government of Liberia (GoL), through Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), has said it is observing the trend of the exchange rate situation and are planning on introducing mitigating measures that would minimize any negative impact that may result therefrom.

Appearing before the Plenary of the Liberian Senate-the highest decision making body of the Liberian Senate, during the 5th day sitting of the Special Session of that august body on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, Acting Finance Minister Dr. Samora P.Z. Wolokolie, indicated that if the Liberian Dollar continues to appreciate against the USD in the long term, the MFDP in collaboration with other members of the Economic Management Team (EMT), will have to introduce corrective fiscal measures to mainly protect the disposable income of those receiving salaries and other payments from the Government of Liberia (GoL).

He stated that Key among these measures would include the review of the ratio of currency split in terms of government payments, adherence to the exchange rate as published by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), the pricing of goods and services in both Liberian Dollars and United States Dollars using the CBL exchange rate, among others.

"In terms of fiscal management, the appreciation of the Liberian Dollars against the United States Dollars howbeit, temporary for now, will not have any major impact on the collection of government revenues in the short term as historical data over the last two years have shown that revenues are mostly collected in USD in the range of approximately 16-20% in Liberian Dollars and 84 - 80% in USD," said Acting Minister Wolokolie.

"Honorable Pro temp and members of the Senate, the EMT is monitoring the situation and stands ready to take whatever remedial action that may be necessary to maintain confidence in the fiscal and monetary environments. In taking any of these actions, the Ministry of Finance in particular, and the EMT in general would do so in consultation with the National Legislature. Ours is to ensure micro-economic stability while at the same time ensuring that the overall wellbeing of the citizens and residents remains paramount," he furthered.

Wolokolie, who is the Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs at MFDP, informed members of the Upper House that the variables underpinning the country's fiscal environment remain strong and continue to get stronger.

"According to the most recent IMF data, our growth rate is expected to improve to in 2022. The outlook and indicators for an economic rebound are promising. In the midst of Covid- 19, our economy continues to be resilient.

Our revenue collection continues to exceed targets, our environment continues to remain relatively stable - all thanks to all of us, including you the Legislators for pulling together and working collaboratively in the midst of the pandemic! This shows that when we collaborate more, interact more, respect each other more, we can do better as a country," the fiscal management head asserted.

"Over the past two budget periods, we have witnessed unprecedented revenue collection, improved payment practices, stronger growth indicators and better micro economic environment. We are also fully cognizant that we have got a lot more to do in terms of improving the economic space for our people, the people of Liberia, especially as it relates to job creation, but you can be rest assured that we are fully committed to that, and working together, with your oversight, we will change the narrative for the better," he, among other things added.

Following the presentation by Acting Minister Wolokolie, a motion was made by Margibi County Senator, James Emmanuel Nuquay, for the presentation to be turned over to the requisite committees including Committees on Commerce to report back to Plenary within two weeks' period.

Meanwhile, the motion was seconded and received unanimous votes by members of the Liberian Senate.

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