“PURE FICTION” Liberty Party Political Leader Describes Pres. Weah SONA

By: Laymah Kollie, Legislative Correspondent

Liberia- February 1,2023- Barely 24hrs after Pres. George Weah performed his constitutional duty by providing a report on the state of the Nation (SONA) to the Legislature, Liberty Party Political Leader Nyonblee Karnga-Lawerence has termed the entire SONA as an imaginary lie.

She indicated that the Liberian Leader lied about almost all his statements about the economy and shift in policies and progress of the country. “Mr. President, as has become commonplace within your circle, you presented an appraisal of the state of the economy upon your ascendency to the presidency. You went on to say that the economy before you took over was in a state of distress, the exchange rate was in free fall and inflation rate was skyrocketing. But here are the facts, before you assumed the presidency, domestic and international debts stood at U$900,000,000 after Madam Sirleaf’s twelve years. However, just within five years of your administration, Liberia has accrued a total debt burden of U$835 million in domestic debt and $1.1 billion in external debts. This represents an increment of $1billion and could be an impediment to the next administration’s economy recovery agenda”.

Senator Karnga-Lawrence further added that the Weahled administration has produced an excessive increase in domestic and external debts from USD$900,000,000 after madam Sirleaf regime to now USD$835.millon while placing external debt at USD$1.1 billion during his administration. “We should all understand, additionally, that what appears to be a reduction in inflation is basically attributable to the intervention of the IMF. In specific cases, the IMF has been bailing out Liberia since 2019 with loans because of the terrible state of the economy. For example, in 2020, Liberia received $200,000,000 and U$350,000,000 in 2021). So, Mr. President, how much more distressful was the economy during the twelve years of the previous regime than it is now under your administration?”, she pondered.

According to the Liberty Party Political Leader, the tons of Pres. Weah unfulfilled promises made to the Liberian people including: the creation of one million jobs; Liberians under his administration will not be spectators in their own economy; the high prices of commodities on the market especially rice and gasoline and Inflation and high unemployment continue to hurt Liberians. “Many of our citizens cannot afford their basic needs, either because they have no jobs or because the little, they earn cannot sustain their needs. After 5 years of failed promises, including the promise to create one million jobs, our citizens have become beggars in their own country”, she emphasized.

The Monday January 30, 2023 SONA was marked by appraisals from Pres. Weah in progresses his government has made. Pres. Weah made emphasis on financial policies roads, infrastructure development and bilateral agreements and support from partners as some of the strides. He further requested a second term mandate from the People of Liberia and a need to continue development works currently ongoing. “I will be coming to you shortly, to ask you for a second mandate which you give me 6years ago”.

Prior to his assertions at the State of Nation Address (SONA), NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Governance in its president meter report indicated that Of the 292 promises made by President Weah over the last five years only 8% (24 promises) have been fully implemented by the government. The assessment also found that implementation of 91 promises (31% of all promises)
were ongoing during the reporting period. Therefore, out of all promises, attempts have been made on only
39% (the sum of those completed and those with ongoing activities). Nearly two-thirds of all promises, 61% or 177 promises, were identified as ‘Not started/ not rated’ because
the government had not commenced work on their implementation, and there was no available information on the status of those promises.

“The State of the Nation Address by the President of Liberia should not be seen, as it was seen yesterday, as a ritual address that requires the president to catalogue what the administration claimed to have accomplished during the previous year, but it should be a true reflection of what our people have actually gone through in our country during the previous year, and more so, it should be an address that builds the hope and aspirations of people throughout the country”, the LP leader said.

Article 58 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia provides that the President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic.

Responding further, senator Karnga-Lawrence made specific reference to the President statement about his administration reducing inflation from 30% to 7% in two years after the government took office in 2018, Senator Lawrence attributed it

In his Message, our President appears to be boasting about reduction in inflation. According to him, inflation has been reduced to a single digit. The reality is, when there is reduction in inflation, it must benefit price reduction. Contrarily, Liberia’s situation, as pronounced by the President, is on the reverse. No one living in Liberia will not understand that prices on the market remain very high, quite unaffordable by the average Liberian citizens, most of whom do not have any source of livelihood. Since the president came to power, we have experienced a 30 percent increase in the price of the 25kg bag of the nations’ stable food, rice ( from $13.00 to $17.50) the price of gas is hovering around $3.00 to $3.50 while we are selling for over $5.00. these prices have direct impact on every Liberian and ultimately impacts every other price”.

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