Opinion: How The Liberian Government Can Turn The Current Economic Crisis Into A Win

By Varney Anasters Teah

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Monrovia- It is no news that Liberia has been experiencing harsh economic conditions since the ascension of the CDC-led government to power, however, despite these realities, President George Weah government can come out strong out of this, win and even become more popular.

In her last days as President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf predicted that things were going to get tougher. As a sitting leader by then, she was aware of Liberia’s economic intricacies and the would be results. Although the CDC-led government was aware of the risk, they did not know the magnitude at which the economic problems had ascended, thus, it was more like a lightning strike from a heavy thunderstorm than normal rain during the rainy season. With this surprise, the government had to go to the drawing board and come out with a fast plan to create some kind of economic relief. At first, the President reduced tariffs on certain commodities, but the tariffs reduction did make the desired immediate impact as the exchange rate between the US and Liberian dollars was high. In fact, things seemed to get tougher at that point and there were cries in and out of Liberia about these hardships.

The next course of action on the part of the Liberian President and that of the government was a portrayal of true leadership. During a speech to the nation on the crisis, the President announced various measures aimed at tackling the problem, the first of which by infusing US$25 million into the economy. Immediately after these announcements, there was drop in the US rate. Next, the President announced a 14cents reduction in the price of gasoline, thereby dropping the price of gas. In the last few days, the government through the Ministry of transport has announced new transportation fares which people see as a great relief in commuting from place to place. In addition, the Ministry of Commerce has reduced prices on used clothes and certain frozen food and has instructed businesses to tag prices on a all goods that are ready to be sold by August 15, this which the instruction mandates, must be done in accordance with the current US rate.

Putting all of the above actions into perspective, this is great improvement as compared to what the government inherited. As we have been informed, the economic team is working out other long term policies to curb the problem once and for all. With an economic stability victory, the government can focus its efforts on her infrastructure plans: Balil Island business district, the 14 military hospital, the coastal highway, etc. When both the economic and infrastructural successes are intertwined, it is going to be a big boost for the Presidency and the CDC-led government. Liberians don’t care about political rhetoric and howling noise. As long as we see tangible impacts and fulfillment of the promises you made during the campaign, we are good. At the pace for which this government is moving, and if corruption is avoided, it will surely win. Another thing that will create a stamp on this government in a positive way is the provision of stable electricity. Electricity is pivotal to any nation development. With the President instructing the  Liberia Electricity Corporation to plant 2,000 additional streetlights in Monrovia and all to way to the airport, it is commendable. The real impact will be keeping those lights on at all times. In addition to those poles, if the government can work with international partners on the completion of the hydro, thus providing electricity to the rest of the country, that will be the real deal and major boost.

With five years and five more months to go, the government can still make lot of considerable gains. As long as there is economic stability, for which we are starting to see impacts, the rest will fall in place. At the end, it will be a win for President Weah and the CDC-led government, and of course, the already popular President will become more popular!!!!!