Home Economy In US$40m Balance Saga Report: Senate Proves Weah Right …Wants Consolidated Accounts Audited

In US$40m Balance Saga Report: Senate Proves Weah Right …Wants Consolidated Accounts Audited

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MONROVIA: Amid public concern relative to the controversy bordering on the consolidated accounts balance as regards claims and counter-claims by former President George Manneh `Weah and President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, the Joint Public Accounts and Audits and Banking and Currency Committee of the Senate has concluded its probe as regards the amount that was left in the country’s Consolidated Accounts by former administration of ex-President George Weah.
The Committee established that the Government’s FY2024 gross account balance as of January 19, 2024 was US$40,550,089.77.

However, the Joint Committee recommended to the Senate Plenary, which is the highest decision-making body of the Upper House a Special Reconciliation Audit of the Consolidated Account aimed at establishing the facts and give them to the Liberian people.

The Joint Committee, in its Report, stressed that the audit is in the interest of Accountability and Transparency and will clear any doubts about the actual net position of the Consolidated Accounts that President Joseph Boakai Administration inherited from the former Administration of ex-President Weah.

The Joint Committee in its report to Plenary during its 7th day sitting on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, noted that such recommendation is in the interest of accountability and transparency.

According to the committee, the purpose of the Special Audit (Reconciliation) is to establish true balances (Gross and Net) of the Consolidated Accounts to clear any doubts about the true net position of the Consolidated Accounts that President Boakai inherited as of January 21, 2024.

On January 30, 2024, the Senate Plenary voted to mandate the Public Accounts and Audits Committee (PAC) and the Banking and Currency Committee (BCC) to expeditiously investigate this matter and establish the true balances of the Consolidated Accounts with supported documentation, and report to Plenary by Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

On the same date (January 30,2024), the Joint Committee wrote the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Executive Governor a letter and requested that he provides by the end of Wednesday, January 31, 2024,the Government of Liberia’s (GoL) Consolidated Account balances in United States Dollars (USD) and Liberian Dollars (LRD) as of January 17, 2024, and January 19, 2024, at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), supported by appropriate bank statements and minutes of all meetings the CBL’s held with the Joint Presidential Transition Team (JPTT).

The committee further requested the CBL Governor of the government`s revenue account balances for the same period and for the Calendar Year ended December 31, 2023.

The Central Bank in its response dated January 31, 2024, noted that after careful review and analysis of the documents (Bank Statements), the following balances were established: that the government FY2023 Gross Accounts balance as of December 31, 2023: is USD21, 464,644.50 (USD15,967,236.86 and LD1,038,847,320.62) exchange rate of LD188.9704/USD1.00.

Furthermore, the Central Bank in its report to the Senate indicated that as of January 17, 2024, the government FY2024 gross accounts balance was USD37, 798,931.96 which included both end of December FY2023 balances stated above in #1 and January FY2024 accounts balances (FY2023 USD21, 484,256.91 and FY2024 USD16, 314,675.05).

According to the CBL, government FY2024 gross accounts balance as of January 19, 2024: is USD 40,550,089.77 which also includes both end of FY2023 and FY2024 accounts balances (FY2023 USD21, 405,862.99 and FY2024 USD19, 144,226.79).

This development, according to our contacts at the Senate, suggests that former President Weah is being proven right in the US$40m saga.

Moreover, the Senate’s decision to request information concerning the Country`s Consolidated Accounts came after former President Weah told the nation on January 21, 2024, that he left USD 40 million in the Consolidated Accounts, while President Joseph Boakai during his State of the Nation Address on (SONA) Monday, January 29, 2024, told the Legislature and the public that the former President statement was not supported by facts and that his predecessor left USD 20.5 million in the Consolidated Accounts at the CBL.

Howbeit, both leaders did not inform the public if their figures were gross or net account balances, to establish the true balance of government consolidated accounts.

Those who signed the committee report include: Senator Amara Konneh Chairman of the Public Accounts committee, Cllr. Senator Joseph Jallah of Lofa County, Chairman on Budget and currency, Senator Edwin M. Snowe, Jr. Member, Senator Nathaniel F. McGill of Margibi County, Member; Jonathan ‘Boycharles’ Sogbie, Senators James P. Biney and J. Gbleh-Bo Brown both of Maryland County

Others include: Lofa County Senator, Momo Cyrus, Senator Gbehzongar Findley of Grand Bassa County; Francis Dopoh of River Gee, Senator Abraham Dillon of Montserrado County, Dabah Mabande Vapilah of Grand Cape Mount County and Senator Crayton O. Duncan of Sinoe County.

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