The fulcrum of the Liberian economy, according to some ace political and economic gurus, is the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). They say it can also be the trap to stall economic progress. It is no surprise why all eyes turn on the Bank as Liberia endues harsh economic conditions and controversies mount on the state of controversial monetary transactions at the Bank. Perhaps this is why President Weah has declared to restructure the Bank. Not too many people know the personality who was picked to hold on as Officer-In-Charge after the former Governor resigned. The Analyst leafs, though cursorily, through the O-I-C’s records and his predecessor’s last words to the Bank’s family that he has left behind rather reluctantly.
With the dust nearly becoming to settle on the long-awaited restructuring of the epic center of Liberia’s money market, the Central Bank of Liberia, with the exit of Executive Governor Nathaniel Patray, the search for new leadership looms.
President Weah might be weighing his options and Liberia and the entire world wait to see the luck one or that person to sit in the furnace of the hotly contested job.
Meanwhile, Dr. Musa Dukuly who has been Deputy Governor for Economic Affairs was designated by the President to serve as the Officer-In-Charge at the Central Bank of Liberia, following the resignation of Hon. Nathaniel R. Patray, III.
Given the highly critical role of the Central Bank of Liberia and reading from the volatility of the current economic situation, there are some Liberians rising the question of who the Officer-In-Charge really is and how he measures to the job.
Not too many might have known this professor who once served as Principal Economist with the ECOWAS West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), based in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
He joined WAMA in March 2013 as Senior Economist, rising through the ranks to become a Principal Economist with the responsibilities of performing macroeconomic assessments for Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
He previously worked as National Consultant on the Poverty Reduction Strategy of Liberia, especially on the Poverty Diagnostics (PD), Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA), through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that engendered the process of debt waiver for Liberia.
Dr. Dukuly obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi in 2012 with a focus on financial development of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in post-war environment.
He served as a part-time lecturer of Economic Theory at the University of Nairobi in Kenya (2010-2011), United Methodist University (Liberia) in 2012 and full time at the University of Liberia (2007-2012).
He is a research network member of Africa’s top economic Think Tank, African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi, Kenya with a publication entitled: Access to Credit in Urban Liberia: Double Hurdle Approach including Credit Transmission Mechanism of Liberia’s Central Bank: Is it Pro-poor? (Theoretical Discussion, Perspectives-2013).
From the records, there is absolutely no need for panic even as Patray leaves with a few strong words.
Dr. Dukuly recalled in fond words some work done by the outgoing Executive Governor. He said: “Today, we bid farewell to an important personality who dedicated more than 40 years of his professional life to the enhancement of the academic and financial sectors.”
The Officer-In-Charge further said. “He gradually worked his way through all echelons of society, rising through the rank and file of the erstwhile National Bank of Liberia and the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) before finally serving as Executive Governor of the Bank. Today, he is leaving behind the title of ‘Executive Governor of the Central Bank’, which he has carried with great honor, pride and dignity. He will be registered in history for his impeccable attributes of transparency and accountability in the discharge of his responsibilities from his days at the National Bank of Liberia to the days he served the Central Bank of Liberia.”
According to Dr. Dukuly, Mr. Patray will take with him the appellation “Former Executive Governor of the Central Bank Liberia”, which is equally prestigious, such that he will carry that honor throughout history.
“At this very significant turning point,” Dr. Dukuly said, “I would like to share with you some observations and experiences I have had working with Hon. Patray in the short time. My working relationship with Hon. Patray has been cordial. I entered the Central Bank with lot of theoretical, regional and technical experiences in macroeconomic policies and management. I therefore opted to leverage on staff at the Bank, who are endowed with enormous practical experience.”
He added: “Hon. Patray, we say thank you. You are leaving the Bank, but not the Liberian economy. Today, our economy is struggling. Growth is subdued and monetary policy interventions need to be strengthened. You initiated several reforms, including development of the new monetary policy framework of the CBL which marks an important shift in the monetary policy strategy and decision-making at the Bank; strengthening of the foreign exchange auction system; and development of the national financial inclusion strategy. The effectiveness of these policies will require broader consultations and policy driven research.”
Patray’s Last Words
The former Executive Governor has retired as Executive Governor of the Bank. The decision was announced Friday, October 25, 2019, by Governor Patray during a general staff meeting at the CBL. Honorable Patray informed the staff that he was leaving the post in keeping with an arrangement with the President and a resolution approved by the Board of Governors of the Bank.
The outgoing Executive Governor expressed thanks and appreciation to the President for the opportunity to serve the country as Governor of the Bank. He also thanked the staff of the Central Bank of Liberia and other stakeholders for the cooperation accorded him during his tenure as Executive Governor. He urged the staff to cooperate and show commitment to whomever would be named as his successor.
Hon. Patray who previously worked with erstwhile National Bank of Liberia, now Central Bank of Liberia, as an executive official, was appointed by President George Manneh Weah in July 2018, following the resignation of Hon. Milton A. Weeks..