Source: Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS)

Verification: On 17th May 2023, The Stage Media received a request from the Daily Observer Newspaper, one of Liberia’s widely read newspapers.

The institution asked TSM to assist in fact-checking the truthfulness and accuracy of some of the claims made by Eugene Lenn Nagbe, Commissioner General of the Liberia Maritime Authority when he appeared on ELBC Wednesday, May 17, 2023, to promote the agenda of President George Weah. The interview attracted 242 reactions, 487 comments, 201 shares and 7.2k views. We immediately commenced research on a few claims made by Nagbe.

  •  “We have over five thousand vessels on our water flying our flag.”
  • “Nyonblee endorses Boakai five times: 2005, 2011, and 2023.”
  • Direct Foreign Investment from partners has been Cut off. There’s no budget support from the US government and EU like we used to have before, it is based on the collection per month that we make payment. 
  • Inflation reduced from 23% in 2018 to 6.9 % under President Weah.
  • Liberia’s foreign reserves increase is over 27%

Liberia Inflation rate:

Liberia’s current inflation rate is put at 9.49% as of December 2022, therefore the minister understated the figure.

Are the EU and US Governments not Contributing to Liberia’s budget: 

Vessels on Liberia waters:

On the issue of about five thousand vessels flying the Liberian water, the Commissioner over-stated the number. Liberia currently has 4295 commercial ships operating under its flagship and 268 additional ships registered as of 2022.

We find no record to confirm the Minister’s claim on Senator Nyonblee Multiple Endorsements or support for former Vice President Joseph Boakai’s candidacy.

The only record that exists is the recent endorsement of the Boakai and Koung ticket in Grand Bassa County. Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, who took the bold step during an elaborate and well-organized endorsement ceremony held Sunday, May 14, 2023, in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, said she chose to endorse the Boakai-Koung ticket instead of serving as Vice President to Mr Alexander Cummings because of the duplicitous role that the Alternative National Congress (ANC) played in destabilizing her political institution.

Liberia Foreign Reserved:

Foreign exchange reserves consist of foreign currency, deposits denominated in foreign currency, Monetary Gold, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and Reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Foreign exchange reserves are held by monetary authorities to finance trade imbalances, check the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations and address other issues under the purview of the central bank.

The average value for Liberia during that period was 0.24 billion U.S. Dollars with a minimum of 0 billion U.S. Dollars in July 1996 and a maximum of 0.69 billion U.S. Dollars in March 2022. Click on the following link to see the values of Foreign exchange reserves, billion currency units around the world.

Data obtained from the world bank also puts Liberia’s total reserves including gold, and current US$ at 340,965,881 (340.97).

No direct foreign support to Liberia:

Foreign direct investment:

Foreign direct investment and net inflows (% of GDP) in Liberia were reported at 1.3018 % in 2021, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. Foreign direct investments are the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest (10 per cent or more of voting stock) in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.

It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in the balance of payments. 

A budget is a financial plan for a specified period. It is an estimate of expenses a party will incur, usually broken out by category, to provide a roadmap that the party should follow.

Liberia’s development partners contribute funds to help achieve the Government’s national development objectives. For FY2023, total donor spending is projected to be US$211.3 million of which the United States government is expected to contribute 6.7 million in aid.

A message from Finance Minister Samuel Tweah in the citizen guide spells out a partner or foreign contributions to the national budget and how funds are allocated to line ministries and agencies. “In this Draft National Budget of FY2023, your government expects to collect a total of US$777.9 million in revenue, of which US$110.00 million is expected to come from our development partners as on-budget support.”

Conclusion: The Commission of Maritime Misinformed the public on these claims.


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