Members of the Board of Governors,
Deputy Governor for Operations, Madam Nyemadi D. Pearson
Former Executive Governor Nathaniel R. Patray III
Senior Staff, middle level professional staff, other support Staff
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen
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. 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.
Distinguished members of the Central Bank of Liberia, Hon. Patray will hereafter assume the title of “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, 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. Fortunately for me, members of the CBL Board, especially Hon. Patray offered me that opportunity of professional guidance and upgrade. He became my practical mentor unknowingly.
My initial direct working relationship with him was in Guinea when we represented the CBL at the statutory meeting of ECOWAS in September 2019. I remembered again, his guidance and professional interventions on critical monetary and development issues for the attainment of ECOWAS single currency. I vividly witnessed his level of patriotism and nationalism for Liberia when he engaged the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Godwin I. Emefiele, which eventually resulted to Nigeria’s decision to assist the Central Bank of Liberia with opportunities in training and trade exchange in furtherance of His Excellency, President George Manneh Weah’s visit to Nigeria last year. This is important strategy of diplomacy we can learn from Hon. Patray.
My second close interaction with Hon. Patray relates to our discussion with the National Legislature on the proposed printing of money. Again, my knowledge on the procedure and process of printing money was limited. I was, however, fortunate to leverage on the knowledge of Hon. Patray in the discussion with the Legislature.
Humility is wealth and there is indeed no substitute for the invaluable knowledge and guidance that most of us received from you.
On the third experience, I carefully followed Hon. Patray’s management at Board meetings and his experience in handling critical issues. His style of management is strictly accommodating, thus making every member of the team inclusively important. I saw him expressing angers on some issues, but in few moments, he gets along with you as if he is different Hon. Patray you had met. This is another important attribute we can learn from him.
At a general level, Hon. Patray’s leadership strengthened the security environment of the CBL, so much so that today everyone visiting the CBL’s premises have to be clearly identified and vehicles searched to ensure the protection of lives and property at the Bank. Hon. Patray also established the CBL Economic Forum, which falls directly under my supervision, a legacy that you will long be remembered.
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. That’s why I am strongly optimistic that you are not leaving the economy and financial sector. We will remember your exuberant effort exerted to get Liberia back into the IMF program, and leading the process of the amendment of the CBL Act to strengthen governance of the Bank and the financial sector. Your leadership on the Technical Economic management Team (TEMT), working with your colleagues, brought significant changes in the economy, especially the stability in the exchange rate during July-December 2018.
In closing, our take from your professional and successful career, and as a repository of monetary and financial sector knowledge, are simple. Whatever we are meant to do in our life, we should do it properly, and whatever we want to be, we should be it at the fullest. We are confident that, those of us, who are destined to follow your path, will always stay on the path leading to the realization of modern central banking through effective and prudent monetary policy that would foster the National Development Agenda of Liberia led by His Excellency, Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia.
I am pleased to announce the affirmation of our (staff) support to your successor. Once again, I wish to extend my profound gratitude to you and all who, over the years, pulled their weights in supporting your career. May God bless you and thanks.
Wishing you all the best in your new sojourn.