Amidst the increasing depreciation of the Liberian Dollar or LRD against the United States Dollar or USD, the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL announced Wednesday that it will shortly introduce a new series of Liberia Dollar banknotes into the local economy.
The move has nothing to do with addressing the free fall in the value of the LRD against the USD. In fact, President Sirleaf has admittedly told a cross-section of University students here that government has no control over the rise in the exchange rate of the LRD against the USD. Liberia runs a dual currency the Liberian Dollar and the United States Dollars.
However, authorities say the new series, which introduces a new denomination of 500 (five hundred dollars), will include among others the unifying nature of the existing Liberian Banknotes, and maintained all previous portraits.
The CBL says the new series of banknotes reinforces the security features, which are both visible and invisible. In addition, the Bank says it has ensured that the new series is printed on a higher quality substrate to guarantee longevity and reduce porosity.
The CBL said its move is in line with its statutory mandate to at all times ensure that the integrity of the Liberian Dollar is uncompromisingly maintained. In 2000, the CBL introduced the new Liberian Dollar bank notes as a unified currency to replace the old “J.J.” banknotes. Since its introduction in to the economy, the Liberian banknotes have undergone minor technical redesign and security feature enhancements.
The Bank said all the minor technical redesigns and security features are geared towards maintaining public confidence and at the same time deterring fraud and counterfeiting.
Authorities said in addition to preventing fraud and counterfeiting, it also takes keen interest in tackling the two major risk issues associated with banknote lifespan, namely: soiling and porosity.
“The CBL, therefore, confirms to all stakeholders, including the general public that the new series of banknotes to be released, will be fully on par with the existing Liberian Dollar Banknotes as legal tender for all transactions,” the statement said.
It said it will release a fact sheet to containing what is anticipated to be Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) about the new series of banknotes that will be issued soon,. CBL officials few weeks ago listed measures it intends to embark upon to save the Liberian Dollar from further free fall. It is most likely that the introduction of the new series of banknotes is only intended to help the ease of doing business as many have been complaining about the mutilated banknotes in circulation.
By Othello B. Garblah