By Lewis S Teh
The chairperson of the technical committee on currency reform at the Central Bank of Liberia, Musa Kamara says the CBL is set to remove smaller banknotes in circulation and subsequently replace them with a new set of Liberian currency especially, coins.
Mr. Kamara made the disclosure during a regular press briefing held at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism in Monrovia.
He said the change made to the new currency is strategic to reduce the mass number of smaller banknotes in the country.
He said the government, through the CBL, will shortly launch vigorous awareness as part of efforts to take seized the smaller number of local banknotes to substitute them with newly minted coins.
The CBL official noted that one thousand Liberian banknotes were produced to reduce the smaller number of foreign banknotes in the country.
He urged citizens especially business owners and market women to take advantage of various banking institutions across the country to have access to the coins.
Mr. Kamara explained that as part of security features on the LRD 1,000 banknote, it contains 16 features which represent the 16 tribes of Liberia.
He added that the marks or features represent the national symbols of the country and that the 5 and 10 Liberian banknotes have been minted into coins but with new types far different from the previous coins that were in circulation prior to the civil conflict.
According to him, the idea is to enable citizens, especially business people to handle smaller denominations of currency for change purposes.
The CBL in a statement issued on August 15, 2022, said consistent with May 6, 2021, Joint Resolution of the National Legislature, authorizing the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to print and mint a new family of Liberian currency totaling L$48.734 billion, only L$5 and L$10 are being minted in coins.
The Bank in a release said delivery of the coins will begin in the 4th quarter of 2022 and subsequently be infused into the economy through commercial banks.
The new coins are smaller, much lighter and easier to carry than the previous coins in circulation.
According to the CBL, the newly minted coins are round, nickel-plated steel, with the L$5 weighing 3.6 grams and the L$10 weighing 4.8 grams, respectively. The L$5 has the image of President Edward James Roye, while the L$10 has the image of President Joseph Jenkins Roberts.
The L$5 and L$10 coins are part of the new family of Liberian dollar currency, with the rest of the new currency being the L$20, L$50, L$100, L$500 and the L$1,000 banknotes.
The L$1000 is being introduced into the Liberian economy for the first time.
The CBL has reassured the public that the currency reform is well on course and proceeding according to implementation plan.
Meanwhile, the Bank will soon launch a nationwide public education and sensitization campaign on the currency replacement exercise. Editing by Jonathan Browne