-amidst CBL’s request to print L$48bn
Senators from the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) have resolved not to sign the resolution to print L$48 billion new family of bank notes until certain demands are settled.
The opposition senators’ demands led to the postponement of the passage of a resolution to print the Liberian dollars requested by the Central Bank of Liberia (CB).
The CPP Senators who took the decision include Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence of Grand Bassa County; Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County; Prince K. Moye of Being County; Daniel Nathaan of Gbarpolu County; Jonathan Boy Charles Sogbie of River Gee County and Conmany B. Wesseh of River Gee County.
The CPP Senators insist on having a report in 24 hours before a debate is held surrounding the printing of the money, noting that the resolution to print requires two – thirds majority and not a simple majority, because this is a constitutional matter.
CPP’s Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga – Lawrence took to social media Tuesday saying that they want to see policies on internal controls to restore confidence in the banking sector.
According to her, the CPP senators have said that the money should not be printed in election year, adding that they want to see a system that will replace the money efficiently and effectively in all counties.
Further, the CPP Senators demand to see the Central Bank of Liberia’s report on the four billion Liberian dollars that was printed a year ago and infused into the economy.
Recently, the Senate Committees on Banking and Currency, Ways Means and Finance, Public Account and the Judiciary, Claims and Petition, recommended to the Plenary of the Liberian Senate to print L$48 billion new family of banknotes.
The committee’s report says that there were several meetings held with authorities from the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), adding that expert witnesses including John Davis, President of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) were invited.
The committee says the various witnesses along with the CBL and MFDP gave justification while the money should be printed.
The request by the Central Bank of Liberia to print about $48 billion new Liberian banknotes at the cost of approximately US$45.522 million has been causing stir here.
The request, if approved, would see the CBL maintaining some of the old denominations of L$5, L$10, L$20, L$50, L$100 and L$500 while a new denomination of L$1,000 would is expected to be added.
CBL’s Executive Governor J. Aloysius Tarlue informed lawmakers that the money, which will be printed over a 3-year period (2021-2023), will be used to address the country’s current liquidity problems and restore confidence in the Liberian dollars.
But the request has been greeted with criticism with many saying it is intended to enrich public officials and not address the problems.
This request to print L$48 billion comes as controversies over the L$16 billion that have prompted mass protests here and the subsequent printing of additional L$4 billion just before the 8 December 2020 mid-term election remain fresh in the minds of Liberians.
By Ethel A Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley