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EditorialGeneralLiberia news

Editorial: CBL’s second thought is welcoming

Following our editorial of Friday, March 28, 2024, captioned “CBL brought the panic on Liberians,” the NEW DAWN has gathered reliably that authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia are reconsidering the March 31, 2024, deadline previously set for the withdrawal of old bank notes (legacy currency) and coins from circulation and are now seeking approval from President Boakai for a 40-day extension of the exercise across the country.

The Central Bank has, instead, resolved to extend the deadline for the exchange exercise and termination of the legal tender status of the legacy banknotes by 45 days, beginning today, 1 April 2024, to 15 May 2024.

On October 22, 2022, the Bank commenced a nationwide campaign to replace the legacy banknotes and coins with the new family of banknotes and coins. Subsequently, in July 2023, it announced 31 March 2024 as the cut-off date for the termination of the legal tender status of the old banknotes, which left the public panicking and flatly refusing to trade in the old banknotes and coins, adversely affecting market transactions.

The CBL authorities’ reconsideration of the March 31 deadline is laudable, as it demonstrates thoughtful leadership and listening to public concerns about the cutoff date.

We applaud the leadership of Executive Governor J. Aloysius Tarlue for this far-sighted thought buttressed by our Friday’s editorial in alleviating embarrassment faced, especially by consumers who have as yet legal tenders in their hands but were being rejected in the market because of panic they could seize to remain legal tenders in matter of days, as the March 31, 2024 closing date drew near.     

We have learned that the entire exercise was hindered by bad road conditions, mainly in accessing rural places and the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, among other challenges.

However, it is said to have significantly retrieved a substantial amount of the old banknotes from circulation during the period under review and replaced a total of L$21.41 billion of the old banknotes, which constitutes about 85% of the estimated L$25.258 billion worth of banknotes that it seeks to remove from the market. This is commendable!

We join Executive Governor Tarlue and his team of governors at the CBL in appealing to President Joseph Nyuma Boakai to grant approval to the call for a 40-day extension of the exercise to adequately afford commercial banks and citizens at large to bring forth old bank notes in their possession for exchange with the new bank notes and coins that were printed in 2022.

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It is important to do so that the process may reach a conclusive end, though the CBL authorities say the old banknotes may be exchanged for new families of banknotes even after the official deadline, which is good.

By requesting an extension of the March 31 deadline, the CBL has demonstrated that it truly runs a people-sensitive administration that listens to public concerns and seeks ways to address such concerns for the general good.

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