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Govt. wants to print LD48.733 billion

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The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, J Aloysius Tarlue, has officially written the plenary of the Liberian Senate, requesting approval to print fresh family of Liberian banknotes completely.

Governor Tarlue seeks to replace existing Liberian bank notes in three (3) years, from 2021-2023.
The request to print totally new family of bank notes comes at a time there is acute shortage of local currency in banks, forcing tellers to restrict daily withdrawal.

The request to the Senate is a reiteration of President George MannehWeah’s recent appeal to legislators during his Annual Message before the 54th Legislature sitting in joint session. Mr. Weah pleaded with lawmakers to quickly approve printing of new family of Liberian banknotes for the economy before another peak in high demands for local currency.

In his communication to the Senate, Governor Tarlue said for consideration and approval in compliance with section 23 of the Act creating the Central Bank and based on CBL’s forecast, the total projected amount of new banknotes to be printed is LD$48.733 Billion.

“That the details including the assumptions, rationale, volume and estimated cost of the printed of the banknotes are contained in the enclosed proposal”, he said.

He continue that in view of the justification outlined, both in the Board Resolution and the proposal for printing new Liberian banknotes, “The Management of the CBL wishes to respectfully request for Senate’s consideration by granting approval of this proposal.”

The CBL boss said approving the proposal will fast track the systemic procurement process of printing and delivering of new banknotes in the country which my take six to nine months.

But the request is likely to face thorough scrutiny at the senate, especially given that 4 billion of the current Liberian banknotes printed late last year in 500 denominations have been scarce in circulation, leaving lawmakers to call the CBL to account.

Bong County Senator Prince K. Moye, wants plenary of the Liberian Senate to reject the Governor’s communication and return it, arguing that instead, the President of the Republic of Liberia should be the one communicating to them.

However, the during the CBL amended Act in 2020, the Senate amended that the request to printing money should come directly from the Central Bank, and should filed within three years.

Gbarpolu County Senator Daniel Nathaan noted that before the Senate approves printing of any banknotes, the Central Bank of Liberia should account for both the LRD16 Billion that allegedly went missing and the LRD4 Billion printed in 2020.

Sen. Nathaan said in order to make an informed decision, the Liberian Senate should be in the know of expenditure of monies that were printed.

Meanwhile, the Senate committees on Banking and Currency and the Judiciary have taken seized of the CBL communication to report to plenary in two weeks whether to approve or reject the request.

The Senate Banking and Currency committee is headed by Grand Gedeh County Senator Marshall Dennis and the Judiciary committee is chaired by Senator Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County.

By Ethel A Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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