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Liberia: New money hits market December

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By Jonathan Browne

Liberia: The first batch of the new family of Liberian banknotes totaling over 48 billion is expected to be in circulation by December this year, the Central Bank of Liberia discloses here.

Two officials of the Currency Reform Committee at the Central Bank, Mr. William G. Jlorplay and Mr. Musa Kamara, Special Assistant to Executive Governor J Aloysius Tarlue made the disclosure early Wednesday, September 29, 2021, when they appeared on the Bank’s flagship public affairs program, Money Matters, broadcast live on State radio ELBC.

Mr. Jlorplay is also director of banking while Mr. Kamara chairs the currency reform committee of the Bank.

According to them, the first batch of newly printed currency will be in the denomination of hundred dollars Liberian banknotes that will be put in circulation in December to ease the consistent shortage of Liberian dollars around Christmas festivities.

Mr. Kamara reveals that the CBL is working with the U.S. firm Kroll and Associates, USAID, and the International Monetary Fund in printing the new family of banknotes and that security features of the money have been completed.

He says the currency reform process that runs from 2021 to 2023 is in two phases, adding that Phase (I) will roll out between November and December while Phase (II) that involves withdrawal of old banknotes in circulation starts in January.

“There is no reason why the public should panic, the three banknotes will work hand-in-hand until the old banknotes are replaced”, he assures.

He says to ensure transparency and accountability, the CBL is working with Kroll and the IMF saying, “Thanks to USAID for all the financial support for Kroll to be with us.”

“Our target is to mop out the 25 billion in circulation. By 2022 she should be able to mop out 50 to 60 percent then by 2023 the entire 25 billion will be out of circulation; we have all of the control in place”, Mr. Jlorplay explains.

Some callers on the program raise apprehension about counterfeiting and inflation just by infusing huge amounts of money in the market without back up in export to generate foreign currency.

But Mr. Jlorplay says the Bank is carrying on the process with learning experiences from Ghana and Malawi, noting “We have security features that will make it actually difficult to counterfeit the banknotes.”           

Besides, Mr. Kamara says the economy stands to receive several benefits from the printing of new money, including adequate liquidity and financial stability, monetary stability, macroeconomic stability, growth, and confidence, among others.

“We are monitoring the Liberian dollars in the economy, given the current monetary policy of the CBL, there will not be an issue of inflation”, Mr. Jlorplay also assures.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kamara further discloses that 5 and 10 dollars denominations of the local currency will be minted in coins for a smooth monetary transaction and that the CBL will work with commercial banks and mobile money centers across the country in putting the money in circulation rather than directly going to the public.

Early this year, the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, J Aloysius Tarlue, officially wrote the plenary of the Liberian Senate, requesting approval to print fresh families of Liberian banknotes completely.

Governor Tarlue seeks to replace existing Liberian bank notes in three (3) years, from 2021-2023.

The request to the Senate is a reiteration of President George Manneh Weah’s earlier appeal to legislators during his Annual Message this year before the 54th Legislature sitting in a joint session. Mr. Weah pleaded with lawmakers to quickly approve the printing of a 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.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/apprehension-over-cbls-ld48bn/

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