Weah allays campaign fears
By Winston W. Parley
President George Manneh Weah says government will not print or deliver new local currency into the country during the 2023 campaign time leading to the presidential and general elections, apparently attempting to allay fears that bringing in the new local currency during the campaign could be at a disadvantage of his rivals.
In his quest to secure a second six-year presidential term through the ballot, President Weah and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) will battle an opposition community in the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
Delivering his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Capitol Hill Monday, 24 January 2022, President Weah said as part of the currency reform approved by the Legislature, the first consignment of banknotes totaling L$4.0 billion Liberian dollars out of the approved L$48.734 billion Liberian dollars arrived in the country in November 2021.
As part of the currency reform approved by you, the members of the 54th National Legislature, the Central Bank of Liberia brought in the first consignment of banknotes totaling L$4.0 billion Liberian dollars out of the approved L$48.734 billion Liberian dollars in November 2021.
“We are not bringing money before the campaign, in campaign time. So I want to be on record,” said President Weah amidst applause from the audience.
He said the second consignment of the money is expected in the country this month.
“The bulk of the new currency which will include coins, is expected in the second half of 2022 while the balance will be coming in 2024,” said President Weah.
In compliance with the restriction of the Joint Resolution of the Legislature, President Weah continued, “there will be no printing or delivery of the new currency in 2023, even though the exchange exercise will continue through 2023.”
According to President Weah, the first and second consignments of the new family of banknotes are all denominated in the hundred dollar bills only intended to respond to the liquidity demands in December of 2021 and to commence the replacement of mutilated banknotes respectively.
In the interest of transparency and credibility, he said, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has ensured that the process is inclusive of the Legislature, media community, the Liberian Marketing Association, the Liberia Business Association, traditional elders and youths, as well as Liberia’s international partners, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Kroll through USAID.
“Based on the sound management and good performance of our economy, Liberia received $345.3 million US dollars in August 2021 under the general Special Drawing Rights allocation to IMF members,” he added.
On 26 November 2021, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) announced the safe arrival of the first 4 billion new 100 Liberian Dollar banknotes, commencing the introduction of the L$48.734 billion new family of Liberian dollar currency.
According to CBL, the new banknotes were safely secured in the vaults of the CBL Headquarters on Friday, 26 November 2021.