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Opposition split on printing new money

Lawmakers representing the four collaborating opposition political parties in the House of Representatives here have signed a resolution, approving the request from President George Manneh Weah to print new Liberian banknotes that should be in circulation before the end of the year despite rejection by their leaders.

Appearing OK Fm’s live morning talk show in Monrovia Monday, November 18, Montserrado County Electoral District #17 Representative Hassan Kiazolu from the former ruling Unity Party said his colleague lawmakers from the opposition have already penned a resolution, calling for the printing of new currency to replace the current Liberian banknotes.

Representative Kiazolu, also a former Comptroller General of the Republic of Liberia under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, notes though they have urged for the printing, the resolution also calls for close working relationship between the House and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia to ensure the right features, security measures and acceptable images as maybe required by statue.

Last week, the collaborating political parties including, the former ruling Unity Party, the Liberty Party, Alternative National Congress and the All Liberian Party in an emergency meeting presided over by the ALP political leader Benoni Urey, asked opposition lawmakers not to approve the printing of new currency, but the lawmakers informed the executive committee members that they (lawmakers) had already given green light for the printing.

Executive committee members of the four collaborating political parties had demanded the government to account for the LRD16 billion that the authorities said were in the vaults of the Central Bank, the US$25 million withdrawn from the national reserves to mop up excess liquidity, and a forensic audit to establish the actual story behind the scene before proceeding with the printing of new banknotes.

The collaborating opposition parties also requested their lawmakers to totally avoid participating in the printing of new banknotes, but the lawmakers insisted they have gone too far to abort the exercise.However, the opposition leaders have resolved to continue engaging their lawmakers on grounds that the printing of new banknotes is not a best option to the current economic challenges facing the nation.

The Liberian government is in the process of printing new banknotes to replace the current notes that are reportedly in shortage here.But to the dismay of the CPP leadership, opposition lawmakers are in jubilant mood for the printing of new currency for the country ahead of Christmas.
Government employees, including lawmakers have not taken pay for three months due to the notes shortage.

Representative Kaizolu said their primary concern is to ensure printing of new banknotes, rather than additional printing of the banknotes currently in circulation.On the question of their return to the Capitol, Kaizolu said he had received SMS text from Speaker Bhofal Chambers that their resumption to work will be announced later.According to him, Speaker Chambers did not state reason, but he (Kiazolu) surmised President Weah might have requested the delay. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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