CBL Wants to Print L$48.733 Billion

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— L$1,000 banknote to join 7-denomination family of new banknotes

The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, J. Aloysius Tarlue has requested members of the  House of Representatives to approve the printing of L$48.733 billion new banknotes to replace the current family of banknotes including the L$8 billion-plus mutilated Liberian dollars in the market.

The request if approved will see the CBL maintaining some of the old denominations of  L$5, L$10, L$20, L$50, L$100, L$500, however, a new currency denomination of L$1,000 would add.

It is expected to come with higher security features and designs that make it difficult to counterfeit.

In a communication to the house, Governor Tarlue informed the lawmakers that the money requested is needed to address the country’s current liquidity demands for three years (2021-2023) and restoring confidence in the Liberian dollars.

“I have the honor to present my sincere compliments and herewith submit to you and the Honorable House of Representatives, Resolution No. BR-02/2021 of the Board of Governors of the CBL about a currency reform proposal for comprehensive replacement of the existing family of Liberian dollars banknotes in three years (2021-2023) for consideration and approval in compliance with Section 23 of the CBL Act. Based on the CBL forecast, the total projected amount of new banknotes to be printed isL$48.733,” Mr. Tarlue told the lawmakers in his communication.

The Resolution was signed by the Executive Governor and Chairman of the Board,  Tarlue, Jr.; Mrs. D. Sheba Brown, member; A. Richard Dorley, member; James B. Dennis, member; and Amb. Timothy E. Thomas, member.

The CBL request to print a new family of banknotes comes amid an acute shortage of local currency in banks, forcing tellers to restrict daily withdrawal.

Governor Tarlue request to the House of Representatives and the Senate is a reiteration of President George Weah recent appeal to legislators in his 4th Annual Message on January 25, 2021, to act swiftly to resolve the situation before the next season of high demand for cash.

The President pleaded with lawmakers to quickly approve the printing of a new family of Liberian banknotes to rescue the liquidity pressure on the Liberian dollar which is he termed as an aggravated increasing demand for the local currency.

“In the face of this liquidity situation, and while we endeavor to encourage our citizens to sustain the wider use of mobile money for transactions, the Executive will intensify consultation with the National Legislature to pursue currency reform, to promote monetary policy credibility and enhance confidence in the economy,” President Weah said.

The CBL further that the House’s approval will fast track the systemic procurement process of printing and delivering new banknotes in the country which may take six to nine months.

Accordingly, L$35,769 billion will be printed in 2021 (with a cost of US$39.693 million); L$7.536 billion in 2022 (with the cost of US$3.630 million), and L$5.402 billion in 2023 (with a cost of US$2.199 million) to meet the current and medium-term currency demands.

“The estimated cost of printing the full L$48.733 billion (569.023 million pieces of paper banknotes) for the three years is approximately US$45.522 million. It is important to note that this estimated cost doesn’t include domestic logistics requirements for the replacement exercise and the costs of the designs, quality, and security features,”  Governor Tarlue added.

However, during the CBL amended Act in 2020, the Legislature amended that the request for printing money should come directly from the Central Bank.

Meanwhile, the House on Wednesday voted that CBL’s communication and proposal should be sent to the Committee on Banking and Currency and report in two weeks.

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