The president of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), Madam Lusu K. Sloan, has called on the government to address the issue of dual currency in the country.
Madam Sloan made the call, recently at a roundtable symposium on the economic and constitutional implications of Liberia’s dual currency regime in Monrovia.
The round table discussion was organized by the Governance Commission in partnership with the Constitution Review Committee, and it brought together several state actors from public and private sectors.
According to Madam Sloan, business women and petty traders are calling for local business transactions to be done in Liberian dollars.
She said local traders are not making profit because they are buying their goods in US dollars from foreign importers and selling them in Liberian dollars.
As a result, the LMA president said, local traders, especially market women, are selling without adequate income from the business to better their living conditions.
She stressed that dual currency is causing instability of the Liberian economy and not improving the livelihood of local marketers or the economy.
The LMA boss highlighted that dual currency is increasing countless problems as many schools are charging fees in US dollars, instead of in Liberian dollars.
“We actually want the government and those that are in charge to look at the situation carefully; we are selling our goods and services in Liberian dollars, but some schools are charging fees in US dollars. I don’t think it is supposed to be that way. You can’t have your school in Liberia and charge the parents in US dollars,” she said.
Madam Sloan indicated that foreign importers are taking excess US dollars from Liberia to develop their countries, while Liberia remains under-developed.
“Buying in US dollars from the importers, selling the goods in Liberian dollars and at the end of the day you have to change the Liberian dollars to US dollars to re-buy drops the profit margin. So you see, more money is going out of the country on a daily basis, because they come here to look for US dollars to carry it,” the LMA president asserts.
She wants the government to monitor the behavior of importers toward retailers to enable the local traders to profit from their businesses.
Madam Sloan said the National Legislature in collaboration with the relevant authorities should put in place policies to stabilize the Liberian dollar on the market, adding that it is losing its relevance.