Shortage of Liberian Dollars

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has written the Liberian Senate informing the lawmakers that she has received two letters from the Central Bank of Liberia advising that economy may be seriously affected due to the lack of local currency to meet national transactional needs.

In a letter addressed to Senate Plenary and read yesterday, President Sirleaf said she is in possession of two letters from both the former Executive Governor, J. Mills Jones dated December 23, 2015, and another dated February 119, 2016 from the Acting Executive Governor, Charles Sirleaf on the same issue.

While the decision needs to be made now to address this issue that impacts the economy, “it is important to note that the printing of notes will require a period of some five months. ”

President Sirleaf informed the Senators that the underlying reason for the delay that has led to the current crisis has to do with the interpretation of Article 34 (d) of the Constitution and of the Act to Authorize the Establishment of the Central Bank of Liberia as amended.

“Essentially, as conveyed by the letter from the Governors referred to above, the Central Bank of Liberia is of the opinion that by the Article to above, the Legislature has granted implicit approval to the CBL to issue local currency. I believe that the Legislature has registered a contrary view. These issues of interpretation should be resolved at an appropriate time, preferably sooner than later, ” President pleaded with the lawmakers.

She told the Senators that she has advised the Acting Executive Governor to seek the opportunity to discuss the matter with them and their respective committees as they would dictate.

“I hope that you can agree on the way forward to enable the CBL to move forward in a timely manner to conclude arrangements for printing of the currency, ” she concluded.

A motion was immediately voted on and the Senate committees on Banking and Currency; Ways, Means and Finance, and the Judiciary were mandated to without delay go into committee rooms and come out with a recommendation for the way forward.

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