The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) have announced the arrival of the newly minted coins for infusion into the economy.
The minted coins, which are expected to be released on the market, are round, nickel-plated steel, with the L$5 weighing 3.6 grams and the L$10 weighing 4.8 grams. The L$5 has the image of President Edward James Roye, while the L$10 has the image of President Joseph Jenkins Roberts.
The L$5 and L$10 coins are part of the new family of Liberian dollar currency, with the rest of the new currency being the L$20, L$50, L$100, L$500, and the L$1,000 banknotes. The bank said it has 58 million pieces of newly minted coins, which are worth L$452,900,000 and have a denomination of five and ten dollars.
CBL Senior Director for Economic Policy, Christopher Wallace, and William Jlopeh, Director of Banking, speaking on State Radio recently, said that the Bank will begin the process with the supply of the coins to commercial banks in the country.
Jlopeh noted that the coins have security features like banknotes, indicating that the bank is currently conducting a validation process of the coins. He added, “We need to verify with the editors to make sure what we requested is what we have. We will be through with the validation process today, and that won’t take us long like the banknotes, because the coins don’t have too many security features as compared to the banknotes.”
Jlopeh stated that the validation process will last for two days and that this week, the CBL will release the coins for trading. “We are going to infuse the coins through the commercial banks,” he said, adding, “For the hard-to-reach areas, the CBL is putting mechanisms in place to make sure that the coins reach all of the people in the rural areas.”
According to him, the counties that don’t have commercial banks will be fed through the rural financial institutions that are working with Africa Banks. Also speaking, Wallace said the bank will make use of its regional cash hub in Gbarnga, Bong County, to help alleviate the high constraints that some of the institutions experienced during the infusion of the banknotes some time ago.
Wallace, however, further clarified that the legal tender status of coins was never diminished or gotten rid of, except for the coins produced by former President Samuel Doe.
He said those that are considered legal tender are the ones no government or regime has declared non-legal tender, “The ten cents, twenty-five cents, and fifty cents are still Liberian monies. The commercial banks have some in their possession, and they are being asked to bring them to the CBL so that they can be exchanged,” said Wallace.
He cited that the exchange will be done based on equal value and assured that there will be no depletion of any banknote that is taken for exchange, except for the ‘Doe Coins’.
Wallace said, for example, “If someone takes or assembles these coins, the 10 cents or five cents when the value reaches the minimum we have in the economy, which is L$5, it will be exchanged for its value.”
The CBL reassures the public that the currency reform is well on course and proceeding according to the implementation plan. The CBL representatives said that both the old and the new banknotes will be used for now as the CBL withdraws the old ones from the market permanently.