56 Lawmakers Pledge Support to Print New Money

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Grand Kru County District #2 Representative Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa and Montserrado County District #8 Representative Moses Acarous Gray are leading the campaign the convince other members of the Lower House to endorse the President's request to authorize the printing of new currency. (File photo)

Two executive members of the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC), Montserrado County District #8 Representative Acarous Gray and Grand Kru County District #2 Representative Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, who are leading the campaign to print new Liberian Banknotes, have garnered commitments from at least 56 members of the House of Representatives toward the effort.

The two CDC executive members on social media pledged their respective supports to fulfilling the request of President George M. Weah for Legislative approval of the printing of L$35 billion, with Rep. Gray arguing that the printing of money is intended to pay civil servants. In agreement with Rep. Gray, Rep. Koffa also noted that the printing of new currency is inevitable. “I support the printing of money for payment of salaries as a short term measure. Eventually, we have to change the currency,” he said in a Facebook post.

According to reports, 30 members of CDC in the House of Representatives, including Gray and Koffa, have pledged their support to vote for the printing on new money during the Extraordinary Session which is expected to begin Monday, November 18.

The Chairman of the opposition Unity Party (UP) legislative caucus, Montserrado County District #17 Representative, Hanson Kiazolu, also voiced his support for the printing of new currency in a radio talkshow recently.

According to an unconfirmed report, the UP legislative chairman and 25 members of the opposition bloc, including UP and Independent lawmakers, have also pledged their support, making a total of 56 lawmakers — well over the two-thirds of the House of Representatives required for the President’s request to be officially endorsed.

Up to present yesterday, only Montserrado County District #11 Rep. Richard Koon has declined to support the printing of new currency, calling for accountability in the L$16 billion that was printed during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the US$25 million authorized by President Weah in 2018 “to mop-up excess liquidity of Liberian dollars” in the economy.

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Prof. Wilson Tarpeh, who is a former Finance Minister of Liberia and former Vice President for Finance at the University of Liberia, also supported the proposed printing of new money, saying it will help to better scrutinize the controversial L$16 billion bank notes and the US$25 million.

Meanwhile, up to present the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mildred Sayon, is yet to confirm whether the House of Representatives would extend the 2nd Sitting of the 54th Legislature to return to work beginning Monday, November 18.

It has been speculated that the 54th Legislature left behind much unfinished business, including the handling of the President’s request to print the L$35 billion currency, which has been considered a matter of “vital importance to the economy and revenue generation.”

Meanwhile, according to the staff in the office of the Chief Clerk, who asked to remain anonymous, the President George M. Weah is expected to issue a proclamation extending the 2nd Sitting of the Legislature by 15 days, beginning November 18, 2018.

The proclamation will follow the signing of a certificate of extension by members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively.

Article 32 (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia says: “The President shall, on his own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House and, by proclamation, extend a Regular Session of the Legislature beyond the date of adjournment or call a Special or Extraordinary Session of that Body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern.

Reports said the President’s proclamation will acknowledge that there are several unresolved key matters of national interest that require the urgent attention of the 54th Legislature and is aware of the emergency nature of these matters, which are all geared toward the enhancement of the socio-economic interests of the State and its people.

Also, the proclamation might say that, cognizant of the limitation of time to discuss these key matters to tackle the bad economy, it requires the participation and involvement of the 54th Legislature in Session.

The proclamation is expected to conclude as below: “Now Therefore, I, George M. Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, by virtue of the authority in me vested, do hereby issue this Proclamation for the 54th Legislature to reconvene into an Extraordinary Session for a period of Fifteen (15) Days, commencing November 18 thru December 3, 2019.”

27 COMMENTS

  1. Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    If this is not insanity, then, I really don’t know what it is.

    How printing large quantity of worthless new bank notes under the disguise of replacing old bank notes without strengthening or adding value to an already existing weak economy, or weak Liberian Dollar that fluctuates around LD$211 to US$1.00 is the solution to Liberia’s economic woes?

    As Liberia economy continues to plummet, it is about time President Weah brings in seasoned International Economists and Financial Experts to help him put Liberia’s failing economy back on track. It seems the Liberian economists and financial experts surrounding the president are not doing a good job for Liberia.

    Also, these overpaid boot-lickers “so called” Lawmakers are more of the problem to Liberia’s economic mess than the solution. These overpaid Lawmakers want to print more worthless banknotes as a solution to Liberia’s economic mess. They keep sweeping the dirt under the rug. As usual, this is the Liberian Government way of getting rid of the dirt: take the easy way out for now.

    President Weah needs to bring in a new economic team (highly experienced and internationally respected team) to come up with sound economic strategies and sound monetary policies that would help strengthen Liberia’s weak economy and deal with ways of adding value to Liberia’s weak Dollar.

    When will this government ever learn from past governments mistakes: to stop shooting itself in the foot and stop running around the world for help (foreign aid)? This was also common in Doe, Taylor, and President Sirleaf’s administration.

    As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    On a side note: I urge my fellow Liberians to watch WODE MAYA and MISS TRUDY YouTube videos on their “AFRICA TO THE WORLD TOUR”. They were recently in Liberia. They did beautiful videos of Monrovia, Robertsport and Marshal. They are currently portraying positive image of Africa contrary to what the Western media portrays Africa as a “Sh.. hole”.

    • Alpha Corneh, you and your likes should keep quiet and learn about such matters. Even the EU, countries, Japan, United Kingdom, and the USA, DO EXACTLY what Liberia or this government is doing – printing money as necessity demands. Its called in economics – QUANTITATIVE EASING. Such measures may be taken once, twice, thrice, or multiple times, as the need arises! You people come on these fora with your numskulls either intentionally or unintentionally misleading your fellow numskulls and nincompoos.

      • Dear Zamawa,

        You should revisit your Economics notes again. You have forgotten all that you learnt on money or did not even study that in your life. Stop abusing people for nothing.

        Governments often resort to printing money when they cannot finance their borrowing by selling bonds. Is your government selling bonds? Let me tell you what is going on here. The Weah’s administration is in a booby trap left behind by the Ellen’s government. The latter printed enough money chasing few goods but could not pump them on the market for fear of inflation. Some unethical members have bunches of that money hidden somewhere to quickly enrich themselves. The Weah’s administration knows that. They want to avoid illicit enrichment and so the only solution they have found is to abandon the money printed.
        On the other hand, abandoning the money printed will be very expensive for the Liberian government at this time. This is the dilemma. How can they get around it? Let’s watch and see. A BIG MAN’S SHOE, SMALL BOY CAN’T WEAR IT!

        Countries also print new currencies to gradually absorb the damaged ones circulating on the money market.

        The reason we are skeptical about printing this money is simply because it conjures memories of hyperinflation in Weimar Germany in 1923 and Zimbabwe in more recent times.
        If a government prints money faster than the growth of real output, it reduces the value of money and this invariably causes inflation. What is the current output of Liberia? Has the government added any values to the economy since it took over?

        Stop abusing people. We know what we are saying. If you did not do Economics, shut up. I know you are blindly supporting your guy.

        • Peter Dolo, you are wrong. Zamawa Zamawa is right. Your argument based on the experience of Germany of antiquity 9r Zimbabwe then as an enemy of North America and Europe or especially Britain because Mugabe believed in the faur and equal distribution of the land, is groundless , impractical, and elementary, since in fact QE IS THE SOLUTION ON A UNIVERSAL SCALE.

          For QE (quantitative easing) is employed by governments or states TO ENKINDLE THE ECONOMY – which is.in effect making it easier for banks to borrow money. Under QE METHODS, the CBL will buy motgaged-backed securities and treasury from its members banks from which ADDED liquidity shall flow there by injecting money in capital markets and the overall national economy.

          • Garsuah,

            First, thank you for the tone of your argument. I am thrilled and happy to read you. It seems you know me because you just used my real name.

            However, before I can objectively respond, please get these sentences right for me. I am not really understanding them:
            “Your argument based on the experience of Germany of antiquity 9r Zimbabwe then as an enemy of North America and Europe or especially Britain because Mugabe believed in the faur and equal distribution of the land, is groundless , impractical, and elementary, since in fact QE IS THE SOLUTION ON A UNIVERSAL SCALE.
            The 9r, etc?

            For QE (quantitative easing) is employed by governments or states TO ENKINDLE THE ECONOMY – which is.in effect making it easier for banks to borrow money. Under QE METHODS, the CBL will buy motgaged-backed securities and treasury from its members banks from which ADDED liquidity shall flow there by injecting money in capital markets and the overall national economy.

          • Garsuah,

            Before you reply, please read the notes I have pasted below:

            Quantitative easing (QE), also known as large-scale asset purchases, is a monetary policy whereby a central bank buys predetermined amounts of government bonds or other financial assets in order to inject liquidity directly into the economy.[1] An unconventional form of monetary policy, it is usually used when inflation is very low or negative, and standard expansionary monetary policy has become ineffective. A central bank implements quantitative easing by buying specified amounts of financial assets from commercial banks and other financial institutions, thus raising the prices of those financial assets and lowering their yield, while simultaneously increasing the money supply. This differs from the more usual policy of buying or selling short-term government bonds to keep interbank interest rates at a specified target value.

          • Brother Garsuah,

            I am still waiting for your reply. Why haven’t you done it? I presumed you’ve realized that you were misleading the audience here and maintaining Zamawa Zamawa in the dark.

            However, let me just make few points:
            Your interjection was not intellectual. You don’t enter a debate and tell one party you are wrong and tell the other party you are right as you did. If you don’t agree with the other party, intellectually raise your point, develop it in support of the other party and conclude by saying simply either you disagree or use a phrase that is synonym to the word “disagree”. Try to hold a debate like that next time, brother.
            Secondly, you brought up a banking policy that you could not even define. I hope you are not an Economics teacher or an Economic advisor to President Weah. I would be crying for my country by now. Don’t NEVER venture into an arena you don’t know. I have been reserved in going deeper into this matter because I am not a banker, just classroom knowledge. But I think I have better reasoning than you do.

            I would admonish you to read today’s article entitled “CBL Acts to Stabilize Prices, Strengthen LRD”. It’s educative and may give you foresight into the caliber of bankers we have at the Central Bank. We have qualified people there to do the right job. Stop political pressure on them and let them do their job professionally. What you guys want to do is disastrous for the country.
            Look, our currency is guaranteed on the international market for foreign exchange by the American Treasury. The Americans don’t joke with banking policies. If you push them into withdrawing their signature that guarantees the exchange rate of the Liberian dollars, we the people of Liberia will cry and sweat blood. We would need to carry a wheelbarrow of money to the market to put food on the table. STOP politicking with this currency thing. Ellen brought in qualified bankers to run the central bank. Let them do their job.

            From the way you addressed me yesterday, you seem to know me from childhood. If so, you should have known that I am a reserved and shy person. “My mouth is running here” because I am tired seeing the situation we are in. We cannot allow our children to inherit a society that promotes mediocrity.
            If you know me, you should know that I am from a poor family and that it’s through merit I can proudly express myself on this medium. Equal opportunity should be given to the young ones and those yet unborn.
            If you know me, you should know that I am greatly risking my life by “running my mouth” here. I have 4 little children and extended family members to care for. I can be killed for my opinion because I am being too bold and sometimes sarcastic. By the way, I have received 2 threats that you may ignored, but they are serious.

            Like Zamawa Zamawa, I would encourage you to revisit your Economics notes.

            Have a nice day brother!

  2. you so called Alpha Conteh, I hope you not one of those who are are keeping the stolen 16 billion of in your home and afraid to be caught when the new ones are printed ooh.

  3. Well, print this money and see the consequences.
    Instead of adding values, you want to put more money on the marketing chasing few goods. Go ahead brilliant people!

  4. As we proceed into our economic nightmare, our lawmakers are determined to test the wrath of the masses. Unless the masses assume a strong posture in these matters, I am afraid that my beloved country is at the brink of a serious crisis. As we sit by and witness our economy plummeting into a freefall, we are quietly consenting to our misfortune. Howbeit, the masses must speak now, or hold our peace, and die like cowards.

    • Paye Bamakpa, you and your likes should keep quiet and learn about such matters. Even the EU, countries, Japan, United Kingdom, and the USA, DO EXACTLY what Liberia or this government is doing – printing money as necessity demands. Its called in economics – QUANTITATIVE EASING. Such measures may be taken once, twice, thrice, or multiple times, as the need arises! You people come on these fora with your numskulls either intentionally or unintentionally misleading your fellow numskulls and nincompoos.

      • Zamawa A. Zamawa, or who so you are, I am in no mood to entertain your bad up bringing. I simply did what any well-meaning Liberian would have done, yet you chose to embellish me with inane misconceptions. Howbeit, I will not stoop to level, “Mr. Know All”, but I will simply transmit those innuendoes to the appropriate location; ie.your miserably inept regime! As for your weird identity, it can be handled later. Good day.

  5. Budget has been passed, new banknote was never part of it.
    After missed using tax payer money, the so called solution is to print new money. Hmmmmmm. It doesn’t work that way.two problems don’t equal SOLUTION.

  6. Gentlemen and Ladies,
    I know very well that the issue of missing money is fresh on your minds. I get it! Like you, I strongly feel that the missing millions should be looked for by all means. But, on the other hand, let’s be realistic just for a few minutes.

    It is in our country’s best interest for new bank notes to be printed. The current Liberty dollar bills need to be changed or renewed. Because there aren’t coins in the country, the Liberty paper money is badly mutilated. In some cases, it is hard to positively identify our paper money because of its dirtiness. The fact that millions of dollars have been missing does not mean new bank notes shouldn’t be printed at all.

    • Good morning Hney,

      Hope you will be happy to read me.
      Yes, new banknotes should be printed but at proportionate level to absorb the old ones in circulation. It shouldn’t be replacing all the banknotes presently in circulation. They are not all mutilated. There is a “cat and rat” game going on here. Watch and see. You will prove me right some day.

  7. Friends, I find no need to fight over this new money issue. My layman understanding is that if indeed L$16b got missing, the only way to make the money useless in the hands of those who are holding it is to change the money. If not, they will continue to pump it into the market to buy the US dollars. The more of the LD they pump into the market, the suplus there will be and the less valuable.

    During the process of changing this money to the new bank notes, we may be able to track and question people who come forward to change huge amounts beyond their income. All we need to stress is the control and accountability mechanism. I am not part of the politics surrounding the issue. I’m only looking at this from the common sense perspective. So, p
    lease cease fire!

  8. Where are the monies ( 25 millions, 100millions, etc).
    Is it so difficult to answer that question? Liberia do not have West Europian or USA economy to play money games.
    Liberian want their actual money on the table. Bring the money?

  9. Uncle Hney ,

    I will always bow to your immense wisdom, but forgive me if I disagree with you on the printing of the new Liberian currency. What is the rush to print new bills when everyone knows that 16B is still unaccounted for and no head or tail about it and now another 35B should just be printed like that, without any accounting for the 16B? government came out and clearly said that the 16B is not missing and if we are to take their word at face value, is it necessary to print more money? someone pray answer me. Me, I don’t pretend to know econmics but I fail to comprehend what is the rush for the printing of more money?

    creating an artificial scarcity of money will not work. The mutilated notes that you mentioned in your piece, should not even be in the conversation. they should have been destroyed a long time ago, but it seems they have nine lives, so to speak. Someone, somewhere, is profiting from them said notes.

    I went to the bank on Friday to withdraw a mere LD3,000. I was given all mutilated 5 dollars bills.The bills were so dirty they could have put ebola to shame. I, naturally, refused to accept it and earned the wrath of the bank teller. he accused me, among other things, of refusing to accept my own legal tender which in his eyes, made me anti Liberian and anti George Weah. As my dad always say, silence is golden, so I said nothing and left the band, minus the money. Why this artificial shortage, I ask again.

    I want to lean on your side a bit, Uncle Dolo, and agree with you that the money should be printed small small to see how best the damaged notes can be withdrawn from the market and once and for all, totally destroyed, but when will that ever happen. I wait.

    Uncle Hney, I went to the academy to find the person you directed me to, but was told that he was absent, so I will endeavor to go back there on Friday. Please be reminded that I am your guest for the holidays season and you promised to take me to a place to eat all that I can. I am holding you to that.

    Peace

    • Joe, Joe, Joe!
      Good morning my friend.
      You see, you are using what we call common sense. You DO NOT need to have a doctorate degree to hold such reasoning.

      Joe, I beg you, let’s campaign for Cummings!
      This is a public demand, for the sake of our beloved country.

      Shalom, my friend!

  10. Uncle dolo,

    I still need to be convinced and to be able to convince others about your man Cummings. His message has not resonated with me and so, in good faith, I cannot convince others about him.

    But I am still waiting

    Peace

    • Thank God I have a window of opportunity. I hope to convince you along the way.
      By the way Joe, I would like you to read my comments on the article written by Alexnader Redd, a sound Liberia theologian.

  11. JM,
    Thanks for all you do. My nephew is a Math and Economics major at the Methodist university. He works at the school part-time. But I will get in touch with him before Friday, God willing. I am a private person, not a publicity hound by any stretch. Every thing he and his dad tell you must be kept at the highest level of confidence. Please.

    With regard to the issue of money being printed, there’s not a rush from my end. I have said previously that it’s in our country’s best interest for new bank notes to be printed. Additionally, some Liberians (probably including you) have not seen a Liberian coin. JM, do you think it is logical for a country such as ours to exist without the use of coins? Kids go to school
    and learn about the use of coins in the lower grades. When the kids get outside of their classrooms, there are no coins to transact with. A poignant fact of reality is that during the past 14 years in Liberia, the youth of Liberia have not seen a Liberian coin.
    We’ve had coins before. There’s no economic benefit for not having coins. It’s a poor reflection on us. During the EJS regime, the printing of coins should have been done. Why? It would have been the right thing to do. But more importantly, billions of dollars were poured into the country because the lending institutions wanted to help us stabilize economically. Instead of doing that, the lawmakers, the Ministers of Departments and the top brass of the judiciary were fed with big checks! What a disgrace?

    Most people are saying that it is insane for the government to embark on printing new money. In my view, there’s nothing illogical about printing new money. I reason like this……if new money is printed, (not Liberty, but Charity for instance) the old money will not be cashed in. This is all talk! No one knows for sure where the stolen money could be? The idea of looking for stolen money is like looking in Mount Nimba to fine a petite marble of diamond.

    There are other things that are more important than wasting our precious time, arguing amongst ourselves about money, money, money.
    1. Our schools are overcrowded.
    But the lawmakers seem not to care about the this particular issue.

    2. Our roads are tearing apart. The unpaved roads are usually covered with mud during the rainy season.
    But no one seems to care.

    3. The issue of electricity is a lifelong problem in Liberia.
    But, no meaningful discussion has been held on this important topic by the lawmakers.

    4. There’s no running water in most areas of Monrovia or throughout the country.
    But yet the lawmakers earn between $15-16,000 per month.

    5. Sexual promiscuity is on the rise. Little girls are doing whatever they can with their little bodies to make a living.
    But the top 1% of the men and women amongst us don’t give a damn! Although it is not verbally stated, the impression one gets is “everybody for himself or herself, God for all”. What about STDs?

    While the issue of the country’s missing money should not be left on the grill to burn into ashes, I think our leaders have a moral obligation to fess up. The Red Light area of Paynesvlle is in a complete mess. The Douala market is virtually in the main Street. There’s garbage here and there. Sadly, we have become a mockery of most of our neighbors.

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