Authorities at the Central of Liberia (CBL) havr assured the public that it would shortly reintroduce coins to ease the situation of smaller change on the local market.
A team CBL senior staff CBL made the pronouncement on Monday, August 1, during interactive discussions with residents and business people of Kakata, Margibi County. The discussions were mainly to raise awareness about the new banknotes that the bank would shortly introduce into the country.
The awareness program drew hundreds of Kakata City denizens including local government officials, whose questions concerning the features and the values of the new banknotes were subsequently answered by members of the CBL’s team.
The well attended program was moderated by radio producer John O. Kollie of the Liberia Media for Democratic Initiative (LMDI), whose sense of humour attracted several other persons unto the ground of the occasion.
Miatta Kurteh, Deputy Director for Banking Services, noted that the engagement with citizens was intended to brief them on the security features of the enhanced banknotes and that mutilated Liberian dollar banknotes would be retrieved from circulation and replaced with the new ones. She also said that the
CBL would mint coins in various denominations.
According to Kurteh, CBL is working with all commercial banks to be able to reach every part of the country for the distribution of the new banknotes. She however, rejected claims by some people that the CBL had sent moneychangers with mutilated banknotes on the streets. On the contrary, she disclosed, the CBL created mini-windows where the general public is encouraged to carry all defaced or mutilated banknotes to be exchanged with the new banknotes.
Some of the CBL banking windows in the counties are opened to the public to exchange torn Liberian dollar banknotes, she said, adding that such an initiative is working well and the CBL has collected good quantities of worn-out Liberian banknotes in several parts of the country.
“The CBL wants to caution Liberian businesspeople not do business with torn money exchangers anywhere in the country,” she cautioned the audience.
Describing the CBL’s design choices regarding the new L$500 note, Kurteh explained that previous Liberian dollar banknotes all carried the portraits of past Liberian presidents.
“We decided this time around, as financial experts, to portray the pictures of a woman and elderly men in order to reflect the indigenous component of our society,” she said.
Assistant Director for Banking Services, William Dargbe, disclosed that L$500 banknote was introduced primarily to enhance easy transport of money.
Members of the audience recommended that the United States dollars be withdrawn from the Liberian market and that the business community buy United States dollar banknotes only from commercial banks instead of using street vendors.
Mr. Dargbe said such a decisions are matters of policy and should come from the National Legislature, which has the sole authority to do so.
In an earlier welcome statement, Margibi County Superintendent John Buway assured the CBL staff of his administration’s support to enhance the awareness initiative.
“I assure you that you are in safe hands and our people are looking forward to more of such financial matter interactions in many parts of our county,” Supt. Buway said.
At the end of the interactive program, the audience expressed delight and urged the CBL to step up its activities throughout the country.