CBL Requests Printing of L$27.5 billion

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— At a cost of about US$21m

The Central Bank of Liberia has informed lawmakers that it needs L$27.5 billion to stabilize the cash flow in the country as L$22.5 billion is already out of the banking sector.

The money, the CBL said is indeed to respond to the blanket outlook of the downward trend of the economy and will buy up government debts, a move probably designed to keep borrow costs low.

Although the CBL Board of Governor has approved the printing of the L$27.5bn, it has not explained if the money will be the same legacy note or a new one.

“The issue of paucity of the Liberian dollars is a grave concern, and whether we need additional banknotes or we need new banknotes, the fact is we need money on the market to be infused into the economy in three years period,” said CBL Executive Governor J. Aloysius Tarlue.

The money, Governor Tarlue added, will be printed at a cost of US$21 million equivalent to about L$3.4 billion, while revealing that the recently printed L$4billion is part of L$25.3bn of which L$22.5bn is currently outside the bank.

Governor Tarlue added that the L$10 billion out the money in the banking sector is mutilated because it has lived its lifespan. Tarlue also blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the country’s present economic woes,  but “stressed that the economic outlook can be redeemed certainly with printing of the new banknotes.”

CBL latest request came just few weeks after it shifted the blame on the Legislature for the country’s liquidity crunch, which has forced banks to ration daily cash-withdrawals.

In a release at the end of last year, the CBL defended its position and explained that situation could have been avoided if the Legislature had approved their request to print L$7 billion instead of L$4 billion  to enable them to replace  mutilated banknotes and at the same time meet the liquidity demand in the banking system.

“In its effort to pre-empt this seasonal pressure, the CBL in 2019 forecast L$7.5 billion based on its analysis but was authorized to print only L$4.0 billion. This amount which was brought into the country in July last year was inadequate to replace the current amount of mutilated banknotes and, at the same time, meet the liquidity demand in the banking system,” the CBL said in its press release.

However, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah shut down the CBL’s argument and said that the printing of more banknotes would not solve the crisis until public confidence is restore in the banks.

“Printing money is not the solution. So even when we print new money the problem cannot be solved,” Min. Tweah said when he appeared on the 50-50 talk show. “And the reason why it cannot be solved is the quantity of money that is not coming back but staying outside of the banks.”

Min. Tweah further said that printing new money will become better when public confidence in the banking sector is restored, which is intended to ensure that people trust their bank to save their money instead of holding it.

 “Certain people will have to keep their money outside until confidence is restored. This way, they will start to bring it in since you can account for it,” Min. Tweah added.

But, this opinion is not shared by the Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, who is the Chief of Staff to President George Manneh Weah. For Min. McGill, in the absence of new banknotes, the liquidity crisis will not be solved, as bank will continue to ration daily cash-withdrawals. According to Min. McGill, the situation would be far worse, as Liberians will find it more difficult to access cash for business transactions.

 “It [has] to do with the country and we [have] to change the money. It is purely a Legislative responsibility. If we do not have money in this country, they as lawmakers have power to authorize it,” Min. McGill said.  “If they do not authorize it, we will not have the money. Then, the rotten money will be there. Eventually, we will not have Liberian dollars to use again because of the kind of Liberian dollars we have. By the time the money gets mutilated, you cannot find it”.

Meanwhile, the request from CBL comes as banks continue to experience experience scarcity of money leading people stand in queues for hours just to get cash.

For the past few months, there has been shortage of Liberian dollar, but the squeeze has intensified in the last few weeks forcing banks to turn away customers, as they simply do not have enough cash in their vaults due to limited supply of cash received from the CBL.

In remarks, the Deputy Governor for Operations, Nyemadi D. Pearson, buttressed the necessity for the money in the economy and added that the bank’s plan is to move into a cashless economy.

However, several lawmakers expressed their respective discontent including Rep. Edward Karfiah, Rep. Richard Koon, Rep. Robert Womba, Rep. Francis Dopoe, Rep. Moima Briggs-Mensah and Rep. Rustonlyn Dennis among others.

Most of the lawmakers believed that the printing of new money is not only the sole solution to illiquid the economy, but insisted that the CBL should give a role map or detailed explanations on further plans about tackling the avoidance of disappearances of the Liberian notes on the market.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Has the printing of money become a conundrum for the CDC?

    According to the CBL, L$22.5 billion is out of the banking sector and so to make up for the shortage, they need to print L$27.5 billion to stabilize cashflow in the country.
    I believe the CBL has not investigated the cause/s of the paucity of Liberian dollars on the market, but they NEED new banknotes on the market.
    Without scientific proof/s, the CBL has confirmed that L$10 billion of the money out of the banking sector is mutilated, interesting!

    According to the prolific Finance Minister, the shortage of banknotes on the market is due to the loss of public confidence in the banks, really?

    For Minister McGill, we need to replace the present currency with a new one to ensure there is enough cash on the market to dish out to partisans, are you sure Sir?

    Dear Liberians, here we go with 3 members of the same government giving 3 different reasons of shortage of cash in our banks and proposing 3 separate solutions. Where have you put our country, my people? Do you see the jokers and disco dancers you have voted into our country?
    We, in the opposition, should be contradicting what the ruling party is proposing. But do you see them contradicting each other? Does it mean anything to you, our people?

    Let me propose my help again to the CDC:
    Because of your friskiness and rudeness on good and educated people, the Liberian banknotes have been hoarded (which means the money people in Liberia have withdrawn all their money from the banks and keeping it in their houses to punish you guys).
    If you print new banknotes, they will inundate the market with the cash they have hoarded, and so there will be more money chasing few goods on the market; the book people call this Demand-pull Inflation. DO NOT DO IT, I BEG YOU!

    Proposal 1 (If you want to continue to be frisky and rude to good people):
    Immediately put an end to the US dollars being a legal tender on the local market. If you do that this week, all the money they are hiding will come out next month and you will have enough cash in the banks to spend.

    Proposal 2 (sincere repentance):
    Call together the people you describe as ‘Elites’ in Liberia, beg them to assist you run the country, that you are sorry for every effrontery against them.
    Also, be ready to form a new government of inclusion, if you really love Liberia.

    Appeal
    DO NOT LEAVE US (ANC) WITH A MESSED-UP COUNTRY, WE BEG YOU PEOPLE!

    • It’s either CPP or ANC. You can’t have it both ways. Your (ANC) standard bearer can/should not run on CPP’S ticket; only for the sole purpose of becoming “PRESIDENT” Republic Of Liberia; then becomes ANC after he/she wins the election. Lol! What a user. “I see your truth color.”

      • Mr. Freeman,

        I think this is your second time calling my attention to the use of ANC instead of the CPP.
        First, note that I am going to make a personal comment, not for the ANC. Second, note that I am still a sympathizer of the ANC, not yet a card-bearing member.

        My point of view
        Objectively, I do NOT want the ANC to go to elections under the banner of the CPP in 2023. I strongly believe we (ANC) will NOT deliver to the Liberian people as expected with the other members within the CPP whose political conception is “to eat” and not to serve honestly. The ANC wants to serve honestly, do things differently from the other people who have failed Liberia, than joining them to pollute us with the old (Liberia) spirit. Personally, I will not want to go down the roads many have gone; total failure with no flair for economic planning for future generations.

        However, we need all Liberians on board the progress train. As much as possible, I would admonish Cummings to persuasively make the other leaders to integrate the ANC.
        If it cannot be possible, he must be tactfully dominant within the CPP to do things differently in order to sustainably develop our patrimony, Liberia.

        Thank you for reminding me all the time, but I am speaking for myself, not for the ANC or Mr. Alexander B. Cummings.

    • Haha…you make some good points with good humor too. Their solution is always to print more money without thoughtful analysis. It’s so dumb! Why not try to get the money back into the banking system by using a different strategy? India had the same issue couple of years ago, whereby tens of billions of rupees were held outside the banking system. So, the government decided to change the currency, and that forced people to return their horded cash to the banks in exchange for new money or they lose it. I suspect Liberian officials thought about this idea but decided against it because it might expose top government officials who are hoarding billions of LD and they don’t want that. So, they put their personal interest before their country. Bad governance!

  2. CBL 27.5B request is predicated on a 3 years period when not even sure whether its present administrative service to Liberians is worthy of its present bankruptcy. No Liberian people ask for projections from CBL. The fault for a negative in balance is based on the inability to supply the banknotes on time to commercialize the notes to local businesses. The Central Bank of Liberia is not a profit making organization. It is the source of supply for the Liberian nation and only makes accruals as at other government entities. In the banking business, cash supplied to commercial banks and the Liberian domestic products interact for profit. CBL is not supplying the notes accordingly and is getting involved in profiteering. Dismiss those involved. Are these National Bankers trying to steal something? Or are some Legislators conniving? You projected 7.5B over the year. Given 4 B, if your excuse for the downturn is 3.5B, lets give the that amount as an emergency recovery, if you must blame the legislature for not giving it. Let the Ministry of Finance do the projection for the 3 years period. The 7.5B was within CORONA -Covid-19. No point. The Capitol Building passes budget every year. Not every three year! By your available requisition and resolution, 3.5 Billion is in arears for 2020 and one year 2021 projection of 7.5 B = 11 Billion.
    The Liberian people should permit CBL to print only 11 Billion Liberian LRD currency. How much does it cost to do the printing in the currency of the foreign nation where it will be printed? If in the U.S., how much American Dollars? If in Russia, How much Rubles, If in China, How much Chinese money (Y). Print the 11 Billion. We will audit later. The Liberian Government does not sell for profit. The Liberian Government supplies its people with needed Liberian currency.
    If you answer me, you will pay something. Tell your own to the Country.

  3. 22.5 Liberian Billion infused inside economy
    25.3B still sitting Outside
    47.8B = 89.4% called inside + outside
    44% Performed loans
    56% None Performed loans
    What happened to the 10.6% from total inside and outside economy?
    If we subtract the 10.4% Mutilated, there is still a 2%
    Find the Liberian people balance.

  4. What will they do with the .2% of 2%? hu hu hu ah………..ah….ah….ah…?
    Is that the Interest times rate times time they are talking about?
    Is the amount X 27.5% to be approved by this Legislature or the Legislature over the future 3 years? The Liberian Legislative branch of Government approves its budget after every year. Not every 3 years.

  5. According to the English literate, {Interest = Principle X Rate X time). In indigenous Liberia, Interest is what you can pay. In illiterate Liberia, Interest does not exist in the Liberian pocket. The Educated Liberian keep interest in his wallet or her pocket book? It the interest causing the problem. Where are you keep yours is your own problem.
    NOT MINE.

  6. According to the English literate,{Interest = Principle X Rate X Time). In indigenous Liberia, Interest is what you can pay the English literate. In illiterate Liberia, Interest does not exist in the Liberian pocket. The educated Liberian keeps interest in his wallet or her pocket book. If the interest is causing the problem, than it is your problem. Not my problem. If you want some interests, contact the 85% illiterate Liberians.
    This is English. The one prior is Liberian.

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