LD Banknotes ‘Not New, but Unused’?

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Central Bank of Liberia

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) says its attention has been drawn to information circulating in the public, alleging that the CBL has authorized the printing of new Liberian dollar (LD) banknotes, which have been imported into the country. There are also speculations that a consignment of Liberian dollars has been brought into the country.

“The CBL said it wishes to categorically dispel this information and informs the public that the Bank has not printed any Liberian dollar bank notes, least to say that a consignment of LD has been brought into the country,” the Bank said in a statement on December 9. “CBL is guided by conventional and statutory policies regarding the printing and importation of banknotes.”

Earlier this week, however, legislators were informed that two months of salary arrears were paid into their bank accounts. Montserrado County District #10 representative, Yekeh Kolubah, who made a withdrawal from his LD account at GT Bank in Sinkor alarmed that while there has been several months of shortage of Liberian dollars in the commercial banks and that the banks were disbursing only mutilated Liberian banknotes, he suddenly received a stack of crisp, L$500 notes.

In the absence of legislative approval to print new currency, CBL officials might suddenly find themselves summoned before the Senate Plenary to answer the question of where the “new” money came from, and why these banknotes are being released to the commercial banks now.

The Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism proffered a response to these very questions in a post on its Facebook page, saying: “The Central Bank of Liberia has issued out to commercial banks, unused Liberian Dollar Banknotes that have been in its custody, in the vaults. The bank puts out banknotes, used and unused, from time to time as a routine exercise to meet the liquidity needs of commercial banks. For the record, this administration has not printed any new banknotes.”

However, the CBL did not say as much, but only that it had not received authorization to print or reprint money.

Also, according to the CBL, a consignment of U.S. dollars was imported following assessment of the liquidity needs in the financial sector.

“Importation of banknotes is a routine activity of the CBL as a modus operandi of its monetary policy actions and mandate,” the CBL statement said. “As per the Central Bank of Liberia Act of 1999, Part V Section 21 (3), the CBL has the authority “to directly administer the currency reserve inventory, develop and implement plans, and ensure the regular supply of banknotes and coins, in order to meet the currency requirements of the economy.”

“While the Bank upholds the principles of transparency and accountability, the CBL wishes to further state that the importation of cash is not publicized, but rather subject to established reporting channels in existence at the Bank,” the CBL noted. “Finally, the CBL encourages the public to cautiously discuss monetary policy operations of the CBL in order to enhance credibility in the Bank and promote confidence in the financial sector.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Reading the statement from the Bank and the reaction from the Minister, there is something fishy going on somewhere. But it will surely backfire when the time comes. They are playing with the livelihood of millions of people mockingly.

  2. House Already Passed Resolution to Print New Banknotes?

    “The Presidential Press Secretary, Isaac Solo Kelgbeh, told reporters on Wednesday that the House of Representatives has passed the resolution for the printing of new banknotes totaling L$30 billion, however, the House Banking and Finance Committee Chairman, Rep. Dixon Seboe, says he is unaware of such resolution.”
    “But the Chairman on Banking and Currency at the House of Representatives, whose Committee crafted the resolution, Rep. Dixon W. Seboe (Montserrado County District #16) bluntly told FPA that he is not aware that the House has approved the resolution” Source: FrontPageAfrica

    Who is telling the truth in this crucial national matter?

    The Chairman on Banking and Finance of the House of Representatives, whose’s committee is responsible to ensure that the proposed Bill to print new currency is crafted and send to the floor of the full House for approval, is saying that there has been no decision to print new Liberian currency. However, the President’s office is claiming that the House of Representatives has authorized the printing of new Liberian Currency. Furthermore, Rep. Yekeh Kulubah is also saying that there has been no resolution by the House of Representatives authorizing the Government of Liberia and the Central Bank of Liberia-CBL, to print new Liberian currency. The critical national question is, who’s telling the truth, the House Chairman on Banking and Finance in collaboration with Rep. Kolubah or the Executive Mansion?

    Based on these conflicting information, it’s obvious that there’s something very sinister going on in this Weah-CDC lead Government. It’s not possible that the House’s Chairman on Banking and Finance and a Representative of the House will by telling bold-face lies to the Liberian public. Given the sudden appearance of new Liberian Currency on the market, and previous claim by the CBL and Liberian Government that there was a shortage of Liberian Currency in the Country; it’s safe to say that the Government of President Weah has not been honest with the Liberian people, especially given the fact that this government cannot account for 16b Liberian Currency printed and brought into the Country on her watch, and the missing US 25m intended to be infused in the economy to mop-up excess liquidity.

    Dishonesty and ineptitude are the order of the day in this Weah-CDC lead Government of Liberia. This is another clearer indication that the “People’s Power” must act now to save this Nation from total collapse.

  3. Mr. Honorable Representative Kolubah, the printing, moving and releasing of currency is not for public discussions because it has serious economic, political and security consequences. It is so unpatriotic to receive new money from the bank, display them and accuse government of printing new money. This in itself shows the lack of knowledge regarding financial policies and management by you as a setting representatives. A government is elected to ensure that the best interest of the country and its citizens is upheld. The central bank is clawed with the authority to print, move and release money once it is approved by its regulating body in a more secretive manner( not for public discussions, I stressed). Mr. Honorable Representative, to incite citizens regarding the printing, importation and releasing of currency is tantamount to economic sabotage and you could be prosecuted legally. Again, I repeat, the printing, importation(movement) and releasing of currency is not for you to discuss in the open. It is not for public discussions, plain and simple. I know that you and this president don’t see eye to eye for good concerns you have raised in the past but when it comes to this printing, importation and releasing of money stay clear and faraway from it because it could put you in serious legal troubles. Let me make it abundantly clear I am not a CDC member but just giving you my professional advise.

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