The massive depreciation of the Liberian dollars against its U.S. counterpart is affecting the Liberian economy, which has led to and been further compounded by the financial hardships faced by Liberians.
Though the Liberian people are yet to know what measures the incoming government will take to arrest this ugly economic situation, some members of the business community are preparing themselves to enable their customers to adapt to the current reality in a more positive way—to relieve the stress that comes with the uncertain economic future of the business community.
Lonestar Cell MTN is one of the companies pioneering the adaptation process with the introduction of a new package that will take the country by storm—the launch of “200 LRD Voucher.”
“This campaign is intended to be a solution to the ever-rising exchange rate problem in the country,” Ibrahim Daramie, senior manager, Marketing Services at Lonestar GSM, said while providing an overview of the campaign.
He added, “We are about to enter a new Liberia; it is going to be a new beginning and Lonestar Cell MTN as always will be part of the change, and it is something that we support so dearly. Today, if you walk to the market, do you know how much you’re going to pay for the Liberian dollar equivalent? You may not be sure of it; and I am also not sure. How do we solve this problem? If you want to send somebody to buy a voucher, you are not sure how much you are going to give that person, because the rate could be anything out there.”
Daramie said to solve this problem, MTN has now introduced the 200 LRD Voucher program to create the situation where subscribers at no point in time will feel cheated by anybody, “and sometimes, this is not an intentional cheating that the sellers will do, because they are not also sure what the rate is going to be like at any given minute.”
“When you buy a 200 LRD scratch card, you have three options to choose from. If you dial *125*voucher pin# you will be given USD equivalent of the 200 Liberian dollars. But if you do not want airtime and would like to go for a product, you are given two options. You can dial *126*voucher pin# and you will get two options,” he explained.
Henry Benson, Commissioner of Engineering at the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) who spoke at the launch yesterday, acknowledged Lonestar MTN for the brilliant idea to introduce the new scratch card on the market.
“With all of the innovation and ingenuity put in it, it seems like this package is indeed a package to be enjoyed by the Liberian people,” he said.
According to Benson, the Telecommunication Act of 2017 gives LTA the right and responsibility to make sure it comes up with the needed regulatory frequencies to make “your work easy and provide enabling environment so that you can thrive on your part of the bargaining.”
“I am optimistic that telephone usage in Liberia is just becoming easier every day,” Commissioner Benson said.
For her part, Laureine Guilao, Deputy CEO of Lonestar, reiterated the company’s commitment to a fresh ray of hope.
“We have a new president and government swearing in, and we are all keenly looking forward to changing in the days ahead. In 2017, we scaled great heights in this country thanks to our ever-supporting customers. We grew our subscriber base, we completed our expansion on the network, and we introduced exciting and innovative services, including the first-ever Voice Based Virtual Store and the launch of our Discount Store. We also created millionaires out of Liberians through our Mobile Money service and various promotions,” she stated.