Speaker Chambers Wants US Dollar Single Currency

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Speaker Chambers said he refers the US dollars to be the single currency regime for the Liberian commerce and trade.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature Bhofal Chambers has suggested that the country should move towards a single currency regime, blaming the two currencies for “disastrous growth levels and stubbornly high and bad economy.”

Dr. Chambers is recommending the removal of the Liberian dollar and the adaptation of the United States dollar as Liberia’s “single currency.”

He informed journalists on Friday in his Capitol Building office on Capitol Hill, in Monrovia, of why he prefers the “permissibility of the US dollar to be the single currency regime for the Liberian commerce and trade amid the excruciating challenges the economy is faced with.”

Chambers said monetary control in the Liberian economy is seriously challenged by the lose availability of the two Liberian currencies in multiple styles and values of denominations.

He bitterly accused former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during the end of her tenure of creating “an economic gulag,” which is related to a soviet style economic and militarily fashioned scenario that compel compliance on economic activities.

According to research, the word “Gulag” is an acronym for the Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies that the Soviet prison system started as a means of isolating “counter-revolutionary elements.” But with the beginning of the Five Year Plan it became a form of economic colonization…

But Chambers said President Sirleaf Administration printed the Liberian dollar in huge quantities, which have now flooded the economy and are chasing the few United States dollars coming into the country’s commerce and trade corridors.

He said members of the 53rd Legislature and other economic partners warned the President at the time not to print new bank notes, “but she did not listen, thus contributing seriously to the present condition of the Liberia’s economic woes.”

Another indicator the Speaker proffered is the low security features on the new banknotes printed by Ellen’s regime, which have given rise to the “wanton counterfeiting of the Liberian dollar by unscrupulous individuals.”

Dr. Chambers, however, said he is cognizant of Liberia’s balance of trade deficit, but said the country’s exports and imports imbalances cannot be singularly responsible for the current economic debacle.

“It would be expedient if this government withdraw the multiple local currencies from circulation, adapts the United States dollars and subsequently introduce a highly sophisticated and secured feature prone currency,” Speaker Chambers said.

“Until some radical decisions are made to curb the economic situation in the country, like adapting a single currency, the woes may deepen,” he added.

He however assured Liberians that the economic issues the country is faced with will be overcome by the Weah Administration as government is now finding a lasting solution to the situation.

“The state of the country is strong and secured, and I wish the Liberian people a happy and memorable observance of the 171st Independence Day come July 26,” he said.

LIBA

It can be recalled that as part of propositions to amend the Constitution with the adaptation of US dollar as a single currency, the Liberia Business Association (LIBA) rejected the proposition for the eradication of dual currency in Liberia, arguing that the country does not have the productive capacity to institute a single currency regime.

LIBA said the international financial system would not have confidence in the country’s single currency, owing to the country’s low economic output, coming from conflict and being characterized by mismanagement of its economy over the decades.

The then secretary general of LIBA, Ms. Leelai M. Kpukuyou, recently gave her expert opinion to lawmakers in Ganta, Nimba County, during a five-day retreat on the Proposed Amendments to the 1986 Constitution of Liberia.

Ms. Kpukuyou said though timing is important, LIBA believes that the House of Representatives should delay moving toward a single currency in the immediate future until productive capacities are greatly improved.

“Until we add value to our own currency through Liberian businesses, we cannot have a single currency,” Ms. Kpukuyou said. “We need to take our economy from the hands of foreigners, formalize the informal business sector, then we are ready for a single currency,” she noted.

She pointed out that recent statistics from the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) indicate that more than 70 percent of broad money (M1 and M2) is denominated in US dollars.
“Accordingly, the use of the dual currency regime has been a blessing for Liberia’s economic recovery,” Ms. Kpukuyou said.

“While Liberia has officially sanctioned the use of the United States dollar as legal tender, it is not the only country in the world with high dollarization. Other countries, such as Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama and Eastern Timor have higher proportions of foreign currency deposits to broad money,” she recalled.

The strength of any country’s currency depends on productivity for local consumption and for export, which will allow the country to maintain a considerable balance, according to Kpukuyou.

Liberian Dollar

In August 2017, the House of Representatives passed a law ensuring that all monetary transactions in the country are done in Liberian dollar. This means all transactions, including purchases, sales and related business deals in the country will be done by use of the country’s local currency.

Liberia is currently a dual currency country, with the US dollar being  secondary. But the US dollar has dominated the market, being the most demanded currency for purchases and payments, even at government entities.

27 COMMENTS

  1. The Liberian Government cannot cling on to the United States currency when nothing hardly is produced in Liberia to offset the balance in trade. We must use our own currency wisely to produce our own products and stop depending on the U.S dollars. We should not forget that Liberia is now a member of WTO. There is no monkey work and baboon draw in this world organization neither is there any in the U.S.. If you do not have your own money, how will you survive this trade? Americans need their United States Dollars and the present banking system in Liberia cannot even keep up with the rate of returns since there is no invention or domestic minute production on the aggregate. Depending on the United States currency to trade domestic production is in itself destructive to some cassava leafs or deeper with palm butter we eat daily at home, for example, is in itself insane. Hold on. The time will soon come when worth to the Liberian currency, no matter its domestic nomenclature lusted to the exploiters to enrich themselves, reveals its ownership of worth. It does not matter to Liberians who uses the United States Dollars to buy luxury or none responsive materials. It matters to Liberians who purchases foreign products with developed currencies and local goods and services with domestic currency to grow infrastructures and improve Liberia. The Liberian currency is the only base of the Liberian economy and this new Government and his administration has enough time to keenly observe and boost its flow. Liberians and donors abroad will not always send free U.S. dollars. We have our own numbers in Africa. We only need to use them to make profit to improve our standard of living. Do not reply this box. The Liberian people should be told. Don’t tell me. Gone to silent majority.

  2. Liberians purchases are constant for daily profit in need and for the poor. The country’s poor as we know today will not let any quake sided official take his Liberian currency in exchange for U.S. currency to pay for his or her own financial gain or travel to foreign parts to deposit usury. When they want to steal the poor people money, than they say the Liberian money is too much in the market. We need to print more Liberian money to balance the American dollars coming slow in and fast going out in some pockets. If the Liberian currency you feel is too plenty in the market, than use it to buy trad or Liberian products to sell for profit. Money is never too much to use. It is how you use it. Going in silence too. Reply the Liberian people. If you call me you will pay something.

  3. This is the height of unpatriotism exhibited by this speaker! Other countries are doing everything to preserve the integrity of their countries and our speaker is undermining the stability of our country with his ill-advised recommendation? People like Bhopal Chambers who are so American in every aspects of their being, are some of the reasons why our country continues to lag behind so many others on our continent, and in spite of all the efforts we have been making. And who will not want US dollar as currency of exchange when your salary is an unjustified one million plus? Only a fool! But let Chambers and his kind run all they can in the meanwhile. One thing we know, they can’t hide!

  4. You are in serious contradiction Mr. Chamber. According to the news, there are very few United States dollars, which is causing economic problem in the country (Liberia). Where will you get the United States dollars from to satisfy or reached every citizens in nation?
    Majority of the law makers proposed for their own benefit, they are not in the interest of the poor Liberian who voted them.

  5. Speaker Chambers is in his right mind to suggest that the US dollar should return to Liberia as it once was. Now let’s pause for a second and scrutinize Speaker Chambers’ suggestion. First and foremost, it’s a reality that the Liberian economy is in a tailspin. Given that scenario, Speaker Chambers believes that the temporary or permanent use of the US dollar will redeem the Liberian economy from the slump. Speaker Chambers also states that during the latter years of Johnson-Sirleaf’s presidency, two different Liberian currencies were printed. Chambers argues that the printing of the two currencies did not spark the Liberian economy, but rather imperiled an already sagging economy.

    There are some rooted and unrooted Liberians who claim that Liberia should use its own currency because it’s about time and also because all countries use their own currency. Let’s not forget that when we used our own money during the last 15 years, there was no sustained economic growth. Also, there were no coins used. Our kids learned the use of coins in their classrooms, but when the kids went home, duh…there were no coins! It is downright shameful for our kids to graduate from High School without knowing what a coin is. So the question is why call for a continuous use of the Liberian currency when the Liberian economy is not helped by the sole use of its currency? Speaker Chambers should not be condemned or pillaged for having come up with a quick fix. On the other hand, I concur with the Liberian people who feel that we should use our own money. But, what needs to be understood is that approximately 20 years ago, Liberia was involved in a bloody “uncivil” war. During those sad years of ours, the Liberian economy came to an abrupt halt. Also during those years, the institutions of government were non-existent. On the contrary, the economies of the sorrounding countries (accept Sierra Leone), did pretty good. The economies of those countries grew, but ours came to a halt. So as a consequence of the uncivil war, the Liberian economy has been devoid of economic boosterism. The Liberian economy needs an infusion of cash, most likely the US dollar in order to reboot and avert a major catastrophe.

    The call for the US dollar to be used in Liberia is not treasonous. No crime has been committed. America has been a friend of ours from the get-go. Speaker Chambers wants the Liberian economy to be helped and that’s why he suggests that the US dollar should immediately return.

    • You hear the Americans laughing at your stupidity. Oldest African country and does not have its own currency. Meanwhile Ghana only about 65 years old and booming with its own currency. No, it is because your big book think your know everything, calling people Doc. and Doc this and don’t know nothing.

  6. There is no cause to remove the Liberian dollars and replaced it with a one single united state dollar currency.
    When our economy system have been mixed with lots of flort……
    Inflation have taking a charge
    Let a standard be put to place to help improve our economy than leaving the fact going on the wrong page………..

  7. If this is a temporary measure intended to solve the current crisis/inflation, then it is a good idea.

    BUT, what happens next ?

    Do we know approximately how much USD is in circulation (Is there enough to keep the country from “stalling”)?

    What plans (economic activities) are in place/ will be implemented to maintain the value of any future printed currency?

    And , yes Liberia has countless resources and products to add value to it’s economy, but we don’t just know( in most cases , intentionally misuse it) how to use it. Here are a few ; mining (gold, diamond, bauxite, iron ore,etc,etc) , oil, logging,maritime (this alone if managed properly with the country at heart, can solve Liberia’s problems) ,tourism, and the list goes on and on. With a little population ( I approximate 5M) for such immense resources, giving these are managed properly, Liberia is a potentially rich nation the likes of the Golf states.

    Will this ever be a reality? I look forward to that day when Liberia becomes a welfare state ( I don’t mean people should sit around idly), seeking the welfare of it’s people !

  8. As he falsely claimed to be a holder of a PhD and so he carried a false name instead of his real Lamin name which he disavowed. This is the stupidest suggestion coming from a sitting law maker and an unpatriotic displayed of ignorance. I lack words to describe such suggestion and Liberians, this is what you guys voted for and we’ll have to deal with it. Dammit!!

    • I agree with you totally. Ask him why Ghana is booming despite having its own currency. I bet you he would not be able to explain.

  9. Yes, there is a cause to remove the Liberian currency from the market quickly because it has been compromised by over printing, the counterfeiters, unaccountability and others. We can go back to the Liberian dollar once it is stabilized by the Central Bank.

  10. Strike one for Chambers. No patriotism in his bone. Always ready to take the easy way out because his paycheck has to be in dollars. This man does not understand simple economics. Why is Ghana booming despite having its own currency? The Us dollar is not the solution. What does Liberia import? the country is unstable and investors run from the risk. But Chambers would be the first to sell Liberia if he could get a paycheck. You see what your voted for?

  11. Everybody is making sense in some ways. I remember when one Liberian dollar was the equivalent of one US dollar. Liberia had the same resources it has now and things were good then. If we manage our resources well, we will have no problems with changing back to the US Currency.

  12. A nation without it own currency, risk being exploited through money laundering and massive underdevelopment with several kinds of manipulation.
    I m not reading economic and have not read it in the past. I m presently reading science, math and medicine. From what I read concerning Liberian economic and currency, there stood a time in the history book of Liberia (1943 to 1982) , when the US Dollar was the dominant legal tender. Millions or billions of dollars were taken away from Liberia. Liberian citizens cannot boast any infrastructure development that were made during this period. Government ministries were built by government officials, and mortgaged or rented to government. The rental fees and mortgages paid to government officials overseas account.

    As per my knowledge, up 2009, government owned built ministries were Education, Finance, Temple of justice and capital building. Some of whom are still arguably own by individuals of past regime( I still stand corrected). We can change or replaced the Liberian Dollars with the US Dollars, but if we do not have a value added to our exports, we will experience the same capital flights in the past. A value added product is when a raw material is been procesed and transformed for public consumption. The product can, then be exported, and sold at a higher price than what it originally was. The revenue collected from these sales, are used to back up the currency of that nation.

    We do not have the technology, training and manpower capability to transformed our own natural resources into a ‘ value added’ product. Until we can tilt toward that direction, our economy will rest heavily on WHAT HAPPEN AT THE PRODUCTION PLANT in US, China, Japan , The EU Southeast Asia, etc.

    His excellency Speaker of the House Boffar Chambers, made a good point. However; since his nation is still a consumers’ economic , we will find our self like Ecuador, East Timor, Zimbabwe, El Salvador and other countries using the US Dollars, including Subsaharan African Nations.

    So, to all Liberians, we been down this path before, let us try to massively invest in our human resources. A well built institutions, will produce quality engineers, scientists, mathematicians and so fourth. We will built factories, our economic will not be based on consumers. For example, let’s take Saudi Arabia and her Asian partners( China, Koreas and Japan). If the Saudis Government does not invest in science and technology, it risks a dooms day economic period if OPEC drops oil product price in the next 35 years or so. Alternative to fossil fuel is on the rise.

    This is just my opinion. I may be wrong ( I do stand corrected on all my comments).
    KNOWLEDGE IS “WEALTH”. Let’s seek knowledge, and wealth will followed later.

  13. Mr. Call Me John Doe,
    The call by Speaker Chambers for the use of the US dollar as a way of quickly stabilizing the weak Liberian economy is brilliant and not to be seen as a long-term solution. Realistically, there’s not a positive contrast that’s been made by his colleagues in the Lower House or by any unelected Liberian individual. Let’s not kid ourselves. The economic situation in Liberia is dire. It certainly needs a quick fix. What Chambers did is not new. If you will recall, Pres. Weah went to Nigeria earlier this year to negotiate for teachers. Weah’s move was brilliant because he did not act as an arm chair manager. Without doubt, Weah found a way to solve a short-term problem.

    Moses,
    I agree with you somewhat, but not all the way to the bank. We do need our own currency in Liberia. Now, you and I have an agreement so far. However, let’s not be misled. The economic situation in Liberia is horrendous. If nothing is done to prevent an economic disaster, no one will be blamed but we ourselves. Chambers is right. We need the US dollar for economic stability. There’s no reason to be proud.

    Many people are misinformed about the goodness of the Ghanaian economy and their currency. Let me ask you this:
    Can you get a Ghanaian Money Order or a Ghanaian Cashier’s Check? Or do you prefer the Ghanaian Cedi to the US dollar in Liberia? The story behind the Ghanaian economy is not properly told by many people, probably including you. During the 1980s, Rawlings of Ghana built roads in his country. Also during that same period, Doe did not built “major” roads in Liberia. Rawlings was a military man and of course, our man Doe was a military man as well. What held Doe back from building major roads?

    Lastly, when Liberia was at war with itself, we blew it big time. The Ghanaians and others did not fight. While we fought, the Ghanaians and others planned strategically. There you have it. Proper planning! If we use the dollar to prevent a downward spiral of our economy as Chambers suggests, we’ll be okay. By the way, I think it’s fair to say thst I grew up to manhood in Chicago, Illinois. I have not seen or heard of an American laughing at us because of the use of the dollar! Please. Argentina used the dollar before. Argentina has a robust economy than the Liberians. The Argentines were proud to stabilize their economy by using the US dollar. Why not we?

    • Mr F.Hney,
      I know it was intended as a temporary measure but was wondering in case it turns out to be a long term/indefinite measure. Traditionally, Liberia has used the US dollars from “Genesis” of Liberia til now, and if we shift over to the USD, it might be very difficult to get back to a local currency due to many factors ( for example ,the people’s preference of the USD over local currency, fear of instability/inflation if we revert to a local currency, etc).

      Furthurmore, our people don’t usually plan before executing (in some cases plans exist , but execution is poor , hence my questions).

      Thanks for your input! You are a regarded “commenter” on here.

  14. Adopting the United States Dollar as the sole currency in Liberia would seriously undermine government’s ability to regulate the economy. In a country where we don’t produce anything for export, where would you get the United States Dollar to flow into the economy. If you think US government would handover bags of US bank notes to GOL, you’re mistaken.

  15. Gonganue, Barkon and Moses,

    Come on gentlemen! Speaker Chambers’s proposal is not a killer idea. The use of the US dollar will help in the stablization process of the steamless Liberian economy. Let’s give it a try.

    The country of Argentina was forced to use the US dollar approximately 30 years ago because its economy was in the mud. Guess what? That’s not the case today in Argentina. Once the Argentine economy took hold, the use of the US dollar phased out. We in Liberia can do the same thing! I think we should put aside our pride in order to do what is good for the country.

    Did you know that the US dollar was used in Zimbabwe as a way of stabilizing that country’s economy? The idea to use the dollar in Zimbabwe gained nationwide acceptance during the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe! Today, the Zimbabweans are better off economically than we think.

    Also, many people need to be sensitized about Ghana. Most people who do mom and pop business in Ghana are Ghanaians. That was never the case in Liberia. Until recently, foreigners sold roasted meats or (grilled fish, chicken, cow or goat meats, etc) instead of the Liberian people.

    Finally, what should be understood here is that the Ghanaian currency is not what makes the Ghanaian economy good. By the way, there is too much of an exaggeration about Ghana’s economy. The economy of Ghana is not as robust as others want us to believe.

    Let’s put our pride on the back burner for now. The nation’s interest takes precedence over our self-interests. Peace!

  16. Amara Keita,
    With all due respect, I disagree with your gloomy prediction as to what would happen if the USD (United State Dollar) is temporarily used to stablize the steamless Liberian economy. By the way, what’s the best contrast out there? In other words, what’s been proposed by any elected or an unelected individual that could help the stablization process of our country’s economy? If you say that the USD proposal is the clumsiest of ideas, what else is out there?

  17. The idea of holding and/or transacting in another country’s currency is one of many devices developed countries use to stabilize their economies, when one considers that global events coupled with domestic policy making impact a nation’s economic well-being. In fact using the dollar may in the short term reduce the inflationary pressure, and with proper risk management and legal control safeguards to mitigate deflationary pressures. For those worried, the U.S. Dollar is accepted globally and in fact China holds over a trillion dollars worth of U.S Treasury Securities. That simply means that the dollar is an important tool for China in its bilateral trade relations. I’m optimistic about the supporting comments I see above and admonish those concerned to set aside their emotions due to the economic hardship and look at the actual implications. This decision is not out of the norm. In fact Ghana’scbilateral trade relations is enhanced because there are circulation of U.S. currency. I have lots of friends as foreign expatriates in Ghana who are paid in U.S. dollars and they do spend in Ghana. Remember, the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government gives value to its currency arrangement. It’s also important that whatever institution is tasked with implementing this transitioning of currency be seen as completely independent of political pressure. Political decisions should be made as a result of how the “currency decisions” generate short term economic activities and revenue infusion into the treasury. Government expenditure should then increase using the U.S. currency, coupled with tax policies that leave people with more money to spend, while encouraging businesses to hire.

  18. Bah,
    Mistakes are there to be made. Mistakes are not allowed to be made. No one has control over mistakes. Sometimes a faux pas or a gaffe is not made out of ignorance. Sometimes men and women make mistakes because they’ve overworked themselves or maybe because of an illness. A generic reason for making a faux pas comes about when a young man or woman plays a funny game somewhere. An Australian man stood before an audience to give a speech. Because his girlfriend whom he loved dearly refused to hug him the night before, the Australian gentlemen could not say anything right. Example, instead of saying, “Ladies and Gentlemen”, the Sidney Australian went on with his speech like this: “My Lady I love and Gentlemen, I love my wife”. Now, he wasn’t to supposed to do a speech about his significant other. So Bah, these things happen.

    If you read about Sigmund Freud’s theory of “unconscious motivation”, you will understand that I am human. My mistake was a spelling error. But it was an error. All men and women of goodwill knew that my error was not committed out of ignorance. But, I corrected myself after it had been posted.

    Thanks very much for your quick observation.

  19. Emmerson,
    You’re back. You and I may have a political difference. In fact, we do. And that’s normal. But it looks like this time around, you and I have an economic agreement. That too is healthy. As you know, Republicans and Democrats have divergent views on how things ought to be done nationally and internationally. But at the end of the day, both members of the major political parties promote American patriotism. You and I can work together to help Liberia irrespective of our political difference.

    I welcome your lecture on the circuit as it relates to resuing the Liberian economy from a colossal destruction. Emmerson, don’t be deterred by fear. Tell the dubious people of Liberia that the use of the mighty USD is not devilish. Tell them that without a shred of doubt, the USD is the panacea of our times!
    For once, let’s keep the heat on for the sole purpose of helping Liberia. Please young guy, don’t go the political route (or the Cummings’ route). Otherwise, we will quickly disengage.
    Peace.

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