‘We Need Single Currency in Liberia’

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By Chris F Pewu

Using more than one currency in a country has many setbacks, including the high price of commodities on the local market. Looking at this and other issues affecting Liberian businesses, the president of the ‘In God We Trust’ multi-purpose credit union has called for the use of a single currency in Liberia.

Speaking to the Daily Observer at the headquarter of the credit union, Saye J. Bayie said the national government should decide to strictly use the Liberian dollar to help reduce the high cost of imports in the country.

According to Saye, the credit union, which is located at the Double Bridge Community in Paynesville, has more than 5,000 members who are benefiting from the union’s economic empowerment.

“For example, because we use the US dollar as our main currency to conduct business in Liberia, the fact that it fluctuates so much put the average businessman or woman at a great disadvantage. If we were to buy our goods and services in Liberian dollar, because it is our currency, we won’t be affected by any fluctuation,” he said.

The credit union president is calling on every Liberian, especially the incoming government, to join hands with him and others who have been calling for Liberia to have a single currency system for the betterment of the private sector, from where benefits would flow to the rest of the population.

“The high exchange rate of the US dollar is causing great strain on the Liberian market. Local moneychangers don’t make that much. Most of us are changing money just to get by, not because there is a lot of profit in it,” he said, adding that the dual currency system, especially the high exchange rate of the US to the Liberian dollar, is creating a serious setback for the common people of Liberia.

The multi-purpose credit union president is using this medium to call on Liberians from all walks of life, “be they zogos, students, teachers, businessmen and women,” to take the issue of a dual currency in Liberia very serious, “because the country is truly at the crossroads.”

Meanwhile, Bayie said his credit union will continue to do what it has been doing over the years creating loans for market women, students “and other ordinary Liberians” to enable them make a way to sustain their families, “most especially to send their children to school.”

The local businessman said that in order to diversify his business to earn more so he can extend a helping hand to others, his credit union also houses a Western Union and Money Gram money transfer and receiving areas.

Bayie said his credit union will also continue to collaborate with other credit unions in and around Montserrado County to help improve the living conditions of Liberians “who deem it necessary that their lives must be elevated.”

It can be recalled that during the Ebola crisis, the In God We Trust credit union helped many Liberians by creating loan opportunities for them; something that the union still makes available to interested Liberians.

Commenting on the upcoming elections and how it relates to his sector, especially the issue of a single currency on the Liberian market, Bayie said that it is the duty of every Liberian to ensure that the upcoming presidential run-off election goes off without violence.

He said that a non-violent society attracts investors, which money would trickle down to the masses. He said that the next government should “really, and finally address the dual currency problem in the country.”

The In God We Trust multi-purpose head clarified that Liberia needs a government that will take good care of its people; one that will employ people based on merits instead of nepotism.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Either Liberia agrees to be independent or exist as a model of empty
    independence; although we are 170 years old with no national pride.
    Liberia must settle to using its own currency, the Liberian Dollar, period!

    One thing in monetary policy is that, you can not and ought not bank on
    another country’s currency. Liberia ‘s relationship with the United States,
    especially the Dollar Diplomacy is not going to help the country in any way
    at all. Why? Because, United States’ monetary policies are quite different
    from those of Liberia, if at all Liberia has one. Being inthe United States
    for about 27 years now gives an ample insight and experience to know
    how, when why, and on whom this country uses money or its Dollar.

    United States is not going to give up on how she values the use of its
    Dollar. And she is also not going to compare its monetary circulation in
    public with Liberia. Whenever Liberia uses US Dollar, what benefits come,
    not to Liberia but to the United.

    Another important thing that Liberians must remember is that there are
    no sidewalk money changers at all. I don’t know why those or I should
    the Central Bank of Liberia allows that? This is, indeed, a wicked practice
    in money management. Until the Central Bank of Liberia is really ready to
    manage the Liberia Dollar, Liberians and the country will continue to face
    hardship in the country. Money Managers in the Central Bank of Liberia
    and the commercial Banks in the country must ask themselves this question:
    Are the Liberians, not only the President and Cabinet members, benefiting
    from the ways they are managing money in the country? If yes, then there
    should be no over 85% unemployment and there should not be poverty at
    all. But if the answer no as we can see in the streets and various homes
    and in the lives of real human beings, then the Central Bank of Liberia and
    the Commercial Banks must, as a matter of urgency, change their policies
    right now, not tomorrow.

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