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.