Home Economy Where’s L$1,000 Banknotes? … As CBL Comes Under Spotlight

Where’s L$1,000 Banknotes? … As CBL Comes Under Spotlight

by newsmanager

By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: In his first speech regarding the commencement of the currency exchange exercise, the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), J. Aloysius Tarlue, assured that no banknotes or coins will be brought in the country during the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections.

Governor Tarlue, at the time said, CBL has completed the quality control of banknotes in line with its specifications and that coins were expected into the country before the end of October 2022.
“We expect to receive a total of L$34,533,500,000.00, including the initial L$8,000,000,000.00 of the new banknotes that was brought in between November 2021 and February 2022, and a total of L$462,900,000.00 coins by the end of 2022. This will comprise all the existing denominations, including the L$1,000 denomination, which is being introduced for the first time,” Tarlue further explained then.

Though Governor Tarlue indicated that a total of L$462,900,000.00 coins, which were inclusive of L$1,000 denomination would have been in the country by the end of 2022, but it seems that the nation’s financial sector, at the moment, bears no records of the introduction L$1,000 banknotes.

“For purpose of clarity, no banknotes or coins will be brought into the country in 2023,” emphasized Tarlue, at the time.

The exchange exercise is currently ongoing in the market with some banknotes and coins but prices of food, fuel and other basic commodities in the country remain high.
With 10 months to the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, ordinary Liberians and critics continue to alarm over the constraints imposed by the scarcity of change in the economy.

“We are suffering in the hands of our leaders. I thought we just printed new family of banknotes; how come we are finding it very difficult to access change. The CBL should explain to us where is L$1,000 denomination, they brought,” wonders Elijah Mason, a business student, reading Accounting and Management at a local university.

Like student Mason, Grace Wleh is a teacher at an elementary school in Montserrado electoral District #7, who has also been complaining about the negative effects as it relates to what she calls the visible slow pace of the currency exchange exercise.

“Is this a scheme by the CBL or what? My brother, I am saying this because I see the coins, and the other local banknotes that were printed. But, I don’t know why they are delaying to infuse the bigger currency into the economy. I think the infusion of the bigger currency into the economy will help to reduce the current problems,” said Madam Wleh.

But the CBL has consistently said it will decide on the duration of the exchange exercise as the exercise progresses.

“We have a better appreciation of the operational challenges. We want to avoid the mistakes of the other countries in rushing the exercise,” Governor Tarlue added.

Recently, in his keynote address to members of the Publishers Association of Liberia (PAL), Tarlue disclosed that for the first time in over 20 years, the CBL was printing and minting new family of banknotes and coins respectively.

Tarlue: “We are printing and minting a new family of banknotes and coins in the tune of L$48.734 billion with the re-introduction of new coins after almost 30 years and introduction of L$1,000 banknote for the first time.”

But, the CBL, in recent times, has come under intense criticisms for not doing much to showcase the new family of L$1,000 banknote.

Daniel Cooper: “If the essence of printing new money was to address the liquidity and mutilated banknotes problems in the economy, I don’t see the essence of holding L$1,000 banknote back.”

“I do not feel the impact of the currency exchange exercise because we are still receiving mutilated notes from the bank, it is sad. It is time for the bank to introduce the L$1,000 banknotes,” said Daniel Cooper, a member of the intellectual class in Liberia.

The increasing calls by ordinary citizens for the introduction of the L$1,000 banknote comes at a time when some denominations of the new currency, specifically the L$500 banknote, is allegedly being duplicated by some unidentified individuals and groups.

Unconfirmed Reports abound over the importation of counterfeit Liberian dollar banknotes by some unscrupulous individuals, believed to have links with some unidentified ruling elites.

With months to Liberia’s presidential and legislative elections, some of the new money, suspected to be counterfeit, and reportedly valued at more than L$1 million have been seized by customs officers assigned at the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County.

The money in question, was allegedly confiscated from an individual, identified as Samuel Carlos, minutes upon his arrival at the Airport via an Asky Airlines flight.

The seized currency, according to the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), was in the amount of L$1.3 million — and in two denominations — L$100 and L$500.
Suspected Carlos could not be immediately located for comment as he was said to be undergoing preliminary security investigation.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment