Home Editorial We Are Disappointed In CBL Withholding L$1,000 Banknotes

We Are Disappointed In CBL Withholding L$1,000 Banknotes

by newsmanager

In the lead up to the crucial Presidential and Legislative polls scheduled for October 10, 2023, across the country, Liberians, by all accounts, are overwhelmed by worry, apprehension, and uneasiness bordering on the conspicuous and noticeable absence of the newly printed L$1,000 on the local market.

The L$1,000 was among the well-publicized new family of Liberian dollar banknotes officially printed by the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).

However, at the moment, it seems moral is at zero level in the nation’s financial and/ or monetary sector amid previous assurances by the CBL regarding its much-talked-about currency reform and exchange exercise in the country.

Calls for the infusion of the L$1,000 banknotes already printed by the country’s ruling elites into the nation’s economy are fast becoming almost alarming, as ordinary citizens who constitute the vast majority of the country’s estimated 5 million plus population have been venting their dissatisfaction, anger and frustration daily concerning the visible absence of the L$1,000 banknotes on the Liberian market and other ongoing reform measures.

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

At the time, Governor Tarlue indicated that CBL has already completed the quality control of banknotes in line with its specifications and that the 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.

Executive Governor Tarlue narrated, then, that a total of L$462,900,000.00 coins, along with the L$1,000 denomination would have been brought into the country by the end of 2022.

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

Nevertheless, to the best of public knowledge, the CBL has not, up to date, confirmed or denied the arrival of the L$1,000 or its official infusion into the Liberian economy. This situation, on the part of the CBL is not only raising eyebrows and leaves many questions unanswered.

Although the exchange of the newly printed Liberian dollar banknotes along with the minted coins with mutilated Liberian dollar banknotes is ongoing on the local market, the prices of food, fuel, and other basic commodities are skyrocketing and/ or hitting the ceilings, generally at the disadvantage of the vast majority of ordinary citizens who find themselves at the bottom of the nation’s economic ladder.

Now with ten months to the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, ordinary Liberians and critics continue to alarm over the constraints imposed by the visible scarcity of change in the local markets.

Moreover, the L$1,000 which CBL previously said was being printed as part of Liberia’s reform measures of the country’s financial and business sectors, to date, appears generally inaccessible to ordinary citizens and other local businesses across the country.

At various business sectors and in local markets, both buyers and sellers are troubled by what they call the apparent slow pace of the CBL’s ongoing currency reform program, although the CBL has consistently said it will decide on the duration of the exercise as it 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 once said.

Amid the hue and cry, local media recently reported that a man, identified as Samuel Carlos, has been arrested by Liberian Joint Security Forces with a whopping L$1.3 million of the newly printed Liberian Dollar banknotes.

The arrest of Carlos was not only shocking, despicable, scandalous and outrageous but also raises serious concerns in many quarters of the country as it relates to the status of the new Family of the new Liberian dollar banknotes.

According to the reports which have been officially confirmed by the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Liberia Revenue Authorities (LRA), the arrested banknotes were in two denominations— L$100 and L$500.

It is further gathered from highly placed and unimpeachable sources in the corridors of the nation’s banking and security systems that the L$1.3m was confiscated from suspect Samuel Carlos, minutes upon his recent arrival at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), in unification Town in Margibi County, via an Asky Airlines flight.

There are other spreading theories and or/ unconfirmed claims over the importation of the money which were counterfeit banknotes.

It is also gathered that suspect Samuel Carlos is believed to have multiple links with some ruling establishment elites, who are yet to be identified for the purpose of helping with ongoing security investigation.

Suspect Samuel Carlos could not however, be immediately located by The INDEPENDENT newspaper for comment, as he was said to be undergoing preliminary security probe on the matter.

However, for us, at The INDEPENDENT newspaper, we are very much flabbergasted, troubled, and highly disappointed over the delay of the CBL to infuse the L$1,000 banknotes in the economy.

We think it is unfortunate that since the CBL said it has printed all of the denominators of the new Family of Liberian dollars; coins-5 &10; 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000, the public is yet to see the 1,000 banknotes.

In our candid opinion, CBL needs to clearly explain to Liberians, the status of L$1,000 banknotes as it relates to whether or not said money has now been infused into the economy like other newly printed banknotes, and why it remain practically inaccessible to the citizenry, who are the custodians of state power.

We say this simply because it is the basic right of the Liberian people to know about how the CBL is implementing its currency reform and other policy measures.

To put it succinctly, an informed citizenry make informed decisions in enhancing national governance. Anything to the contrary could be interpreted as an affront to the governed and a calculated disservice to the Liberian nation ahead of the October polls.

On the reported ‘counterfeit banknotes’ saga, whether or not the amount reportedly caught with suspect Carlos were counterfeits of the newly printed Liberian dollars banknotes is, in itself, a major crime under Liberian financial laws and other statutory provisions to which, we, as a government and nation subscribes.

This is why we think that anyone or group suspected to be connected to such a brazen act of criminality as reported must be exposed and forthwith paraded before the altar of justice.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment