Home Politics Where Is The 48B? …As Dillon Questions The Legality of the Legacy Banknotes

Where Is The 48B? …As Dillon Questions The Legality of the Legacy Banknotes

by newsmanager

By Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: For the first time after over 20 years, the Central of Liberia (CBL), said the printing of L$48.734 billion was intended to remove the old or mutilated banknotes from the Liberian market.

However, some of the senators who approved the printing of the money have observed that the old money is still in use for commercial purposes, contrary to the CBL’s claim that such mutilated banknotes would have been removed.

The new bills in circulation comes in the wake of the Legislature’s approval, stepping up the CBL’s policy to address the confidence crisis in the banking system and cement the infusion of cash as one of the principal paths to a stable economy.

One of such top Liberian Legislators who has taken matters for accountability into his own hands is Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon.

The Legislature authorized the printing of the money, amounting to L$48 billion.

This amount is the largest quantity of money printed since the founding of the Republic of Liberia, nearly 200 years ago, Dillon said.

However, Senator Dillon has been wondering about the whereabouts of the printed L$48b. “Where is it?” he asked on OK FM, a local radio station.

The Montserrado County Senator aimed to know why five denominations of banknotes are on the Liberian market.

The concern by Senator Dillon comes on the heels of increasing criticisms by ordinary citizens against the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) for not doing much to showcase the new family of banknotes amid allegations of duplication of the $L500 banknotes by some unscrupulous individuals.

Analysts say despite the printing of new family of banknotes and minting of coins, prices of food and other basic commodities in the country remain high.

Senator Dillon also said the money was printed to replace and remove the old family of bank notes, named: “Legacy banknotes.”

Nine Senators on Capitol Hill did not sign the Resolution for the printing of the banknotes then, but Dillon said, the only reason that happened was CBL needed to restore the people’s confidence in the Banking system of the country before rushing to print.

“Notwithstanding, the majority did, it becomes an institutional decision. We printed the money; the money was never intended for us to have it in circular flow alongside the old banknotes,” said Dillon, an opposition lawmaker and stern critic of the Weah-Taylor led government.

“So, we get the different colors of money in the same denomination on the market. You give somebody L$100 in the new money, and then you get L$40 change in the old money,” said Dillon.

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), headed by Executive Governor, J. Aloysius Tarlue, had earlier informed the 54th National Legislature that the old money was mutilated and there were business people involved in hoarding, a situation that prompted the change, Dillon recalled.

“The request made of the Legislature by the Executive Branch and the Central Bank was, we want to replace the legacy bank notes from circulation and it should be illegal at certain time. We want to know that certain time now, that is why we are demanding,” Senator Dillon emphasized.

According to him, the plenary of the Liberian Senate is expected to make a determination into his communication, seeking to invite the authorities of CBL to explain as regard the time at which the legacy notes will be illegal and why it is still in use in the economy.

Speaking Tuesday on the OK Morning Rush, Senator Dillon said, it is high time the Minister of Commerce and Agriculture explain why the country is experiencing hike in the price of rice when the Legislature approved, in the recast budget, US$11 million for rice subsidy.

“Either we did not spend US$11 million, so the importers have to increase the price of a bag of rice or somebody ate the US$11 million. The price of rice is still high,” said Dillon.

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