CBL, Senate’s Committee on Currency Blasted

MONROVIA-Members of the Liberian Senate have blasted the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and the Senate’s Committee on Banking and Currency over the continual presence of mutilated banknotes on the Liberian market.

According to Members of the Upper House of the 54th Legislature, it has come to the attention of that august body with grave concern why Liberians continue to have mutilated Liberian banknotes on the Liberian market, despite the printing of new family of Liberian Dollar banknotes.

Members of that body said it was from that background that the Upper House mandated her committee on Banking and Currency to probe the situation with Authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia.

Following a report presented to the Plenary of the Senate this week, through the Senate’s Committee Chairperson on Banking and Currency, Senator Marshall Dennis, some members of the Senate rejected the report on grounds that the report lacks holistic, tangible, and credible needed information to address the concerns of the people’s representatives and members of the House of Elders on Capitol Hill.

Senator Dennis in the report to members of the Senate quoted authorities of the CBL as setting the first quarter of 2023 (January to the end of March 2023) as an expected time frame set that a considerable significant amount of the old banknotes will be received and replaced by the CBL from the Liberian Market.

“The regime of currency banknotes exchange is on the course,” Senator Dennis told his colleagues as part of the report.

He was quick to point out that the CBL was careful not to give a specific deadline for the collection and replacement of banknotes, something that angered most of his colleagues.

The report furthered, “After this period, the CBL will now have a better idea of setting a final deadline to collect all old banknotes from the Liberian Market,” the Senate’s Committee on Banking and Currency said in her report.

“We wonder why we are still seeing tellers at local or commercial banks giving mutilated Liberian money to their customers at this time after printing more than forty-eight (LRD$48,000,000) Billion Liberian Dollars of new Liberian family bank notes?,” some of the senators on Capitol Hill inquired upon listening to the Senator Marshall Dennis led committee.

According to the CBL, of the amount printed, over thirty-four (LRD$34, 000, 000) Billion has been received and deposited in the vault of the CBL with the balance expected to come into the country by 2024.

With the available information and report from the Marshall Dennis’ Committee, most of the senators responded in a rather angry and frustrating tone saying, they were tired of what they described as cut and paste and repeated reports from the committee with no substantial information and genuine excuses why mutilated Liberian banknotes are still being in circulation on the Liberian Market.

“Up till now, the CBL has not told the people of Liberia as to when is the deadline for the exchange and or replacement of the old Liberian banknotes with the newly printed banknotes so as to lay this to rest; I remembered in the 80s when late President Samuel K. Doe said, ‘If you don’t bring your old coins to be replaced with the new one at a set deadline, you will use it as earrings’ and we saw how people cooperated,” one senator was heard above his colleagues as recommending the way forward for the situation at hands.

Meanwhile, the committee has been sent back to do more due diligence on the matter to report to that august body in the period of one week.

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