By: Jerromie S. Walters

Ashmun Street, Liberia: The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) is expected to release the first batch of coins and other banknote denominations on the market in middle September of this year.

The coins are part of a total authorization of L$48.734 billion to be minted and printed in three years — 2021, 2022, and 2024. The other denominations are L$20, L$50, L$500, and L$1,000.

The reintroduction of coins would be the first in Liberia’s postwar history. At various points in the country’s history, coins were issued — starting in 1847 right after independence — and known as copper 1 and 2 cents coins which were used until 1862 and later went through modifications.

However, its usage could break down high currency denominations to smaller bits, which discourage undue inflation of prices of goods, as consumers can collect their balance.

For several months, there have been balances in the lower of L$5 and L$10 due to the shortage of fiat money in the two mentioned denominations.

Conspicuously, this means that when customers demand their balance, it is not always available, compelling them to leave it or buy what he/she never intended, to avoid extract value from the money left on the table.

Elaborating on remedy for the shortage of Liberian dollars on the market of late, Senior Economic Policy Director Christopher Wallace and Williams Jlopeh, Director on Banking, on the bank-sponsored radio program, “Money Matters” on ELBC, disclosed that the CBL is working on modalities to ensure that the distribution process is speedy.

“We know that the public is concerned about the coming in of coins and the lower denomination, so the next stage is that management is making an effort to work with the shipping companies to see who can bring the money into the country faster because they don’t have courier services”.

The CBL official expressed the bank willingness in ensuring that additional banknotes and coins are available soon, inorder to reduce the shortage of Liberian dollars on the Liberian market

They however attributed the shortage of the L$5 and L$10 to the heightened by the increased demand for the smaller denominations due to the growth in the population and expanded scope of economic activities.

It can be reference that in May 2021, the Central Bank of Liberia was authorized by the 54th Legislature to print a new family of banknotes. The Legislature approved the printing and minting of money in three phases, specifically 2021, 2022, and 2024.

The CBL however in December 2021, introduced the new Liberian dollar currency, beginning with the L$100 banknote in the tune of four billion Liberian dollars.

This amount according to the Bank, was meant to boost the economy’s availability of Liberian dollars.

Accordingly, the second consignment of four billion Liberian dollars of the new family of L$100 banknotes according to the CBL was to be brought into the country during the 1st Quarter of 2022 to commence the gradual replacement of mutilated banknotes.

Howbeit, the introduction of the remaining L$L$100 banknotes and other denominations including the L$20, L$50, L$500, and L$1,000 banknotes, and the L$5 and L$10 coins is expected in the latter half of 2022.

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