Liberia: Pres. Weah Wants to Print L$34 Billion in New Money

Specimen of the new LD 500 banknote.

"While the decision needs to be made now to address this issue that impacts the economy, it is important to note that the printing of new banknotes will require your approval," President Weah told the Senate.

-- Writes senate for "green light"

Based on reported advice from authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), President George Weah, has written the Senate, to authorize the printing of new local currency (money) to replace the current one.

While the communication is being circulated in the Legislature, it is reported that President Weah's Government has already printed the amount of L$34 billion [new] money that is soon to be in circulation.

In his communication read before Senate plenary at its 64th day sitting on Thursday, September 12, 2019, President Weah informed his former colleagues (Senators) that he has received a communication from the CBL, advising that the Liberian economy may be seriously affected, due to the unaccounted local currency infused into the economy that is causing high inflation; and has recommended the printing of new local currency to replace existing ones.

"While the decision needs to be made now to address this issue that impacts the economy, it is important to note that the printing of new banknotes will require your approval, in accordance with Article 34(d) through the 1986 Constitution," President Weah noted.

Though the CBL has not defined any set values or pattern to limit the printed amount of currency (new money), it should be enough to provide services, transfer goods and also regain the value of currency that is in circulation.

President Weah said that, in view of Executive Governor Nathaniel Patray's communication, he (Weah) has advised Patray to seek the opportunity "to discuss this matter with you and your appropriate committees as you will dictate. It is my fervent hope that you can agree on the way forward to enable the CBL to move in a timely manner to conclude arrangements for the printing of the [new] currency... "

By a motion from Senator Alphonso Gaye, the communication was sent to the Senate committee on Banking and Currency, chaired by Grand Gedeh Senator Marshall Dennis to appropriately advise plenary.

Meanwhile, the President's communication did not specify to the lawmakers the amount to be printed in question, but there are reports that the amount is about L$34 billion. In fact, an insider within the hierarchy of the Senate hinted to the Daily Observer that the amount in question has already been printed, and was only awaiting the Legislature's approval to enter the market.

The Government's request to replace the controversial legacy currency comes as some executives of the CBL face trial for illegally printing over L$16 billion during the regime of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

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