Liberia: CBL Seeks to Address Rising Liquidity Problem in Liberian Dollars

MONROVIA NOV. 9 (LINA) - The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has announced that it is taking measures in keeping with its statutory mandate to ensure that adequate Liberian Dollars are provided to the population through the commercial banks in the country.

The CBL is currently infusing Liberian Dollars in the Commercial Banks to address the local currency shortage, but says it will be done gradually so as to maintain a low inflation rate - a situation which is primarily intended to protect the purchasing power of ordinary citizens.

In a statement issued in Monrovia Monday via the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism, the bank said the current restrictive operational autonomy granted it under the CBL Act, constrains the bank from taking measures to effectively address the increasing demands for Liberian Dollars.

"We had requested the printing of 75-billion Liberian Dollars in 2019, but the legislature only approved 4-billion at the time. This means with increasing demands from several factors to include economic and population effects, dollarization, mutilation and economic precautions, the need now for the printing of more liquidity cannot be overemphasized," the bank asserted.

"Of the 4-billion Liberian Dollars printed in 500-Bills, only 50-percent, meaning half of the 4-billion printed, has been infused in the market which represents the ratio of about 1-to-10 of new to old banknotes in circulation", the bank said.

The CBL attributed the current Liberian Dollar liquidity problem to several factors, including the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, but said it has begun working with various stakeholders, as well as the International Monetary Fund, the National Legislature and other players to find a lasting solution.

The Central Bank renewed its appeal to the public to focus on using other mediums of payments, like mobile money and POS to carry out daily financial transactions which will ease the burden of having direct access to liquidity.

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