For the Printing of 48 billion Cummings Writes Senate -Wants CBL’s Request Delayed Until…

For the Printing of 48 billion Cummings Writes Senate -Wants CBL’s Request Delayed Until…

MONROVIA, LIBERIA -The Political Leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) Alexander B. Cummings, Jr. has said the request by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to the Legislature for the printing of a new family of banknotes must be treated with extreme caution and critical analysis before approval is given.

The ANC is a constituent member of the four leading opposition Collaborating Political Parties(CPP). The other members of the CPP are the former ruling Unity Party(UP), the Liberty Party (LP) and the All Liberian Party (ALP). According to Mr. Cummings, this is to avoid unintended consequences that may adversely exacerbate the already difficult economic conditions faced by the country. In a letter written to senate Pro-tempore Albert Chie in Monrovia on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Mr. Cummings pointed out that monetary policy, like all economic policies intended to cure defects in the economy, requires a clear definition of the problem, the prescription for remedy, and objectives or outcome to be achieved.

“Anything to the contrary is tantamount to side-stepping the main vexing issues underpinning our current monetary space and may lead us into a circular path to nowhere, or what I often refer to as ‘doing the same thing over and again and expecting different result,” Mr. Cummings asserted. “The critical problem haunting monetary policy in the country, as even alluded to by numerous expert reports and analysis, including Kroll, is the lack  of confidence in the banking sector due mainly to systemic failures, administrative inefficiencies, and mismanagement. The key questions for the Legislature and those responsible for our monetary policy are:

What has led to the complete loss of control of monetary policy by this government? How can the printing of 48 billion family of currency, as necessary as that might be at some point in the future, solve the confidence crisis now? Which should come first, the printing of this huge quantity of money amidst the systemic, administrative, and managerial issues, or the resolving of those defects before printing additional money?” Meanwhile, the prominent Liberian opposition politician further cautioned that the hurry to print such huge amount of currency without addressing the many controversies and questions surrounding past monies, especially the USD25 million mop-up fiasco could lead to the sanctioning of individuals of this government for money laundering as hinted in the KROLL and PIT Reports, and could also put the Country at risk of being blacklisted. 

“We, therefore, call on the Senate to delay the CBL’s request for the printing of 48 billion until there is full accountability of previous monies and until there is sanitization of the system,” he, among other things, added. See page… for the full text of the ANC’s Political leader statement. It can be recalled that recently, the Plenary of the House of Representatives, which is the highest decision making body of that August body, approved the CBL’s request to print a new family of banknotes in the tone of L$48.7 billion to completely replace the ones that are currently in use within three years, beginning 2021.

The House took the decision following the passage of a resolution through a unanimous vote in plenary based on a motion filed by Rep. Acarous Moses Gray (District #8, Montserrado County). In the legislative piece named and style 'Resolution 001-2021', the House mandated the CBL to print 20, 50, 100 and 500 denominations, omitting the L$5 and L$10 bank notes. Excerpt of the Resolution: "Now, therefore, in accordance with the above, the National Legislature, comprising of the House of Representatives and the Senate, hereby authorizes the Central Bank of Liberia to print new family of currency in the amount of Forty-eight Billion Seven Hundred Thirty-four Million as requested and subject to the following conditions... "

The CBL, which is clothed with the authority to administer the monetary regime of Liberia, through its Board of Governors headed by Executive Governor Mr. J. Aloysius Tarlue had sought approval from the Legislature to print a new families of banknotes, and minting of coins in the amount of L$48.7 billion (L$48,734,000,000) at a printing cost of US$45.5 million (US$45,522,000). The CBL also requested that the new family should include 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 banknotes, while the Five and Ten dollars denominations should be minted in coins.

However, the House, in the resolution, nullified the L$1,000 banknotes and said that the denomination of bank notes to be printed shall only be 20, 50, 100 and 500. The House, however did not mention anything about the five and ten dollars denominations. Because of the omission of L$1,000 notes, the House called on the CBL to reduce the printing but did not give a specific amount. In its bid to not repeat mistakes of the 53rd Legislature in granting the CBL approval that led to the alleged missing L$16 billion hullabaloos, the House outlined several measures that the CBL should put in place before, during and after printing of the new money. The House charged that the CBL shall make the relevant adjustments in the total volume to be printed, the cost of printing and a less amount of printing cost consideration that the denomination of 1,000 Liberian dollars bank note is not to be printed



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