Fixing The Problem–CBL Board Approves Companies To Print Banknotes and Coins

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Providing update over the weekend as it relates to the printing of the Liberian dollar banknotes and coins, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has disclosed that the Board of Governors of the bank has approved G+D, a German currency-printing company, to print the Liberian dollar banknote.

   According to the CBL management, a number of companies participated in the competitive bidding for the printing of the banknotes, including De La Rue, France; Crane, Sweden; and G+D, Germany.

   However, the CBL noted that, because enterprises involved with the printing of banknotes are separate from those involved with the printing of coins, the bank also initiated a bidding process for the minting of the L$5 and L$10, which will now be in coins. Accordingly, five companies participated in the process, including Royal Mint, UK; Royal Canadian Mint, Canada; and Royal Dutch Mint, Netherland. Royal Mint of UK was approved by the CBL to print the new coins.

   The Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, J. Aloysius Tarlue, affirmed the ugly situation of the lack of smaller denominations of the Liberian dollar banknote on the market, especially the L$5 and L$10. According to him, a banknote has a lifespan of three (3) years; unfortunately, the two denominations have not been printed since 2017—approximately five years now.

   In an effort to fast-track the printing process, he said, a delegation of the CBL would leave the country on Sunday, in order to tour the facilities where the banknotes and coins will be printed.

   All these efforts, according to him, are geared toward swiftly mitigating the shortage of the smaller banknotes on the market, which he described as the most actively used denominations and mostly transacted by marketers, drivers and petit traders.

   “In 2017, the population was estimated at 4.7 million; now, new data put the Liberian population at 5.2 million. This interprets to the growing need for printing of more banknotes, as the users are increasing by the day,” Governor Tarlue stated.

   He described the minting of the L$5 and L$10 into coins as the right decision, disclosing that a coin has a lifespan of approximately twenty-five (25) years.

   It can be recalled that sometime last year the country was hit by currency mutilation and the lack of sufficient banknotes to serve the entire population, thereby strangulating the commercial banks and those actively involved with physical financial transactions. To meet the demands of the economy as the Christmas season came close, the CBL, in consultation with Kroll and Associates, hired Crane Currency—the company that previously printed the Liberian dollar banknotes—to print an initial L$4 billion (all in L$100 bills) to be infused into the economy to alleviate the liquidity problem.

   Fortunately, that problem has since been resolved, but with another problem of lack of smaller banknotes. Howbeit, the CBL has assured that it is working out all modalities with Royal Mint (UK) to get the L$5 and L$10 coins on the Liberian market as soon as possible.

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