Liberia: CBL Clarifies Shortage of Smaller Liberian Dollar Denominations

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) says its attention has been drawn to persistent public concerns about the shortage of L$5 and L$10 on the economy, despite a series of radio programs organized by the CBL explaining the causes for the shortage and efforts by the Bank to address the situation.

The bank said in two separate meetings with the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee and the leadership of the House of Representatives last week, the CBL provided updates on the currency reform in relation to the minting of the L$5 and L$10 coins and assured the lawmakers that the Bank is working diligently to ensure the problem is permanently resolved.

The Management of the CBL further emphasized to the legislators that the Bank is working very closely with the Royal Mint in the United Kingdom to ensure the coins are brought into the country much earlier than expected.

It said considering the 3-year average lifespan of the Liberian dollar banknote, and the yearly estimated mutilated rate of 7.0 percent, most of the existing banknotes, especially smaller denominations, have already outlived their lifespan and CBL has not been able to print additional smaller banknotes denominations during the past years to replace existing mutilated banknotes since 2017.

This shortage of L$5 and L$10 has been further heightened by the increased demand on the smaller denominations due to the growth in the population and expanded scope of economic activities, including kekeh and motorbike ventures, as well as other small marketers’ need for smaller denominations.

Moreover, the implementation of the mandate of the 54th National Legislature to replace all the old banknotes in circulation means that the CBL cannot print additional denominations of the existing banknotes, while at the same time making arrangement to mint the L$5 and L10 coins. The latter process involves more time, given that Liberia is introducing a new set and designs of coins that are completely different from the existing coins of 1 dollar, 50 cents and 25 cents.

CBL empathizes with the public on the shortage of smaller denominations and pleads once again for patience as the Bank does all within its power not only to address concerns of the smaller denominations but the entire currency management challenges of the country.

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