L$4 Billion in Town -CBL Says It’s To Ease Liquidity Challenges

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The advent of the George Manneh Weah administration bumped into complications created in the money market of the country—a time when the predecessor inundated the market with excess liquidity leading to inflation never experienced in the history of the country. The public disquiet provoked by how the money was printed, brought into the country and by whom nearly toppled the new regime. With concerted national and international efforts, the situation is nearly stable and it seems it is now time to augment the vault of the nation with additional banknotes. The agency responsible has announced the arrival of some L$5 billion. The Analyst reports.

The Central Bank of Liberia (“CBL”) is pleased to announce the secure arrival of additional 4 Billion Liberian Dollar banknotes to ease the liquidity pressures that the Liberian economy had been faced with recently.

The additional LD4 billion in banknotes were safely secured in the vaults of the CBL Headquarters on July 7, 2020. The CBL, in collaboration with Kroll, will work over the coming days to undertake a full technical validation process of the new banknotes to ensure they comply with the contractual specifications.

Prior to printing the additional Liberian Dollar banknotes, the banking system had experienced dire liquidity problems, including mutilated banknotes and insufficient banknotes in the banking system to meet depositors’ demand for cash.

Kroll Associates, Inc. (“Kroll”), a global provider of risk solutions and principally a global investigative firm, was engaged, as part of a United States Agency for International Development (“USAID”) technical assistance program to the CBL, to ensure that the procurement process surrounding the printing of the additional Liberian Dollar banknotes was open and transparent, and that the shipment of the new banknotes from the printer to the CBL’s vaults was secure. The International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) was also consulted prior to printing the banknotes to ensure compliance with its Liberia program.

CBL Executive Governor J. Aloysius Tarlue, Jr. said “The arrival of the additional Liberian Dollar banknotes is good news indeed. It will help ordinary Liberians to pay for school fees, hospital bills and pay for other important bills.”

It can be recalled that Kroll uncovered systemic inadequacies in procurement processes and record keeping at the CBL when investigating concerns surrounding the printing of LD16 Billion new banknotes in September 2018. It was therefore agreed to engage Kroll based on their experience with the CBL, to address the loopholes, thereby preventing the re-occurrence of any such lapses.

As a first step in the printing of the additional Liberian Dollar banknotes after obtaining legislative approval, the CBL used enhanced procedures consistent with international best practice in the procurement process to secure the most competitive bidder to print the banknotes.

On March 12, 2020, CBL issued a Request for Proposals, with April 8, 2020 set as a deadline for response to the Request. The CBL received proposals from potential suppliers in advance of the deadline. Following a rigorous evaluation process of the proposals against a detailed evaluation criteria, a specially formulated CBL Procurement Committee recommended Crane as the preferred supplier to print the Liberian Dollar banknotes.