The Senate Committee on Banking and Currency has recommended to the plenary the passage of a bill seeking to introduce a single currency regime in the country.
The bill, which according to a report presented to the Senate’s Plenary on Thursday by the committee, is currently in its committee room and will serve as a means to curb the constant depreciation of the Liberian Dollar (LD).
The committee in its report noted that Liberia is the only nation currently in the sub-region, if not the entire continent of Africa, with a dual currency regime and as such the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) should be continuously mindful of the necessity to solve the liquidity problem as the nation enters into the festive season.
The report by the committee was prompted by a recent communication in which Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Lawrence expressed concern over the high speed of depreciation of the Liberian dollar.
Based upon her communication, the Senate mandated its committee on Banking and Currency, chaired by Grand Gedeh Senator Marshall Dennis to conduct an investigation into the matter.
The committee noted in its report that during investigation of the matter, the CBL attributed the problem to, among other factors, monetary as well as structural and external factors such as excess demand for foreign exchange for import payments.
The CBL also blamed the depreciation of the nation’s currency to growing government expenditure in LD, global commodity price slump, the effect UNMIL drawdown on the economy and uncertainty deriving from the forthcoming general and presidential elections.
Apart from recommendations made earlier, the committee also proposed to the Plenary that it be briefed comprehensively by the CBL on the amount of Liberian dollar currently in the hands of users outside the banking system to ensure accountability.
Meanwhile, the Senate has mandated its relevant committee to conduct another investigation in one week aimed at addressing the escalating Liberian dollar exchange rate, as well as conduct a one-month public hearing involving stakeholders to establish the merit and demerits of having a single currency regime.