By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas/GNN Legislative Reporter
The Central Bank Liberia (CBL Governor Milton Weeks has told members of the House of Representatives that the bank does not need any approval from the Legislature to print new bank notes in various denominations.
Speaking during a hearing Wednesday before the House committee on Banking and Currency, Governor Weeks informed the lawmakers that the bank has already printed new denomination of LD500 note in keeping with Section 21.2 of the CBL Act.
The appearance of Governor Weeks comes after the House Committee Co-Chair on Banking and Currency, Monsterrado county Representative Saah Joseph raised a concern that did not seek the approval of the Legislature to print additional bank notes with the new 500 LD denomination.
But according to Weeks, this provision of the Act gives the CBL the authority to formulate detail designs and composition for printing new bank notes with the endorsement of by its Board of Governors and approved by the President.
Governor Weeks said the bank was only under obligation to seek the authorization of the Legislature on how much monies need to be printed, and not on the denominations of those monies.
He pointed out that denominations, details and designs of the new bank notes have already been approved by the President and as such, the bank has already printed LD5 billion as authorized by the Legislature.
He said though members of the Liberian Senate were briefed on the details of the new denominations and designs of the new bank notes, lawmakers from the House of Representatives were not opportune because, no observation or objection was raised by them during the hearings.
The CBL boss emphasized that unlike the Senate, the House of Representatives did not express interest in the detail design or denominations of the new bank notes during hearings on the printing of new bank notes by the CBL.
He, however, noted that the bank proceeded with the printing of the new bank notes based upon a communication, attached with two (2) separate resolutions from President Johnson-Sirleaf, mandating the CBL to proceed with the printing process.