Four leading National Civil Society Organizations in Liberia (Center for Transparency and Accountability, Institute for Research and Democratic Development, Naymote Partners for Democratic Development and Accountability Lab), strongly call on the Liberian Legislature not to approve the printing of additional Liberian Dollar notes in the midst of too many unanswered questions as to the whereabouts of the LD16 billion printed by the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration and the LD4 billion printed by the George M. Weah administration. While the Liberian Legislature has the constitution mandate to approve or authorize the printing of Liberian Dollars, adequate accountability, information sharing and seemingly lack of public trust in the banking system are challenges that need to be addressed by the responsible national institutions before such authorization is granted by the people’s representatives.
We are deeply troubled by the incessant appetite by the George Weah led administration to print Liberian Dollar notes in the absence of full accountability of earlier printed notes. While we are aware that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the Central Bank through technical assistance to work with Kroll Associates (Kroll), to put in place a competitive, accountable, and transparent procurement process leading to the printing and shipment of the new Liberian dollars notes to the Central Bank vault in Monrovia, the same cannot be said on how the money was injected into the economy.
It is disappointing and frustrating how ordinary citizens are concerned about the shortage of Liberian Dollars notes in the commercial banks across the country and the difficulty in paying cash to customers due to liquidity shortage. So, if the Legislature approved the printing of the 4 billion in December 2019, and the Liberian Government confirmed that 16 billion Liberian Dollars was not missing but rather in circulation and additional 4 billion printed then what happened to the money? If proper care is not taken and the Legislature approves the printing of additional money, we forecast a new Zimbabwe hyperinflation at our doorsteps and our economy runs a further risk of collapsing.
Considering the situation, we call on the Central Bank of Liberia to make full account as to how the 4billion were infused into the economy. We also call on the Legislature particularly the Liberian Senate to STAND UP for the Liberian people by ensuring there is probity and accountability on the whereabouts of the newly printed L$4Billion. In the absence of a comprehensive audit of the cash infusion process and subsequent report to the Legislature and the Liberian people, we vehemently detest the printing of additional Liberian Dollar bank notes.