The Central Bank Liberia (CBL) announced on July 27, 2016 that it was in the final stage of releasing new banknotes into the Liberian economy with the introduction of a new 500 Dollars denomination. But veteran Liberian economist, Samuel P. Jackson, warns that the decision of the CBL would solve the issue of portability with the issuance of 500 LD notes, but not divisibility.
“More importantly, the note signals the devaluation of our Liberian currency and portends hardship due to the lack of productivity in the economy,” Mr. Jackson indicated. His views were expressed in a social media Facebook post yesterday- a day after the Central Bank’s announcement. The Liberian economist pointed out that currency has to be portable and divisible. And so, he has no problem with the printing of a higher denomination note to accomplish portability. “But where are the change coins that will use decimal instead of rounding to the nearest note of 5 dollars, which is now around five US cents? Printing of the higher denomination note also denotes depreciation of our currency,” Jackson maintained. According to a CBL press release, the printing of the new banknotes is in keeping with its statutory mandate to at all times ensure that the integrity of the Liberian Dollar is uncompromisingly maintained. The new series also introduces a new denomination of L$500 (Five Hundred Dollars), in addition to the present denominations. The Bank noted that this new series includes, among others, the unifying nature of the existing Liberian Banknotes, and as such, has maintained all previous portraits. The CBL indicated that it has also reinforced the security features in the new series, which are both visible and invisible. In addition, the release says the Bank has ensured that the new series is printed on a higher quality substrate to guarantee longevity and reduce porosity. In 2000, the CBL introduced the new Liberian Dollar bank notes as a unified currency to replace the old “J.J.” banknotes. Since its introduction into the economy, the Liberian banknotes have undergone minor technical redesign and security feature enhancements. All this is geared towards maintaining public confidence and at the same time deterring fraud and counterfeiting, CBL says. In addition to preventing fraud and counterfeiting, the CBL also takes keen interest in tackling the two major risk issues associated with banknote lifespan, namely: soiling and porosity. The CBL, therefore, confirms to all stakeholders, including the general public that the new series of banknotes to be released will be fully on par with the existing Liberian Dollar Banknotes as legal tender for all transactions. To assist with what is anticipated to be Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the new series of banknotes that will be issued soon, a FAQ Sheet is also being issued to assist all stakeholders in clarifying any questions regarding the new banknotes, the CBL release said.