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CBL Releases New $20, $50 Banknotes In The Economy

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has announced plans to officially roll out the new printed currency for exchange in the Liberian economy through various commercials banks across Liberia.

CBL Governor, Alousius Tarlue told the media Wednesday, October 5, 2022, the execise will begin Thrusday, October 6, 2022 with the L$20 and L$50 denomination and will gravitate to the other denominations including the coins in the coming months.

Samples of the new banknotes

He said the CBL has received a total of L$1.9935 billion of the L$50 and L$20 denominations and that this batch arrived in country between September 4 and September 19, 2022 respectively, nolting that the Bank has also completed the quality control of these Banknotes in line with CBL’s specifications.

“As we have repeatedly said, there is no need to rush. All existing banknotes in circulation will be exchanged at their full value without any discount in value. The Bank is mindful about giving specific deadlines at this time, to avoid the unnecessary rush and unintended consequences that could undermine the exchange process,” Governor Tarlue assured.

He explained, “As such, the Bank will decide on the duration of the exchange exercise as the exercise progresses and we have a better appreciation of the operational challenges. We want to avoid the mistakes of the other countries in rushing the exercise.”

According to him, the CBL, considering the challenges faced by the commercial banks and limited branch network across the country, is working on a strategy to decentralize the exchange exercise through its cash hub in Gbarnga, Bong County, and other approved facilities under the direct control and supervision of the Bank.

Governor Tarlue further indicated that in addition to ensuring the timely delivery of the new currency in the country, the bank has also been working to put in place the necessary logistical and operational capacities, to ensure the smooth implementation of the exchange exercise.

He added, “As we commence this exercise, we urge the public, the commercial banks, the business community, and all key stakeholders to work with the Bank to ensure a smooth and successful exercise. The CBL alone cannot do it; we need the support of everyone.”

Tarlue maintained, “This is the first time that the country is undertaking such a huge national initiative. Therefore, it is important that we take due care to protect the integrity of the process.”

Meanwhile the CBL boss at the same time further disclosed, “We expect to receive a total of L$34,533,500,000.00, including the initial L$8,000,000,000.00 of the new banknotes that were brought in between November 2021 and February 2022 and a total of L$462,900,000.00 coins by the end of 2022. This will comprise all the existing denominations, including the L$1,000 denomination, which is being introduced for the first time.”

CBL governor Alousius Tarlue

“The remaining amount will be brought into the country in 2024. For clarity, no banknotes or coins will be brought into the country in 2023. However, the exchange exercise will continue with the banknotes and coins that will be in the country,” he emphasized.

It can be recalled that in May of 2021, the CBL was authorized by the 54th Legislature to print new family banknotes. The Legislature approved the printing and minting of money in three phases, specifically 2021, 2022, and 2024.

However, the CBL in December 2021 introduced the new Liberian dollar currency, starting with the L$100 banknote to the tune of four billion Liberian dollars. The amount, the CBL says, was intended to increase Liberian dollar liquidity in the economy.

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