Commercial Banks Hit By Liberian Dollar Shortage
Monrovia – “Sorry to announce that there is a shortage of Liberian dollars on the market; so if you came for Liberian dollars at the bank today, we won’t be able to pay you. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you,” said an EcoBank Manager, who refused to be named.
Report by Mae Azango, [email protected]
This announcement broke down Philip Kollie, a civil servant, who had to travel from Paynesville to Central Monrovia to get his salary of L$14,000 (US$90). After standing in a long queue for hours and was now just another person away from the bank’s teller than the announcement was made.
Kollie was frustrated that he could not get his money that day but might have to come back the next day to try again. Maybe this time, he would be lucky to get it.
“I have just wasted my money on transportation again. This is my second day; I cannot get my own money I have worked for.”
To further compound the problem, Kollie lamented how when the bank decides to pay, it only gives out L$5,000 and not more than this amount.
“Ecobank always says there is a Liberian dollar shortage so they cannot give me more than L$5,000. So I have to come back in three days, before I am able to get another L$5000 again of my salary,” said Kollie.
Venting out his frustration, Kollie said what hurts him the most, is that his salary is already insufficient to solve his problems and then he has to subtract L$900 for the number of times he has to pay transportation.
He lives in Paynesville.
Kollie walked very dejectedly as he left the bank. “I want the government to find out from the bank why there is a shortage of Liberian dollars on the market, because we are catching hard time to get our own money.”
When FrontPageAfrica visited other commercial banks including EcoBank in Monrovia to hear from them, Ivy Fairly Fahnbulleh, Ecobank Liberia’s Communications Officer said commercial banks cannot answer the questions besides it the Central Bank of Liberia which has the authority to give directives to commercial banks.
Few weeks ago, as a part of the ongoing investigation into the alleged missing L$16 billion, the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Mr. Nathaniel Patray, said the money was not missing but was in the bank’s vaults. But Liberians and others are complaining of not getting their monies from banks.
When FPA visited the Central Bank of Liberia, for comments, Mr. Cyrus Badio was not in, as the receptionist said he had gone for lunch. FPA placed a call and after several attempts, Mr. Badio did not answer his call from FPA neither did he reply a text message that was sent to him.