New Liberian Banknotes Under Spotlight – CBL Sensitizes Citizens


Kakata, Margibi County – The Central Bank of Liberia, weeks ago, requested approval from the Legislature to print additional banknotes to replace mutilated ones on the market. The legislature gave the CBL the green light to go ahead with the printing of the new banknotes.

Report by Edwin G. Genoway,Jr – [email protected]

Based on the lawmakers’ consent, the CBL has said it will over the next few months print and introduce a new banknotes. The bank says the L$5, L$10, L$20, L$50, and L$100 denominations will be joined by what it calls the new big brother—L$500.

According to the CBL, the new banknotes will be printed in more convenient and smaller sizes, while the L$5, L$10, and L$20 are expected to be in one size (133mm x66mm) while the L$50, L$100, and L$500 are expected to be the same but slightly longer (143mm x 66mm).

The new banknotes will have the same familiar colors as the present series and will carry the same portraits, designs and watermark while the L$500 will be predominately purple in color and will show portraits of ordinary Liberians from across the country.

As part of its sensitization event in Margibi County on Monday, Deputy Director of Banking at the CBL, Miatta O. Kuteh, explaining in simple Liberian English told residents that the new L$500 has features representing the wild life and cultural identity of Liberia.

She noted that when printing money, it is not good to do so in one color. “If you do that, the bad people who can fix false money can easily manipulate the money by putting fake money on the market,” she said.

“And when this happens, the false money and the good money will be plenty on the market.”

She told residents of Margibi that the money is intended to replace the mutilated ones that have been destroyed and not in circulation anymore.

“You all know that when you get your rotten money, you can carry to the bank for changing right?

Those monies that are carried to the bank are not replaced by the bank, the CBL normally destroyed that rotten money you carry there and since we have been destroying all of that money, they are not being replaced.”

“This is the reason why the CBL has decided to improve on our money by adding new denomination which is the LD$500,”she noted.

She further noted that the CBL has the authority to print money but cannot be done without an approval from the Legislature. She said the CBL has gotten an approval from Capitol Hill to go ahead and enhance the features of the Liberian dollars.

Speaking earlier at the program, the Communication Director of the CBL, Cyrus Badio, noted that the CBL is always willing to provide answers to every question Liberians may have concerning the new banknotes.

“We are here today to provide answers to your questions concerning this enhanced bank notes intended to improve the quality of the current ones we are using.”

“We may not provide answers to all of your concerns here today but I promise that we will get back to you all of the time to give answers that you need,” he noted.

Badio, who delivered a special message on behalf of Central Bank Governor Milton Weeks, praised residents of Margibi County for the huge turnout to get information concerning the new bank notes.

The town hall meeting was an interactive forum with citizens asking questions concerning the new money and the current economic situation in the country.

Among the many questions, citizens were concerned as to what prompted the printing of the new money, how is the CBL intending to control the United States Dollars competing with the Liberian dollars, how does the CBL intend to distribute the new money among Liberians and how long will it take the CBL to get rid of the old money in order for the new ones to overtake the market.

Many also demanded that the Liberian Dollars be the only legal tender note in the country.

The Assistant Director of Banking, William Dargbe, in addressing some of the concerns said the CBL does not have the authority to decide on what legal tender to use.

“For us at the CBL, we do not have that power to decide what money should be legal tender on our market. If you Liberians are requesting that, you can call on your lawmakers to decide that.

But we are only here to tell you about the enhanced banknotes and the new denomination added which is the LD$500 note that has features from Liberia in it,” he explained.

Papie Sumo is a biker in Kakata City who saves his Liberian dollars at the International Bank Liberia Limited Margibi’s branch but was worried that the change of money would affect his savings.

“I have over $20,000 Liberian dollars. With this new money that is coming now, I was afraid about my money that I’ve been saving for months.”

“But from what I heard from the CBL people today, I am now brave to continue saving in the bank because the day the new money come, the bank will change my old money they keeping to the new one without any deduction,” he said.

Another businessman, Abraham Kamara, owner of Safie Brothers Business Center in Kakata City was anxious to learn more about the new money exercise.

“I was a bit worried when I heard that our money is about to be changed, because most of us were victims during the time former President Taylor was changing the first money to this current one.

My $70, 000 dollars left in the process, but with this current process and the education I just received from the CBL team, I am relaxed,” he noted.

Mercy Dorbor is a resident and a student living in Kakata City who is not happy with the way the currency of Liberia is being handled.

“I don’t think this fair to us Liberians. Not every government will come to power and change our money. Which one of the currencies will we show our next generation?

They are only confusing us all—we had JJ, Liberty, and the Unity that we currently using, I don’t even know how we will call this new one,” she asked.