“Sooner or Later, We Will Not Find Liberian Dollars to Use” – Min. McGill Raps on the Need to Print More Banknotes
MONROVIA – Liberia’s Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, has predicted the intense shortage of the Liberian banknotes on the local market if the 54th National Legislature reneges upon authorizing the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to print additional new banknotes upon their return for the 4th Session of that August Body in January 2021.
Members of the 54th National Legislature, including newly elected Senators, will return to the Capitol Building on Monday, January 11 to convene the 4th Session, in keeping with Article 32 (a) of the 1986 Liberian Constitution.
Article 32 (a) of the 1986 Liberian constitution states: “The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January”.
According to Minister McGill, Liberians will continue to experience difficulties in exchanging their goods or services with mutilated banknotes if lawmakers, who have the constitutional responsibility to authorize the printing of new or additional money fail to do so.
He maintained that “rotten” Liberian dollars will continue to circulate and very soon, citizens will not find their own country currency to use if new bank notes are not printed.
Minister McGill made these comments in a live video interview with reporters over the week end.
He attributed the scarcity of the Liberian dollars on the local market to the mutilation of majority of the local currency.
“It got to do with the country and we got to change the money. It is purely a Legislative responsibility-if we do not have money in this country; they are lawmakers they have the power to authorize it. If they do not authorize it, we will not have the money. Then, the rotten money will be there. Sooner or little, we will not have Liberian dollars to use again because the kind of Liberian dollars we having. By the time the money gets mutilated, you can’t find it”.
“If the lawmakers do not agree to change the money, Liberian people will get problem with the Liberian dollar. They have to agree to change the money. We can’t find the Liberian dollars because, majority of the Liberian dollars rotten”.
Nothing to do with President
Speaking further, Minister McGill justified that the current scarcity of the local currency on the Liberian market has nothing to do with the “President or politics”.
He claimed that the situation rest on the shoulders of lawmakers, who have the constitutional responsibility to authorize the printing of new or additional money.
Minister McGill added that the failure of legislators to authorize the printing of new or additional bank notes will continue to negatively affect the nation and its people
“This is pure legislative responsibility. The lawmakers have to decide that look we have to change the money. If we don’t agree, we will all be here and we can’t find the Liberian dollars”.
Firing will not solve problem
For some times now, there has been mounting calls for President George Manneh Weah to dismiss Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah for his inability to stabilize or address the declining state of the country’s economy, the scarcity of the local currency in commercial banks, as well as the prolong delay in the payment of civil servants salaries, particularly during this festive season.
Citizens also called on the Liberian Chief Executive to dismiss Minister McGill for wrongly advising him, allegedly shielding corrupt and underperforming government officials, and not executing his assigned tasks and responsibilities in an appropriate and orderly manner and form.
But Minister McGill noted that the firing of under performers will not solve the multiple problems in the country, including the scarcity of the Liberian bank notes.
“I know people want the President to fire people every day-the President decides to fire people every day-but that will not solve the problem. Sometimes you have to give people the opportunity to be able to do the right thing”.
Do your Job
Minister McGill further observed that most often, Liberians blame the Liberian leader for the barrage of difficulties and suffering they continue to experience in their own country.
He added that these citizens should hold their appointed officials accountable, instead of shifting blame on the President “for everything”.
He indicated that it is now time that public officials execute their statutory responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner
“We who are Cabinet Ministers; you know sometimes people do not blame us. They blame the President for everything, but we got to do our job. I think the message the Liberian people are giving us, the Cabinet Ministers will understand so, when the President starts to take actions our people will know that the President is serious. It’s not that the President is joking”.
Minister McGill pointed out that Liberians have sent out a “loud and clear” message to government officials, that it is now time to work in the interest of the people.
He noted that though officials remain concentrated on implementing developmental initiatives, the “bread and butter issues” must also be prioritized because, “people have to live every day and make sure their children go to school”.
He said the defeat of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the just ended December 8 senatorial election across the country points to the need for government officials to work harder in the interest of the Liberian people.
“We have heard the Liberian people that, we have to work hard for them. We have to try to improve their conditions”.
Minister McGill stated that citizens sent a warning to the ruling party during the electioneering process that all is not well for them, and as such, Cabinet Ministers should not relent to work towards the improvement or betterment of the lives of the citizenry, bulk of whom are living in abject poverty.