MONROVIA – The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) yesterday, Wednesday, November 9, 2022 took a major step in its ongoing currency exchange exercise launched on October 5, 2022 in Gbarnga, Bong County when it introduced the LD5 and LD10 coins which are set to be put into circulation next week just as stakeholders in the financial sector of the economy showered on encomium on the apex bank for the initiative that will positively impact on transaction for goods and services in the country.
Speaking at the brief ceremony at the CBL, the Governor of CBL, Aloysius J. Tarlue commended the development partners including the International Monetary Fund, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the government, other stakeholders, including the media for the cooperation received throughout the ongoing currency exchange exercise and solicited their continuous support as it rolls out the final lap of the exercise.
He told the audience that during the many considerations concerning the introduction of new banknotes the management felt the compelling need for coins to also be introduced to ease the transactions and save the government the extra cost of printing new banknotes all the time in short intervals.
“Sometimes ago when we launched the currency exchange exercise, we felt the special needs of the coins because the Liberian people have been very patient for a long time in terms of small change and the coins are finally here and by next week we expect the coins will be in circulation”, he said.
Governor Tarlue said that 4.62m pieces of the coins were brought in the country, representing 28% of the coins that will be needed in the meantime and will be enough to serve the transactional needs up to the time the next batch of coins will be brought as there will be no money brought in the country during the election year (2023)
“Based on the calculation, this will be enough to solve the small change problem because they will not be kept in the bank but will be sent back into circulation and keep on circulating there for the business people”
Explaining the advantage of the coins over banknotes, he said the coins are durable unlike the banknotes of LD5 and LD10 that spoil so quickly.
”You don’t benefit from using LD5 and L10 notes because you end up spending money printing new money all the time.
“The coin can last 20 to 25 years, cannot spoil, so instead of printing money all the time, you don’t have to do that with the coins.
“The coins also save the country from spending foreign exchange to print banknotes, say, every 3 to 5 years”, he said.
Speaking on the security feature, he said the coins are so good that it is difficult to be counterfeited, saying that the coin is embedded with the Lone Star in it plus other important security features, while also exerting that the coins were minted by Royal Mint, UK, the same company that minted the special King Charles III coin recently.
While stating that the coins will remove significant burden on small businesses in the country
From the look of the coins which were shown to the audience at the ceremony, the L5 coin has the portrait of former President EJ Roye, the latent feature of “L5”, year of minting 2022, and specifications which include round shape, alloy of Nickel plated steel, silver color, 20mm in diameter, weighing 3.6g and a plain edge.
The LD10 has the portrait of former President JJ Roberts, latent feature of “L10”, year of minting 2022, with specifications such as round shape, alloy of nickel plated steel, silver color, 23mm in diameter, weighing 4.8g and plain edge.
Several stakeholders spoke at the brief ceremony, praising the management of the Central Bank of Liberia for a job well done among them was the President of the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA), Mr. George Mensah-Asante, who is also Managing Director of ECOBANK Liberia said he was excited of the initiative, noting that it will make business easier for smaller transactions and curb inflation on goods and services in the market space.
For his part, the president of the Liberia Business Association, James Strother said the introduction of the new coins was a welcome development and hope that all stakeholders should ensure that the initiative be given support to succeed while the President of the Liberia Marketing Association(LIMA), Madam Elizabeth Finda Sambollah who also spoke at the occasion said it was a dream come through for the marketers who have been at the receiving end of the lack of smaller units or coins on the market.
She said with the introduction, marketers will now have a sigh of relief selling with ease and making every cent on businesses since the coins will eliminate all the losses as well as control the prices in the market.
Also speaking was the President of the National Forex Bureau Association of Liberia (NAFBAL), Nimely Sayeh, while expressing his appreciation to the management of CBL, he made a call for the authority to ensure that enforcement for the circulation of the both the banknotes and the coins should be adhered to so as to assist them cut down the losses they incurred on transactions.