The United States Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Michael McCarthy, accompanied by a host of officials from the United States Embassy and Mrs. Sara Walters, Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) made a courtesy call on the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
The Executive Governor J. Aloysius Tarlue, Jr. expressed happiness about the visit of the US Ambassador and the delegates while recognizing the longstanding historical ties between the United States of America and Liberia, dating back to the founding of Liberia. The Executive Governor also expressed gratitude to the United States Embassy and USAID for hiring the Kroll Associates, who provided technical expertise in the procurement and safe delivery of L$4 billion to CBL.
US Ambassador Michael McCarthy, in turn, thanked Executive Governor Tarlue and the CBL Management for the warm welcome and reassured solidarity to assist the CBL to deal with the current difficult tasks confronting the Bank.
As part of the efforts to reduce the liquidity pressure outside Monrovia, the Executive Governor briefed the American Ambassador on the establishment of cash hubs in strategic locations of Liberia. He emphasized that the cash hubs will support the availability of liquidity to commercial bank branches and other regulated financial institutions in the rural parts of the country and enhance the CBL cash distribution capability in the economy and National Payment System infrastructure. The facility, the CBL Executive Governor also noted will enhance the Bank’s capacity to effectively manage its cash circle operations and enhance the efficiency of the handling of cash and cash movement in the rural parts of the country and also serve as CBL’s replenishment point, including replacement of mutilated banknotes.
Further stressing on the importance of cash hubs, the Executive Governor highlighted the absence of commercial banks in six (6) of the fifteen (15) counties, many of which have mining communities. The investment, Governor Tarlue added, will drastically lessen the burden commercial banks face in shipping cash from Monrovia to leeward counties and will drastically reduce the cost of doing business for them.
The Executive Governor disclosed that one cash hub is undergoing construction in Gbarnga City, Bong County, with three others planned for key counties.
The meeting also highlighted ongoing engagements with National Stakeholders about currency reform to print a new family of Liberian dollar currency that will ease the lingering liquidity challenges in the financial sector and the economy at large.
Executive Governor Tarlue reassured the visiting American Ambassador that accountability will be the guiding principle before, during and after the printing as well as infusion of the new family of banknotes to enhance confidence in the banking system, although, with hindsight, Executive Governor Tarlue said the Bank has made notable improvement in the internal operations and control processes over the last one year on account of commitment by Management of the CBL, to implement much of the recommendations of Kroll Associates. The proposed printing of a new family of Liberian dollar currencies will further enhance confidence in the banking system and support monetary policy operations, the Executive Governor concluded.