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Liberians bare the brunt of cash shortage in the country

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People queuing to withdraw money from their bank accounts or en-cash pay checks were turned away due to cash shortage.

Some banks, including the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), turned customers away, while others, including the United Bank for Africa (UBA), could pay only a certain amount in Liberian dollars.

Several private institutions engaged in Western Union transactions have been shut down due to shortage of Liberian dollar notes.

According to reports, the LBDI transferred payments to customers’ mobile money accounts, but customers complained that when they went to withdraw cash, they were told by the agents that there was no money.

They said they can only send monies but payments to customers cannot be made.

The shortage of the Liberian dollar on the market has resulted in a drop in the exchange rate from 212 Liberian dollars to one dollar, to 195 Liberian dollars to one dollar.

Terence Sesay, who went to a private institution engaged in Western Union transactions, was told that he could not be served due to the shortage of Liberian dollar banknotes.

When he went to the United Bank for Africa (UBA) branch in central Monrovia, he was told that they could only en-cash a certain amount because Western Union customers are paid 25 percent of the amount sent to them in Liberian dollars.

An elderly man, who went to withdraw Liberian dollars from his account at the LBDI, was told that the bank did not have Liberian dollars.

“This is complete nonsense. How can the bank tell me this?,” the infuriated man said.

Recently, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, acknowledged the shortage of Liberian dollar banknotes on the market, and stressed the need for the printing of additional notes to mitigate the problem.

He warned that if this is not done, there would be no money to pay civil servants’ salaries.

President George Weah has also submitted a bill to the National Legislature to approve the printing of 38 billion new Liberian dollar banknotes.

– APA

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