Liberia’s central bank has destroyed 600 million Liberian dollars ($4 million; £3 million) in outdated and disfigured banknotes to make place for newly produced notes.
Concerns that outdated currency notes are still in circulation despite the government printing fresh ones in recent years prompted the disposal.
It also follows the alleged disappearance of state funds in 2018 – with suspicions that over $100 million in newly produced Liberian banknotes went missing.
The central bank rejected this, claiming that the funds were kept in bank vaults.
The government of President George Weah has yet to account for $25 million taken from the country’s reserve accounts in the same year to replace outdated Liberian dollars and strengthen the local currency.
Pressure groups have demanded an explanation and accountability for the exercise’s implementation.
The Liberian economy has struggled in recent years, but President Weah recently stated in his annual speech to parliament that the economy is stable and growing.
The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) will begin issuing the new Liberian dollar currency in December 2021, beginning with the 100 Liberian dollar banknote, with a total value of four billion Liberian dollars.
This sum is meant to boost the economy’s Liberian dollar liquidity over the holiday season. During the first quarter of 2022, a second consignment of four billion Liberian dollars of the new L$100 banknote family will be delivered into the country to begin the progressive replacement of mutilated banknotes.
The new L$100 banknote is part of a L$48.734 billion new family of Liberian dollar currency authorized by the 54th National Legislature in May 2021, which will be manufactured and minted over three years, in 2021, 2022, and 2024.