The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Shortage of LD Banknotes Worsening …. Bank’s Teller Risks Dismissal for Alleged Corruption

By Alex Yomah

As Government of Liberia (GoL) commences the disbursement of Liberian dollar salaries component, coupled with the festivity fever, some employees and business-gurus, who went for their respective salaries to banking entities, names withheld, were seen exasperated on Friday- while describing shortage of Liberian banknotes as a real mystery.It is no secret that the reported depletion of local banknotes from the commercial banking institutions is one issue in the Liberian society being described as ‘worsening” thus leaving marketers and working folks pondering over in Liberia.
Liberians, both marketers and working folks who had gone for their just benefits and salaries from commercial banking institutions have reported that they could not receive any money due to what they termed as the conspicuous shortage of the Liberian banknotes in the vaults of the banks.
On Friday Nov. 6, 2020, banks’ customers were seen murmuring due to reports that no money in all commercial banks for government employees and other business folks to withdraw salaries, principally, monies deposited by local clubs that should have been distributed this month and next month respectively.
Banks’ authorities reportedly told their customers who had gone to withdraw salaries as well as funds for other business purposes were limited to withdraw LD 2, 000 maximum.
Our reporter who visited several banks based on hints, witnessed tellers informing customers quietly in baking halls that Liberian dollar banknotes squat in Liberia, while appealing to their customers that the banks’ action is not deliberate to restrict their beloved clients but noted that absolutely no Liberian banknotes shortage.
According to our reporter, at a local bank in Monrovia, a well-known medical Doctor and a former government official put in for LD10,000 to be used at home for the holiday, but the bank’s authority said he could not get said amount because the Liberian dollar banknotes in the bank was inadequate.
The former senior official of government name, withheld pleaded to collect said amount from his account noting that he had children and grandchildren to cater to, but the bank’s authority noted that due to his plea and position in government settled to withdraw LD 5,000.
At another location, a business woman who flew from Bong County to withdraw LD 50, 000 from her account to purchase goods at a bank, name withheld was denied with said amount due to inadequate LD banknotes. The business woman upon hearing that she could not be allowed to withdraw LD2, 000 out of the LR50, 000 put in for, was shocked and dumfounded.
The Liberian legislature has written series of communications inviting members of the Central Bank of Liberia to explain reason leading to the shortage of the Liberian banknotes on the market.
It can be recalled that the government granted CBL the authority to print additional four billon Liberian dollars aimed at replacing mutilated banknotes on the market.
Scores of Liberians have expressed concern over the absence of the four billons that was printed and brought into the country- but only seen in the hands of few government officials, especially during political rallies.
Meanwhile, another banking institution has threatened to dismiss two of its tellers for alleged act of corruption which led to customer’s outburst in banking hall over the weekend.
According to our reporter, who also in a queue to withdraw his Liberian dollars at one of the commercial banks, tellers who are responsible to distribute tickets to clients allowed customers to buy ticket numbers reportedly traded in the process.
“We were given tickets ranging from 1 to 100 and I had ticket # 5, which meant that, I should have been the fifth person who should have entered. The teller who was passing around us and allegedly collecting bribe, first collection of tickets started with nine and left out one to eight only perhaps because we did not comply,” one of the clients raised a red flag begging for anonymity.
The issue raised by aggrieved customers prompted the authority of the bank to intervene and asked the alleged accused teller to leave the premises pending investigation.

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