As part of the “robust measures” to address Liberia’s current economic malady, especially as it relates to inflation and depreciation of the local currency, the government has ordered a freeze on the local money trade for 24 hours beginning today, July 18, 2018, believing this to be a main source of the problem.
The move is to facilitate a meeting between the government’s fiscal and monetary authorities of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and money exchangers and bureaux. The meeting will center on the effective supervision and regulation of the foreign exchange market.
Police have been mandated to enforce the order by arresting anyone refusing to comply.
New Democrat understands that immediately following the meeting, on Thursday, July 19, 2018, the government will commence shutting the operation of illegal money exchange bureaux or money exchangers operating within the country without registration or permit.
The Economic Management Team (EMT) will the next several weeks announce a series of monetary and fiscal measures that could help reverse the decline in the value of Liberian dollars.
President George Weah has reminded the CBL to provide more robust oversight of banks under its supervision, conduct a comprehensive review of regulations on the hoarding of both Liberian dollars and United States dollars outside the banking system, and provide incentives and safeguards to encourage the utilization of the banking system, including financial instruments.
Writes P. Nas Mulbah