By Nathaniel Success Topkah
Money exchangers and business owners in Nimba’s commercial capital, Ganta, have alarmed over the shortage of the Liberian Dollars (LRD) banknotes on the market.
Ganta is also regarded as the economic breadbasket of the county due to its fast-moving trade activities.
But the current reported shortage of the Country’s main currency is quenching the blazing business activities bringing it to a temporary standstill in recent weeks.
The influx of consumers has literally reduced on the market owing to the prevailing cash scarcity.
As per the present situation, business people and consumers have revealed that things are becoming very tough on a day-to-day basis.
The value of the United States Dollars (USD) is also declining, though the prices of commodities continue to increase on a daily basis.
A dollar US is now valued at 170 LRD with a 30 cents reduction from the previous 200 dollars.
The actual cause of the cash scarcity is still unknown, but as per a market survey conducted by KMTV, some people believe that the scarcity of the LRD is something that normally happens at the end of the year.
They said this is because commercial banks and other financial institutions start to close their debt books and do their check and balances.
In that process, they no longer supply the Liberian Dollars to the public so easily, thereby causing the United States Dollars to be surplus on the market, though not many people can have assessed to the USD.
“For me, I’m used to this LD shortage on the market at this time of the year. This is because most of our commercial banks usually close their debt books at this time. Other susu clubs can also be preparing to disburse in November or December, so the members can keep their little LD to be taken to the clubs also. So I think that’s the reason we experience this shortage mostly during this time of the year,” Mr. Taro Dekpa, proprietor of the Taro Business Center in Ganta asserted.
“This can make business actually tough for us and our customers as well. So I’m calling on the Central Bank of Liberia to also release some Liberian Dollars, else things will be very terrible for the common citizens.” Mr. Dekpa continued.
Others also revealed that the shortage at this time of the year is because this is the cocoa season so the US dollars become surplus thereby causing a shortage of the nation’s currency.
“The reason why we’re experiencing this Liberian Dollars shortage is that we’re in the cocoa season because we sell our cocoa in US dollars this makes the USD to be more on the market than our own money (LRD). The only thing we can tell our customers is that they shouldn’t blame the money exchangers, we’re not the cause of the shortage or the reduction in the exchange rate of the USD to the LRD,” Diah B. Larmah, money exchanger in Ganta explained.