For more than a month, Liberians have struggled to get cash from their bank. Broke, they prepare hard for Christmas and the end of the year.
According to a correspondent of the BBC in Monrovia, the capital. A customer who wants to withdraw 25,000 Liberian dollars for example, about 160 US dollars or 92,000 CFA francs, receives only 5,000 Liberian dollars, the equivalent of 36 US dollars or 20,000 CFA francs. And this after days spent in a queue.
The lack of liquidity seems to be related to the mystery surrounding the presumed disappearance in March of more than 100 million US dollars, about 57.5 billion CFA francs, from the central bank.
This money would have disappeared from the containers of the port and the airport of Monrovia. In September, the Liberian government ordered an investigation, the results of which are still pending. But the governor of the central bank, Nathaniel Patray, denied the disappearance of the money in question. There is no shortage of cash, he says.
The shops of Monrovia are frequented by thousands of people during the end of year celebrations. But this week, many sellers stay for hours without a single customer comes to buy.
“This is a disturbing sign when you have more sellers than buyers” says a honey seller
Liberian President George Weah advised Liberian broke to stay home to play “Christmas carols and gospel songs”, which many of his compatriots who are deeply attached to the Christmas tradition do not like.