Claim: Senator Prince Johnson of Nimba County claimed: “The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government printed L$ 64 billion and kept it.”
Verdict: “False! The CDC government did not print L$64 billion. Instead, it printed L$48 billion.”
Since he departed from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Nimba County Senator and chairman of the governing council of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), Prince Y. Johnson, has been critical of the CDC-led government.
Senator Prince Y. Johnson used to be a good friend to the ruling establishment, a party he supported even when it was in opposition.
Senator Johnson is the founding father of the opposition Movement for Democracy and Reconstructions (MDR), which is now in a political marriage with the Unity Party of former Vice President of Liberia, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
Addressing a cross-section of journalists following a protest at his Christ Chapel of Faith Church in Paynesville, Senator Johnson claimed that the government of Liberia printed L$64 billion, which they later shared with supporters.
Senator Johnson made the claim at 8:45-9 min/seconds of the over 16 minutes press conference.
Given that this claim has potential for public finance in Liberia, DUBAWA decided to verify it.
To begin with, DUBAWA first contacted the claimant, Senator Prince Johnson, to inquire about his claim’s source, but he has yet to respond, as evident below.
DUBAWA then browsed Liberia’s constitution to discover what it states about the printing and minting of new currencies in the country and on documents from Parliament.
According to article 34-d of the Liberian constitution, “The Legislature shall have the power to levy taxes, duties, imports, exercise and other revenues, to borrow money, issue currency, mint coins, and to make appropriations for the fiscal governance of the Republic.”
Following this, DUBAWA then discovered that in 2021 the House of Representatives granted permission to the Central Bank of Liberia for the printing of L$ 48 billion and in March 2021, the Liberian Senate concurred with the House of Representatives in granting permission to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
Following the granting of permission to print the new family of Liberian dollar banknotes, a joint resolution was signed and issued by the legislature, consisting of both the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives, as seen on pages 18 to 19 of the Central Bank of Liberia 2021 annual report.
According to this joint resolution by both houses of the Liberian legislature, the printing and minting process should be carried out in three years, 2021, 2022 and 2024, leaving 2023 out because it is an election year. The reason for this was to avoid the ruling establishment manipulating the elections with cash.
Since taking state power in 2018, this is the first printing/minting by the CDC-led government, and upon printing the first set of money, the government and the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) have duly informed the public.
Based on all of the research conducted by DUBAWA, the claim made by Senator Prince Johnson that the CDC printed L$64 billion and kept it is false.