The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Dr. J. Mills Jones last Friday dedicated the first newly constructed, rural finance institution in Cestos City, Rivercess County.
The establishment of the bank is a manifestation of CBL’s financial inclusion outreach to citizens residing in rural Liberia to make financial services as well as loans for market women more easily accessible.
The new bank is under the management of the Afriland First Bank. The dedication program featured the presentation of certificates to 24 shareholders of that bank as well as the honoring of Dr. Jones by traditional leaders for his economic empowerment of Liberians.
Presenting the banking license to the chairman of the board of Rivercess Community Finance Institution (RCFI), the CBL Governor urged citizens to utilize the facility by banking their money and paying back money credited to enable others to benefit.
Gov. Jones declared, "We have to make the lives of the people of Rivercess County better and simple economy says when you save you invest, adding “it is good to save your money for economic growth.'"
The CBL Governor noted that the CBL and Afriland Bank have done it with the creation of the rural finance institution but it is the determination and hard work of the people that will bring growth and better their lives.
For too long the people of Liberia have been poor and it is about time that something is done about this, said Gov. Jones. "We must do something for ourselves and get out of poverty and this can be done through hard work," Gov. Jones told his audience.
He further noted that poverty has been too long with the Liberian people that we cannot see it anymore because we are so used to it. "We must change this and if we have to move our country forward, you young people must learn the new trick because as the saying goes, ‘you cannot teach an old dog new tricks’, he stated.
He said if Liberians continue to do things the same way, and things are not changing, then Liberians should do things the other way around for prompt transformation and results.
The people of Rivercess County who turned out en mass from all corners of the county lauded Gov. Jones, the CBL and Afriland bank and promised to ensure that the institution remains a viable entity. They especially praised the CBL Governor for initiating the financial institution and extending the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) initiative to their areas.
Prior to the dedication, El-Tumu Trueh, head of microfinance and financial inclusion at the Central Bank of Liberia, said they are excited for the opportunity given them to work with Gov. Jones at the Central Bank where they have been challenged by him to do the right thing for the Liberian people.
Mr. Trueh said he and his deputy were mainly challenged by the Governor to solve the many banking problems faced by the people of Rivercess.
We at CBL believe that every Liberian should have access to banking services in the country, adding, the Governor told them it was not a matter of always identifying the problem but finding the solution to it and that was how the RCFI was built.
According to him, the rural financial institution has two components; to bring banking services to the people, particularly in a county like Rivercess that has been denied banking services for a long period of time.
“So, after being a territory and now a county, when you wake up Monday morning you will have a bank in Rivercess for the first time,” he declared.
He said the bank is one hundred percent owned by the people of Rivercess County, especially for those who buy shares in it.
Earlier, the president and CEO of the Afriland First Bank, Mr. Amadou Bayo told the people of the county that the establishment of the RCFI will solve most of their financial services there.
The Rivercess citizens especially noted that the opening of the RCFI would ease the problem of them having to go to distant areas such as Grand Bassa County or Monrovia to encash their salary checks and to utilize money transfer services such as Money-gram or Western Union.