The Central Bank of Liberia has once again taken a major step to enhance its financially inclusive program across the country. The latest move by the Bank is the construction and dedication of credit union banks in Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties, in the southeast of Liberia.
The two counties are among the poorest in Liberia, making access to bank loans extremely difficult. If made available, interest rates on bank loans in these counties could be very high.
CBL officials, led by Executive Governor J. Mills Jones, drove to the region last weekend to open the two banks, which would be used by registered credit unions and village savings and loan associations to facilitate access to finances for businesses and residents in that part of the country.
The idea of this financial inclusion scheme emanated from Dr. Jones, who believes that unless the Liberian people can have access to the national cake and poverty is reduced, the economy will not be where it ought to be, and the suffering of the people would continue.
The Board of Governors of the CBL, comprised of former Finance Ministers, former National Bank governors and commercial bank executives, have endorsed this idea, which is making a strong impact in the lives of ordinary Liberians in the countries rural areas.
Thousands of citizens, including business owners, government officials, elders, and youth and student groups, lined up along the roadsides in Grand Gedeh, Rivergee, Grand Kru and Maryland counties to show their support to CBL officials as they visited their counties.
Governor Jones’ trip to the Southeast was based on an invitation from citizens and officials of these counties, including Maryland County District #3 Rep. Isaac Roland, a man who is desperate to see the people of Maryland County rise from poverty.
Mr. Harold K. Chea, head of the Unity Savings Credit Union in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, was also on hand to receive Dr. Jones and his delegation.
Chea told reporters that he is proud to welcome and honor Dr. Mills Jones for his “unprecedented, invaluable, committed and dedicated service toward the empowerment of Liberians through the practical demonstration of his indigenous approach to building the Liberian economy.”
Mr. Chea noted that the people of Grand Gedeh were overwhelmed by the financial and technical support they have received from the CBL through its unprecedented loan initiative under the leadership of Dr. Mills Jones.
“Studies of performance for Liberian businesses after you took over as Governor of the CBL up to present reveal significant transformations in contrast to the past,” he said.
“Liberian businesspeople have seen a new day. Access to finance is no longer a major issue; acquisition of skills and knowledge through capacity building is a milestone achievement that is accelerating the growth and expansion of Liberian owned businesses. We must commend you significantly for that," Governor Jones,” lauded Mr. Chea.
Rep. Isaac Roland was among several Liberians who praised the CBL Executive Governor for his loan initiative “that is helping our people significantly”.
In response, Dr. Jones expressed his gratitude to the people of Maryland, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Grand Kru Counties for appreciating the work of the CBL. The CBL boss reiterated: “no one, irrespective of his/her geographic location, should see poverty as their destiny or as a badge of honor.”
The CBL boss assured rural dwellers that the Bank remains committed to working with the Board of Governors, management and staff for the sustainable transformation of the Liberian economy.