“Let us use the country’s resources wisely and tackle the problem of under-development by doing for ourselves what others cannot do for us.”
Those were the words of Central Bank of Liberia Executive Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones as he recently addressed students at the Nimba County Community College’s first Matriculation Program in Sanniqellie.
Dr. Jones said Liberia is at a crossroads and it’s high time that Liberians take decisive actions to tackle the problem of under-development and economic stagnation.
Governor Jones told the students that transformation, especially economic transformation, does not come from despair but from a determined people.
He cautioned the students and all Liberians to make economic transformation the order of the day for Liberia to move forward.
Dr Jones noted that countries that have done more in terms of economic, human and infrastructure transformations are those that are thinking outside the box.
“Yes we must encourage foreign investors but the development of the local entrepreneurship should seriously be encouraged,” he added.
Jones, whose administration at the CBL has led to the transformation of Liberia’s banking sector, reiterated that those in authority must play a pivotal role in uplifting the downtrodden, adding, “That is why we have made economic inclusion a cardinal part of our administration at the CBL.”
Since his ascendancy to the CBL’s top post, Dr Jones has instituted several reforms, including the revival of the credit unions, the opening of several rural financial institutions as well as the utilization and empowerment of village savings and loan associations throughout the country.
“We must see the need to lift our people out of poverty and stop the too much talking because talking is cheap, and promises are even cheaper,” he said.
The Bank Governor told the students that it is good for one to do something that can impress the people instead of making promises. He said if the people know what the individuals have done they can give such persons the chance to lead.
Dr. Jones said successful nations do not live on talk or promises but actually do what is to be done for the uplifting of their people, adding, “It is time for action and not time for fancy reports or seminars that don’t not lead to human development.”
He also observed that at times those who pass the conventional test can also fail the wisdom test, with a caution to the students to be somebody who can contribute meaningfully to national development.
He cautioned students to “be someone,” saying, “If you must move forward, see yourself as a Liberian first. Do not have room for tribalism and sectionalism.”
Dr. Jones further encouraged the students to “preach the message of unity, one people, one nation and above all the message of hope.”
The Central Bank Governor said since college education is about excellence, the students must be committed to hard work and discipline, which will automatically be equal to success.
“I urge you to be nationalists if you are to move Liberia forward. Do not focus on bringing down those who are succeeding or we will all remain at the bottom of the bucket. Study hard, work hard and a good future lies ahead of you,” Dr. Jones stressed.
Earlier, the President of the NCCC, Dr. Yar Donlah Gionway-Gono, welcomed Dr. Jones and his entourage to the campus of the NCCC, noting that since the college was established it has been making some positive strides.