Former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and 2017 presidential hopeful, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, said much has been said about progress, but transformation is what is needed in the country and emphasized the importance of guaranteeing the role of Liberians in the social, political and economic development.
Dr. Jones, who spoke at the graduating ceremony of 150 Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) women in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, said there is need to give positions to people with new ways of thinking and doing things that bring about needed changes that will transform lives.
Dr. Jones said, “To have Liberians looking on while major economic activities are taking place without their being significantly impacted is like saying that you own a church, but you have some members of said church standing outside while service is going on.
“Situation like this does not support sustainable peace and development; and much has been said about progress, but transformation is what is needed.”
Progress could be about taking minimum steps ahead, he continued, “but Liberia needs transformation that brings inclusive social and economic development. This country needs a new direction.”
Jones, who is known for initiating programs that economically empowered Liberians, especially rural women, said national government should provide conditions necessary for people to lift themselves out of poverty.
“We say so because we believe it is possible with the rightful leadership, policies and programs that are modelled to address local constraints of ordinary Liberians.
“Can anyone imagine that Liberia was 110 years old when Ghana became independent in 1957? Has it occurred to you how Ghana managed in less than sixty years to reach this level of sophistication and infrastructure development?” he asked.
Dr. Jones told the graduates that all is not lost, that he is convinced that there is still hope for Liberia to be developed, and that the only solution to this unfavourable condition lies in who Liberians support as their leader.
The former CBL boss said he remains committed to empowering Liberians because Liberians cannot continue to rely on other countries for development.
“This has to change,” he said, “adequate provision of basic social necessities of life should top government priorities because the people need good schools, better health care delivery system, and reliable electricity.”
Dr. Jones said Liberians need to support leaders who have demonstrable technical knowhow and have shown example of such leadership; and that if he is supported in 2017 to become president, he is ready and willing to do more for the betterment of Liberians.