Central Bank Executive Governor Dr. Joseph Mills Jones has received commendation for his progressive and dynamic stewardship of the monetary arm of government.
The commendation was made last week by experienced Liberian banker John B. S. Davies, II. Mr. Davies, who is president of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), said the history of the banking industry is being rewritten by Governor Jones whose strong leadership, he observed, has brought significant transformation to the industry in particular and the economy in general.
The LBDI boss spoke recently at the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA) farewell dinner in honor of former Ecobank Liberia Limited Managing Director Mr. Kola Adeleke and Mr. Milton Weeks, head of Secretariat of the LBA.
Mr. Adeleke was appointed Managing Director of Ecobank Liberia in 2010 during which time he instituted strong internal control measures and invested in human resource development. He ended his term in Liberia as MD of Ecobank last Friday.
Mr. Weeks, for his part, served the LBA as head of Secretariat for seven years. The veteran Liberian banker was recently appointed as a member of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
In his welcome remarks opening the honoring ceremony held in Sinkor, Mr. Davies noted that Liberia is no more a pariah state because the country’s monetary system is now in place. He also noted that the country’s payment system is being put in place despite the challenges posed by the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
The LBDI boss was particularly happy that bank CEOs no more look at each other with suspicion noting that LBA has also transcended to a more professional and ethical level where CEOs won’t do business with a borrower that demonstrates unethical conduct.
“We have come to realize that the more we share information the better we make sound decisions and protect our assets as banks,” said the LBDI president.
In brief remarks, CBL Executive Governor Jones thanked Mr. Davies for the commendation. He said the farewell dinner for the two honorees was a celebration of excellence. According to the CBL boss, LBA has performed so well that its managing directors and CEOs must be appreciated and celebrated.
“Yes, there are transformations of the banking sector, but lots more need to be done. We can’t rest on our laurels because there are challenges remaining in our way,” said Governor Jones.
The Dr. Jones asserted that CBL has constructed a financial institution in all 15 counties of Liberia to enhance financial access to a majority of Liberians. “We intend to build these financial institutions in all of our rural communities,” said Dr. Jones.
Touching on the insurance sector, the CBL Executive Governor declared that the Bank will ensure a total reform of the sector and develop a capital market system in the country to enhance access to finance.
Also speaking at the ceremony, one of the honorees Mr. Milton Weeks, said it is always difficult to disengage, especially from an institution such as the Secretariat of LBA, “but there are certain points in time to disengage.”
“Our going on the CBL Board gives us the chance to proffer some of the challenges facing the banking industry,” said Mr. Weeks. “There are lots of challenges ahead and the managing directors are doing a tremendous job.”
For his part, former Ecobank MD Adeleke said he thought that he was coming to Liberia in 2010 to rest after serving in a very difficult terrain in Nigeria. “But with the help of Governor Jones and my LBA colleagues I am leaving the banking industry sound,” he said.