The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. J. Mills Jones, has told his critics that he is not wasting Liberian government money by empowering Liberians in the informal business sector to improve their lives.
On a three-day tour to the south eastern counties of Sinoe and Grand Gedeh, stopping first in Greenville City where he dedicated CBL’s fourth rural financial institution, he said the quest for financial inclusion of every Liberian bank under his stewardship is to provide loans to empower Liberian businesses.
Speaking to hundreds at separate meetings in the two counties, the CBL boss denied claims that he is wasting government resources on Liberians, adding, “The money belongs to the citizens and therefore they need to get access to it.”
He told them that for too long Liberians have been poor and it is about time that something is done about it. “We must do something for ourselves and get out of the valley of poverty and this can only be done through hard work,” Gov. Jones told his audiences.
Poverty has been the plight of a majority of Liberians for so long 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 tricks because as the saying goes, ‘you cannot teach old dog new tricks.”
Gov. Jones 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.
Some Liberians are claiming that he is wasting the Liberian people’s money by giving out micro loans to empower Liberians. “Whose money am I wasting? The Liberian people own the money and building a strong private sector is not a waste of money,” asserted Gov. Jones.
There is a need for Liberians in other parts of the country to have access to small money to build their lives and Monrovia is not Liberia, he said, adding, Liberians have to change the way they do things.
He insisted that counties cannot develop without the involvement of every citizen and called on Liberians to put their differences aside and contribute their quota to the development of their counties.
In a statement read on behalf of the group, Friends of J. Mills Jones, Secretary General Jerry Barshell called on Gov. Jones to continue the micro-loan scheme because poor parents who could not afford to pay their children's school fees can now do so through the micro-loan scheme.
Responding, Governor Jones thanked the citizens for turning out to welcome him and his entourage and urged those who are benefiting from the micro-loans to pay back the loans on time.
Commenting on the Central Bank’s micro-loan scheme, he said that the idea is to help Liberians get out of poverty. “You say in your motto, ‘Where we go you shall go with us,’ but let me say that we are moving to fight poverty and provide economic empowerment for our people,” said Governor Jones amid thunderous applause.
Governor Jones’ trip to Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County was based on an invitation from Friends of Dr. J. Mills Jones (FJMJ) organized under the motto “Where You Go, We Shall Go With You.”
While in Zwedru, residents pleaded with him and the CBL staff to establish another bank under the micro-loan scheme in the county to enhance their banking services.