The Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, has urged the government to consider the need to include private sector in order to enhance economic growth and development in the country.
Governor Jones made the recommendation at the Induction dinner of the Liberian Business Association (LIBA), where officers-elect were inducted into office for the second time to stir the affairs of the organization for the next four years.
The ceremony was held last Saturday, at the Paynesville City Hall.
“The challenge of the future is inclusive economic growth, which is credited upon a sound economic management of any country,” Dr. Jones declared.
He pointed out that helping the Liberian sector to grow is a good idea for families, youth and others for economic empowerment across the nation.
“The people need a helping hand and we must give them it,” he said emphatically.
Governor Jones, who served as keynote speaker at the induction ceremony, said the absence of economic empowerment of the citizens would also lead them into the valley of poverty.
“So economic empowerment is not just about dollars and cents but we should see it as a critical need that would bring us together as one people,” the CBL Governor added.
Hope, he continued, is absent when trust becomes a scarce commodity. Without trust, it will be difficult to have peace in the context of functioning democracy for its people.
Based on that, Governor Jones promised the business community that the CBL would remain supportive of the Liberian economy, adding that the destiny of any nation rests on the shoulders of the people.
Liberia needs to be part of the global economic growth and in so doing, we must create better opportunities for market women.
At the same time, Governor Jones noted that Liberians need to have access to credit with a reasonable loan scheme.
For his part, Mr. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., president of LIBA, lauded the CBL and the business community for the support given him during his first tenure.
Mr. Kemayah told the gathering that the organization would remain committed to ensuring that they are decentralized in the fifteen counties.
He said LIBA’s decentralization policy has helped him to achieve a lot in bringing on board local businesses to form part of the decision making of the economy.
Giving update of the decentralization policy, Mr. Kemayah said LIBA now has 490 members nationwide.
However, the LIBA president told members he would continue the struggle to ensure that all Liberian Businesses become part of the association.
Meanwhile, the publisher and managing director of the Liberian Observer Corporation (LOC), Kenneth Y. Best, speaking on behalf of all the certificated companies now LIBA members, expressed gratitude to the Association for certificating hundreds of Liberian businesses, including the LOC.
Mr. Best also commended CBL Governor Jones and the CBL Board of Directors for empowering Liberians across the country.
“It is about time,” Mr. Best continued, that Liberian are empowered to succeed in the business sector of Liberia.
He noted that Liberian need people like Dr. Jones who can push Liberians into business. For too long Liberian commerce has been dominated by foreigners. This is the chief reason why Liberians have remained poor and powerless in they own country.
This must stop! Otherwise those responsible for continuing this retrogressive and unfortunate state of affairs are sowing the seeds of another war, which we cannot afford and must not have.
Liberia is on the forward march, but this march will continue only if Liberians play the leading role in their economy, the Observer publisher declared. He urged LIBA members and Liberian businesspeople in general to engage in the grocery business and enter the wholesale market, too.
Then, looking around the Paynesville City Hall, Mr. Best asked, “Where is the Commerce Ministry?” He observed angrily, “We see neither the Minister of Commerce nor any representative of that critical Ministry at this important gathering of Liberian business people. The publisher then asked, “Whom are the Ministry of Commerce people representing and whose interests are they serving—the foreign businesspeople?”
Dr. Charles Clarke, founding president of the Liberian Business Association, told the audience that in the early 1990s he had a vision that there was need to bring Liberian businesspeople together to enhance their empowerment as stakeholders in the Liberian business sector.
He lauded Central Bank Governer for having effectively embraced LIBA and spurred it on and assisted in ensuring that it ceases to be a Monrovia-centered organization and become a nationwide body, represented in all 15 counties.
The Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Her Honor Sia A. Nyene G. Yuoh served as the Induction Officer.
Among those present at the occasion were Gender and Development Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, Liberian Peace Ambassador George Oppong Weah, National Investment Commission Chairman Michael Wortoson, National Port Authority Managing Director Matilda Parker, United States Ambassador Deborah A. Malac, the Ivorian, Cameroon and Ghanaian Ambassadors, representatives of the Chinese Embassy, Chamber of Commerce president and Mrs. Francis A. Dennis, CBL Board Chair John Bestman, former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Eugene Shannon, National Toiletry and Napkins Manufacturer Fomba Trawally and former Liberian Ambassador to London, Wesley Johnson.
Representatives of LIBA branches throughout the country were also fully in attendance.