Gov’t to Infuse US$4M in ‘Indigenous MSMEs’

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Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr.

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) is expected to infuse the amount of US$4 million in the economy by giving out loans to over 3000 local (indigenous) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The fund, which was secured from the World Bank, is aimed at beefing up the financial portfolio and entrepreneurial capacity of local business people.

Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah has emphasized the need for Liberians to be key actors in their economy as was said by President George Weah during his inaugural address.

Tweah identified MSMEs as the bedrock to resuscitate the ailing Liberia economy and is designing several national programs to support small business initiatives.

It can be recalled that, the MFDP last week begin a week-long training for MSMEs entrepreneurs who are earmarked to benefit from the loan scheme.

Tweah believes when entrepreneurs are provided with requisite entrepreneurial skills, and guidance they will utilize the funds properly.

He acknowledges that many Liberians are into business but lack the technical know-how to run a business and that is why Liberian owned businesses are not doing well.

The project intends to amalgamate banking institutions, government development partners, and business owners to discuss obstacles and opportunities in helping MSMEs to gain access to domestic financing.

It is projected that the Project benefits will include the stimulation of economic growth, diversification of the economy particularly in rural areas and the creation or sustaining of over 2000 jobs.

The Project will provide Partial Credit Guarantees (PCGs) and lines of credits for on-lending to Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to support MSME sub-loans to eligible MSMEs particularly in agriculture, ago-processing and manufacturing sectors for the carrying out of sub – projects.

Participant James K. Ndebeh, who is the proprietor of James Business Center expressed gratitude to be one of participants of the training.

Mr. Ndebeh operates an agri-business which produces pepper, cabbage and other vegetables; he sometimes travels to Guinea to purchase livestock.

“The continuous capacity building of marketers will help a lot; it is not so much about the money given by government but providing professional mentoring platform for business owners is cardinal to their entrepreneurial journey,” he noted.

Mrs. Gertrude M. Anderson, General Manager at organization for Clean Environment and Neighborhood Services, also expressed her gratefulness to be at the workshop and appreciates the government for such initiative.  Mrs. Anderson runs a waste management business at MACOBENE Community.

19 COMMENTS

  1. A wise person once said, “After order and liberty, economy is one of the highest essentials of a free government. Strong Economy is always a guarantee of peace.”

    After 40 years of living in the United States, my American born wife and I had planned to live out our retirement years in Liberia. Unfortunately, when we recently visited Liberia, we quickly changed our mind and visited some countries in East Africa.

    We visited four countries in East Africa but Tanzania and Rwanda fast growing economies impressed us the most. It is remarkably stunning to see how fast these two countries are developing in terms of security, technologies, cleanliness, employment, infrastructure, education, health care facilities, tourism, and ease of doing business.

    Unfortunately, we prefer to retire around the ocean and Rwanda is a landlocked country. However, Rwanda is a land of beauty with its breath-taking mountains and gigantic lake which are all mesmerizing.

    On the other hand, Tanzania’s capital, Dar-Es Salem is a beautiful city with lots of high rise buildings, beautiful streets, and good public transport system. The Island of Zanzibar is a splendid beauty. Our preference is Tanzania because of the nice ocean view, good public transport, security, friendly people, good health care and beautiful architectures.

    I made reference to these countries because there are countless Liberians who are also willing to return to Liberia and invest their hard-earned money in Liberia but the barriers to doing business in Liberia are too astronomical.

    The city of Monrovia is not safe. Monrovia is too dirty and too congested. There are too many dilapidated buildings: poor city planning, poor sanitation and poor utilities (water and lights) are hampering investments.

    Hustlers are everywhere selling nic nacs (small products) in the streets. Due to lack of employment, many people have resulted to begging for money. School-aged children, who are not old enough to fend for themselves, are all in the streets selling goods instead of being in school.

    It is chaotic trying to drive in Monrovia and its environs. You ride or drive at your own risk in Liberia. It seems there are no traffic rules which lead to countless deaths that are sometimes preventable. The health care facilities are barely functioning. The exchange rate is astronomical compared to the U.S.Dollar.

    How can this government encourage Liberians and foreigners to invest in Liberia when it does not have its economic revitalization programs in order?

    I am surprised why this Government did not see the need to invest the wasted so-called “mopped-up” U.S. $25 million in MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) that had a greater chance of simulating the weak economy than the fiasco: when the US $25 million was supposedly used to intervene in the foreign exchange market for the so-called stability of the exchange rate.

    I guess, Liberia is always waiting for a financial babysitter like the World Bank, or IMF to secure US $4 million to beef up its entrepreneurial capacity.

    Liberia, as long as we don’t produce goods and services, we will never tax or beg our way out of economic hardship.

    It is never too late to learn from Tanzania or Rwanda’s economic success stories!!

      • come home to what? to get screwed? then get poisoned and die like all the other stupid liberian americans that went back to so called paradise. alpha go to rwanda and tanzania because you will get frustrated dealing in liberia with no electricity. poor hospitals, no medicine, crime, corruption, bad governance. begging family members and most of all 4TH POOREST NATION ON EARTH

      • Liberia is truly a shit-hole country. Nothing but a bunch of gangsters running the country. Middle-class Liberians live like prisoners in their homes. You can’t leave your house after dark because it’s too dangerous. And if you had a medical emergency, your chances of surviving is very small to none. Your relatives are also a big risk to your life. If you don’t give them your money, you will become their enemy and they might poison you. It’s not a civilized society anymore and I’m glad diaspora Liberians are realizing it. In fact I know a couple of people who had plans to move to Liberia but have since changed their plans. Smart decision.

  2. this is the best article i have read in years. i am 63 and will retire in 2 ;years. i have decided to retire in the dominican republic or belize. i feel that living in liberia will shorten my lifespan by 10 years. we in the diaspora have made it ;our destiny to not believe in returning to liberia to retire. this is the sentiment of many as we are concerned about the health care, security, electricity, and overall happiness index of Liberia. Many of my friends packed up sold their houses and within two years returned to rebuild their lives after giving up everything for a dream. LIBERIA , DREAM ON BUT DO IT WITHOUT ME

    • Smart decision my man. I believe most Liberians are coming to the same conclusion that retiring to Liberia is not a good option. The country is a complete mess and it will not get better in our lifetime. Enjoy your retirement in peace and tranquility brother.

  3. Here we go-again. Why don’t minister Tweah tell the Liberian People. What positive economic impacts did the already infused U.S $25,000,000 have; on The Liberian Economy?

  4. We must first clean up; if we mean business, especially so, foreign investment. Nobody wants to do business in a “DIRTY ENVIRONMENT”.

  5. ahh yes another opportunity to steal money. when will the west learn not to trust this finance minister. this is what will happen. Tweah will selectively give these loans to his buddies who will give him a kickback.” Hey I can get you $200,000 you give me $30,000. He did it before and by God he will do it again. the World Bank is stupid to hand over money to these thieves again.

  6. I hope you remembered them well. Big boy 1 and Big boy 2
    NOCAL $30millions
    Ministry of Health $13million
    Ebola missing funds;

    Finding government missing cars,
    $25million mop up,
    Alleged $16billions saga….

    …and now another $US4million infusions into rural areas for economic purposes.

    Do not forget, when the iron is hot,that’s when the goldsmith straightens the iron.

  7. Let’s be realistic! The infusion of US 4 million dollars in the Liberian economy by the Weah government is a pretty good idea. The typical Weah critic may dismiss the infusion of four million US bucks in the economy as a joke. Well, let’s put politics aside for a moment. If the US dollar is in circulation more than the Liberian dollar, for sure the Liberian economy will not fall through the cracks. Let’s hope that the four million-infusion is a beginning or a strategic continuation of stabilizing the Liberian economy.

    Also, the four million-dollar infusion, is a good economic strategy especially since it is intended for small business loans in the counties. Never has the poor business men and women who are bonafide Liberians had such an opportunity. For the strangest of silly reasons, foreign investors were given a line of credit than the average Liberian to do business in the counties. Growing up in Maryland county, there were Middle-Eastern business men and women who owned stores in Pleebo and Harper. Never, never, never did a typical Marylander own a store in Maryland county. In the process, all the money that the Marylanders had was sucked by the Middle-Eastern business men.

    By golly, it’s about time we had awakened.

    • Liberians back home are so dishonest and corrupt…even if you give them a billion dollars they will still be poor. Do you remember the $30 million loan program during Ellen’s administration to capitalize small Liberian businesses? These so-called entrepreneurs took that money and as I understand only the Lebanese repaid their loan debt. All Liberian businesses defaulted. There you go…

    • Oh yes!!! It always appears to look good, but on the other hand, it’s another golden opportunity for stealing!! Tweh is a sophisticated and corrupt criminal who’s looking for every means to steal. Most Liberians are suffering from mental illnesses. The 25millions which should have made a tremendous impact was dubiously and criminally diverted for enriching themselves. 25millions did not even attempt to help the economy, what then can the 4millions do?

      The sooner Liberians can wake up from their slumbers, the better it’s going to be for us all, our devastated economy and dystopian state. But until then, the entire country and its economy is on the verge of collapsing perpetually!!!

  8. What’s about Governor Mills Jones who presided over the $30 million United States dollars loan funds?Instead of reserving the $30 million United States dollars intended for Liberian Businesses, he, instead loaned the money to Lebanese businesses for kick-backs. Today he walks around and is unable to account or give a list of the Liberian businesses that benefitted from the $30 million dollars loan that was placed in his care. What a corrupt man!!! The entire country reeks with corruption.

  9. Phil,
    You and thousands of Liberians continue to refer to Middle Eastern business men and women as Lebanese. Do you know if all the Middle Eastern business men and women I referred to in my earlier post were born in Lebanon? Or, do you know whether those very Middle Eastern business men obtained naturalization in Lebanon?

    I do remember the 30 million-dollar deal. That was than and this is now. Phil, you know darn well that the money was not properly managed. There was no official oversight. Let’s look at the 4 million-dollar infusion as a new concept. The hope is that the mistakes that were made in the past will not be repeated this time. But we have to give it a try.

    With regard to the “Lebanese people” or Middle Easterners re-paying their money, well, they shouldn’t have been able to obtain sweetheart loans or any line of credit from the Liberian government. In Maryland county, no jobs were created by those foreigners who sucked our nickels and dimes. Never! Can you get such an opportunity in the Middle East? I am not prejudiced against foreigners.. Our previous government leaders have msde bad decisions. Let’s not go their route.

    Liberians ought to be given an opportunity to do business. Just because it didn’t work out well in the past does not mean we shouldn’t try. Let’s keep trying. Finally, you’ve said in the past that the Liberian economy needs to be fixed. That was a fantastic suggestion. Now what do you think the 4 million dollar infusion by the Weah government is meant to do?

    • F.S. Hney – Generally, I don’t believe Liberia will develop in my lifetime. The folks back home are not serious about governing like people who really care about nation building. The country has very limited resources and most of those resources are blatantly stolen or siphoned off by some means. How can you develop a country if you have this level of corruption taking place from the presidency on down? A year from now, that $4 million will be gone and Liberian businesses will not repay those loans and that will be the end of it. Generally, Liberians don’t like to pay debt and I doubt anything will change from the last time. It’s the same dishonest people.

  10. I totally agree. Dishonesty in Liberia is ingrained in the ranks of the higher-ups. But I am somehow crestfallen to hear you say that you don’t envision the likelihood of human development in Liberia during your lifetime. Don’t be so pessimistic.

    On the other hand, I sometimes wonder about “some” of our people.
    If I were opportuned to advise Tweah, I’d suggest that the National Bank of Liberia should have its facilities in the 15 counties of Liberia. Because the mini banks or facilities of the NB would be the ideal place where:
    1. The borrowed money would be loaned/ dispensed to the borrowers and

    2. The right place where the borrowed money would be paid.

    Of course, there should be monitors whose responsibility would be to check up on the borrowers. It would make no sense for a borrower to traverse from Maryland county to Monrovia in order to pay a 50- dollar debt every month. A sensible monetary checks and balances, if you will.

    Yeah. We’ve ways to go. But, there’s no need to be discouraged or dejected about our country. We ought not give up. Let’s try.

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