Central Bank of Liberia’s (CBL) Executive Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones has disclosed that the CBL’s US$10 million mortgage scheme placement with the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) is generating good results. According to Dr. Jones, 89 households have already benefitted from the mortgage program with LBDI. In his keynote address at the Liberia Bankers’ Association (LBA) Dinner in commemoration of this year’s Bankers’ Week held over the weekend, Dr. Jones observed that most of the beneficiaries of the scheme are those targeted under the program.
“This scheme,” he said “targets low income earners so that they (low income earners) can become homeowners.”
In order to qualify for the LBDI mortgage loan, one’s monthly income must be no less than US$200.00.
The person must also be in the position to make available not less than 30% of the total cost of the house he/she wants to build, that includes the cost of the land and whatever materials that person would want to use to build the house, amongst others, the mortgage team at LBDI have said.
According to LBDI authorities, the scheme is a long term program that has a repayment period ranging from five to 10 years.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, Liberia needs about US$100 million to revamp its housing sector.
Many Liberians have welcomed the CBL’s decision to take the bold step to invest US$10 million in the sector particularly at a time when global economic outlook continues to highlight grim prospects.
The CBL boss reminded the gathering that Liberians must lead the development process of their country.
Meanwhile, Governor Jones has announced that the CBL’s agriculture financing initiative is on course.
According to Dr. Jones, 60 farms from 11 counties have benefitted, with about 2,000 workers. The CBL, it may be recalled made available over US$7.5 million to the agriculture.
The CBL agriculture support scheme is being implemented by Afriland Bank. Earlier 2013, the CBL made available US$5 million placement with three banks to enhance medium-term credit to members of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), headed Mr. Dee-Maxwell Kemayah.
According to the CBL Executive Governor, 65 businesses have benefitted in eight counties. Dr. Jones, however, noted that the CBL is not satisfied with the pace at which this placement is going.
“We are not satisfied with the pace at which the program is going. But we want to let the county coordinators of LIBA know that we have received assurances from the commercial banks involved that, in particular, the major one involved in the program, that the outstanding issues will be resolved within 60 days,” he said.
Jones announced that the banks will meet with LIBA’s executives over the next few days to agree on a timetable for visiting the counties together to fast track the process that would lead to disbursement. “They know that we expect results,” he stated amid applause from the audience.