A cross section of business people converged on the grounds of the Capitol Building Thursday, March 6, to protest the recently amended Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Act.
The protesters called on members of the National Legislature to reconsider their decision.
The amended CBL Act bans the CBL’s Executive Governor and its board of governors and deputies from participating in national politics by declaring they should resign their positions at least three years prior to general elections.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer on Thursdays’ March 6, at the Capitol building, James Moore, who trades in Mobile devices, said the recently amended CBL act passed by the 53rd National Legislature is not in the interest of Liberians, and expressed the hope that they would reconsider their decision for the sake peace.
“Let our lawmakers pass bills that help us, not bills that hurt us,” Moore pleaded.
According to him, the CBL amended bill is not only restricting the bank executives but is meant to target any individual that may be empowering Liberian-owned businesses.
He noted that it was better for lawmakers to look at the Code of Conduct Bill that is currently before them instead of bills that can be described as “witch hunting”.
Moore said no one is talking about passing the Code of Conduct Bill into law, but they see an amendment to the CBL act as the right instrument for the present dispensation.
“The Code of Conduct Bill is right before them. It covers every sector of the government.” he added.
For her part, Gertrude Mulbah, from the Liberia Credit Union National Association (LCUNA), said that CBL’s loan scheme has elevated her from being a farmer to a full-fledged business woman.
According to her, Governor Jones is promoting Liberian business.
She said the CBL governor has ensured that Liberians are empowered equally by giving them loans.
“In my opinion this man is not giving us money because he wants to be president but he is a man with a good heart.”
Reading the protesters petition to journalists on behalf of the business community and civil society groups, Samuel F. McGill, said the legislature is wrong because it cannot make laws that target a single individual or group.
Mr. McGill stressed that the power of the lawmakers was supposed to be the power of the people; and when it is misused— as in this case of the “Anti-J. Mills Jones Bill”— that power falters in comparison to the power of the Liberian people.
According to him, “this bill strongly undermines the financial reform process of the country and the vision 2030; a process meant to make Liberia a middle income country.”