Liberia’s Central Bank Governor has underscored the need for strong selfless leadership and bold vision to transform the country’s economy. Dr. Joseph Mills Jones said it is now time for the country to take appropriate measures to rebuild itself and grow an inclusive economy driven by Liberians—-one, he said, that creates opportunity for all Liberians. Dr. Jones made the statement on Monday, December 5 at a farewell dinner hosted in Monrovia in honor of two retiring members of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
Governors Mildred B. Reeves, a former General Manager and Deputy chief executive officer (DCEO) of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) and David K. Vinton, a former National Bank Governor and former president and CEO of LBDI, ended their terms on the CBL Board of Governors last week after completing one and two terms, respectively.
The two experienced outgoing CBL Board of Governors were praised by many including CBL staffers and other Board of Governors for the leadership role they played while on the Board. Dr. Jones, who chairs the Board of Governors of the CBL, also added his commendation to the two officials for playing key roles in the transformation of the CBL.
“Governors Mildred B. Reeves and David K. Vinton are leaders and they proved their leadership capabilities on the Board of the CBL,” said Governor Jones. “Their leadership roles led to the transformation of the CBL to build an inclusive economy.”
The CBL Executive Governor, who emphasized sound leadership across the country, noted there can be no successful transformation without bold vision and bold action “and this is what is needed for the growth of a strong inclusive Liberian economy… Governors Mildred Reeves and David Vinton played transformative leadership role on the CBL Board because they have characters and so they led by example,” said Governor Jones.
According to the CBL boss, Mildred and David were already accomplished people before they came on the CBL Board. “And so it wasn’t difficult working with them because they knew exactly what to do to take the CBL and the economy to another level. This is because they came on the Board already prepared and accomplished,” Jones added.
He insisted that institutions are built by individuals who are already prepared to lead and have the bold vision to succeed.
Governor John G. Bestman, for his part, said he will miss Governors Mildred Reeves and David Vinton. The former Liberian Finance Minister, however, expressed the hope that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will appoint ‘experienced and accomplished’ individuals with strong character and to the task to replace the two retirees.
“It was very wonderful working with Governors Reeves and Vinton,” said Mr. Bestman. “I know that they are not tired even though they have been retired,” Governor Bestman noted.
Mr. Robert Sammy, secretary general of the Motorcyclists Union of Liberia in special remarks, commended the two retired Board of Governors and expressed the hope that President Sirleaf will nominate people who have the ‘common’ people’s interest at heart on the Board of the CBL.
“The outgoing Board of Governors worked in the interest of the common people. They made decisions on the Board that benefitted both the minority and majority groups in the country including the haves and have-nots,” said Mr. Sammy as he bade farewell to Governors Reeves and Vinton.
In brief remarks, LBDI CEO and president of the Liberia Bankers’ Association (LBA) Mr. John B. S. Davies, III lauded the CBL for exhibiting positive results and ensuring the attainment of macroeconomic stability.
“It has been a gratifying experience working with Governor Jones and the retirees,” said Mr. Davies. “The journey isn’t over yet and there are challenges. But with the enhanced and robust risk management practices by the CBL, we shall surmount,” said the LBA president.
Deputy CBL Governor for Economic Policy Mr. Boima S. Kamara and his colleague Deputy Governor for Operations Mr. Charles E. Sirleaf expressed their thanks and appreciation to the retirees for working to support the growth and development of the economy. “We have come to give your flowers while you are still alive,” said Mr. Kamara. “You’ve worked well for your country and people,” added Mr. Sirleaf in separate remarks.
In response, the two retirees thanked President Ellen John Sirleaf for giving them the opportunity to serve on the Board of the CBL.
“Serving on the Board of the CBL was a great honor for me because it gave me the opportunity to work with a very strong team and to make decisions that positively impacted the lives of ordinary Liberians,” said Governor Mildred Reeves, who served a single term on the Board. “We must be flexible to apply our changes in the interest of our people,” she said amidst rounds of applause.
The former LBDI Deputy CEO also lavished praises at the CBL staffers. “They are undeniably the best I have had the opportunity to work with,” she stated.
Governor Vinton, for his part, said he was very pleased to have been a part of the reform process of the CBL. A former National Bank of Liberia Governor, Vinton, who completed two terms on the Board, explained how the current CBL is building the economy with Liberians at the center stage of the process.
“I thank President Sirleaf for giving me this opportunity to serve on the CBL Board. I also want to use this platform to thank the staffers of the CBL to continue to stay safe and stay professional,” Mr. Vinton concluded.
Several dignitaries, public and private, attended the dinner. They include former Interim President and head of the Governance Commission (GC) Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer; former Chief Justice Cllr. Henry Reed Cooper and his wife Dr. Mrs. Nadu Cooper; Ecobank Liberia Managing Director Mr. Kola Adeleke; Liberty Party (LP) political Cllr. Charles Brumskine and Mrs. Brumskine; and Montserrado Senatorial aspirant Mr. Christopher Neyor, amongst others.