As part of its effort to promote Liberia's investment opportunities, the National Investment Commission (NIC), has entered into an agreement with Liberty Finance, a Liberian micro finance institution.
The Agreement called for the provision of financial opportunities to medium and small investors across the country.
In a chat with journalists recently at his Mamba Point office in Monrovia, NIC Chairman Michael S. Wotorson said his entity wants to place a great deal of focus on Liberian Institutions and businesses.
The exercise, according to Wotorson, is to promote Liberian businesses but also not to discriminate against foreign businesses.
He said, it was important to provide more opportunities for Liberian businesses and institutions to strengthen the country’s financial capacity.
“If you invest in medium and small businesses to expand and stand stronger, you will change economic growth for the better, because you are providing opportunities for many people at a lower level.”
“What I try to do at the NIC is to place a great deal of focus on our interactions with Liberian institutions and businesses, not that I want to discriminate against foreign businesses. I think it is extremely important that we provide more financial spaces for Liberian institutions,” he added.
At NIC, Mr. Wotorson said, there is something his administration formulated called the ‘special investment incentives.’ “This package is a basic idea that when a business comes to us, and before we even look at the owner’s application, we require you to go out and enter into a relationship with a technical vocational Educational institution, like the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center (LOIC) or the Monrovia Vocation Training Center (MVTC), and establish an agreement with them.”
Thereafter, he said, the NIC had requested foreign investors to hire certain number of graduates from these training centers and subsequently promote those graduates to leadership and managerial positions in a way that will be monitored and quantified.
“So we actually tell you that within a certain period of time that we want to see [certain] number of people you took from LOIC placed in these kind of positions, and we don’t let you agree verbally but we allow you sign an agreement with LOIC or MVTC and bring that agreement to us,” he indicated.
He said the NIC also wants foreign investors set up agreements with businesses that are majority (at least 51%) owned by Liberians, to procure as many of their needed items as possible.
“Lastly, we will require you to sign an agreement with us that says everything we require you to do, you will agree to do it. Once we have done all of those things, we will now look at your application and evaluate it and determine whether or not you are eligible and you receive a special investment incentive, the NIC Chairman said.