The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Milton A. Weeks, has described the media as a critical partner in national development and pledged an open relationship with them. He said the CBL will operate on principles of transparency and fairness.
In an informal discussion with journalists in Monrovia on Wednesday, September 28, Governor Weeks offered to help support training opportunities for journalists covering the banking sector to broaden their knowledge to report effectively on the sector.
Governor Weeks said he assumed his role at the CBL when the Liberian economy was undergoing difficult times owing to the effects of the global economic downturn, which greatly affected the country’s export capacity.
“We are facing difficult times; the outlook is not that good. It will not be an easy ride going forth,” the CBL Governor cautioned. He said the CBL, along with other stakeholders, are taking all measures to address the situation, adding, “If we can’t jumpstart the economy, we will be facing relatively tough times.”
Governor Weeks informed the journalists that his administration has set up an ambitious strategic direction/plan for the next three years to improve the bank’s overall performance and expand its capacity.
The major pillars of the strategy, he indicated, include a reform of the Central Bank of Liberia, a reform of the financial system, and the promotion of financial inclusion.
Commenting on the new denomination of banknotes to be soon introduced to the public, the Central Bank Governor said the printing of the new banknotes was necessary to replace the high volume of mutilated notes in the system.
Governor Weeks said as soon as there is adequate public awareness, the new bank notes would be released to the public.
Regarding the micro-loan scheme previously undertaken by the CBL, Governor Weeks disclosed that the bank is reviewing the policy, after which a decision would be made by the bank’s Board of Governors regarding its implementation.
In another development, Weeks pointed out that payment on loans have improved lately in spite of the slowdown due to the Ebola epidemic.
The journalists at the meeting welcomed Wednesday’s informal interaction and commended the CBL Governor for the initiative. They urged Governor Weeks to continue such engagements to help bridge the communication gap between the CBL and the media.
The meeting was also attended by CBL’s Deputy Governor for Economic Policy, Dr. Mounir Siaplay; the Director for Research, Policy & Planning, Mr. Jefferson S. N. Kambo; the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Governor, Sylvester K. Thomas; as well as the CBL’s Director of Public Affairs, Cyrus Badio.