Amidst numerous criticisms about the Central Bank of Liberia’s economic inclusion program which extends rural banking services to all parts of the country, Executive Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones, has described those in opposition of the program as “enemies of progress.”
Speaking at a well-attended ceremony marking the opening of rural financial institutions in Zorlayea, Zorzor and Kolahun, all in Lofa County, Governor Jones said there are many Liberians in authority that could help government improve the lives of others, “but they are not doing it and just criticize people who have tried to do so.”
“Liberia is a land of possibility — not negatively, but positively. We don’t have to wait for people to do things for us, it is now time for us to stand up to do something on our own,” he added.
“Business as usual has gotten us nowhere, and it is now time for us to do things differently to improve the lives of our people. We need to work above the poverty standard.”
Dr. Jones said Liberians need to stand up and do away with the dependency syndrome, because Liberia can’t continue asking for assistance.
The CBL Executive then expressed gratitude to the people of Lofa County for acknowledging the intervention of the government of Liberia, adding that, “No one, irrespective of geographic location, should perceive poverty as a way of life.”
He also assured rural dwellers that the CBL will remain committed to working with the Board of Governors, management and staff of the bank for the sustainable transformation of the country’s economy.
“We are trying to make a difference and that’s what public service is all about, to improve the lives of the people that we serve,’’ he added.
Also speaking, Mr. Francis Morgan, who spoke for Mr. Hamadu Bayo, Chief Executive Officer of Afriland First Bank, encouraged the citizens of Lofa to see the bank as their own.
“It is your children that will be working here. We are not going to take anyone outside of this county to work in the bank. You need to go to the bank for loans. You have to be a shareholder in it,” he said.
He said the bank will be providing other services in the county, including money transfers, which will require the presence of MoneyGram and Western Union.
He assured the people that government employees will no longer have to come to Gbarnga (Bong County) to receive their pay, but will receive it “right here in this bank.”
For her part, the County Development Superintendent, Madam Yougar Mulbah lauded Governor Jones for his immense contribution to the economic transformation of Liberia, evidenced by the fact that he is encouraging the economic inclusion of all by extending rural banking services to all parts of the country.
Lofa County newly elected Senator, Steven Zagor, urged his kinsmen to see the bank as an opportunity for investment, “through the ownership of shares.”
Senator Zagor challenged citizens of the county to take advantage of the opportunity provided them by the Government of Liberia, by purchasing shares in their new financial institution, and make it their own.
He told the gathering that the people of Lofa perceive the bank as a “dream” becoming a reality and the end of many inconveniences endured, especially the time when a teacher went for his pay in Voinjama and was told that the system was down.
“We are happy today for the bank because development is key for every county, and Lofa is no exception. We are happy today because the bank will serve as a new turning point for the people of Lofa County,” he added.
Currently, Zorzor, Voinjama, Kolahun, Foya, River Gee, Rivercess, Sinoe, Bomi, and Barclayville are among many cities now benefiting from this initiative.