The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. J. Mills Jones, has been hailed by the people in Western Liberia as their “Poverty Doctor.”
Enthusiastically welcoming him to Bomi County last Saturday, market women, here-now boys, students, Federation of Road Transport Union members, motorcyclists and carpenters from Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Bomi and Montserrado counties urged Governor Jones not to be deterred by criticisms. He should rather “continue to focus on what you are doing for us in this country.”
The credit union community lauded the CBL boss and his staff for the enormous support given to them in the reactivation of credit union activities throughout the country, following a breakdown as a result of the Liberian civil crisis.
The union specifically praised Governor Jones for his support in the re-opening of its branches in the four regions of the country, the latest being Region One in Bomi, serving the western region.
Meanwhile, the business community in the western region has assured Governor Jones of their full support to manage and maintain the financial transactions.
According to them, Dr. Jones’ economic and financial empowerment has helped them to realize their true status as citizens of Liberia.
“We want to say thanked you, Poverty Doctor and urge you never to be deterred by the number of criticisms, but just continue to focus on what you are doing for us in this country,” they urged the CBL Governor.
Responding, Dr. Jones acknowledged that there continued to be criticisms related to his financial inclusion and economic empowerment drive for ordinary citizens. But, he insisted, “I will remain committed to the process.”
The CBL Governor made the assertion last Saturday when he dedicated Region One Multi-National Credit Union in Tubmanburg, Bomi County. This Region One is designed to serve ordinary Liberians, especially small businesspeople, from the four counties—Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Bomi and Montserrado. Region One will serve as a Credit Union center where the small people from these counties will have access to loans that they will use to operate and expand their businesses and repay to the Region One Credit Union Office so that others may be able to borrow as well.
The dedicatory program was attended by officials of the CBL and members of the Liberia Credit Union National Association (LCUNA) as well as market women, motorcyclists, carpentry union members and students.
The Governor told the crowd that he is open to objective criticisms, but not those that are baseless and not in the interest of the ordinary citizens.
He affirmed that his administration will continue to support the financial inclusion program which has led to the establishment of numerous rural financial institutions throughout the country.
Bomi, he said, was the last stop where an assessment was made for the establishment of a rural financial institution. He then expressed happiness that credit union facilities had been extended to residents of the four counties in western Liberia.
He was gratified that much had been achieved through the financial empowerment initiative, but stressed that more needs to be done until all Liberians are economically empowered.
The CBL Governor said the drive to alleviate poverty in the country should be the business of all well-meaning Liberians, not only officials of the CBL.
“This effort should be that of unity which requires the collective effort of all,” he declared. He added, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Executive Governor of the CBL to which I am committed.” He insisted that as long as he is serving in that position, he feels compelled to reach out to the poor and powerless in the country, to help lift them out of the poverty that has afflicted them for generations.
For his financial empowerment initiative, Governor Jones is being nick-named, “Poverty Doctor” or “Friend of the Poor.”
The Governor said he firmly believes that poverty is not the destiny of Liberians; therefore, he wants all to begin the process of doing something positive to change the course of the country’s economic history.
The CBL boss further maintained that he will continue to work with various actors in the country for the enhancement of economic activities, starting from the micro finance level.
He then called on Liberians to unite in their drive to gain economic relevance and alleviate poverty, saying, “We should do away with tribalism, because such vices have no place in modern day Liberia.”