The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Dr. J. Mills Jones says the institution has succeeded in getting one hundred percent payment of loans given to Micro-finance institution, Village Saving Clubs and Credit Unions.
Dr. Jones said the result of the exercise is encouraging to the extent; the CBL is willing to extend the process to those who have not benefited.
The CBL Executive Governor made the statement on Monday when the CBL extended its micro-finance, village saving and credit union activities to three counties, including Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties at a program in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.
Governor Jones, flanked by members of the CBL Board of Governors and officials of the three counties said, “We are here to empower Liberians and to have an opportunity that would make our people have access to finance. Our intension is not to empower certain group of business people but to empower all of our indigenous business people by ensuring that they have access to credit or finance.”
“We are especially encouraged by the payment records. Many times we have people talking that we are risking the country’s resources. We are not risking the resources because the record is encouraging so far. From the micro-finance institutions and the credit unions, as well as the village saving initiative, our people are paying back,” Dr. Jones disclosed.
Governor Jones said the Bank will continue to appeal to those who are benefiting to repay their loans since this is the only way that the exercise could be extended to others who have not benefited from the program.
“We are asking those of you who are benefiting today, not to let us down by paying on what you would receive and this will enable us to do more for you” Dr. Jones said.
Dr. Jones warned the beneficiaries that these are not free resources and as such those who are benefiting should be able to repay. He said the Bank is encouraged due to the level of payment during the two quarters since the exercise started.
The CBL Boss said as part of the Bank’s effort to empower Liberians in the rural areas of the country, the Bank’s Board of Governors has agreed to establish rural finance institutions that would be owned by people in the various rural communities.
Dr. Jones said Liberia’s Commercial Banks, that have experience in doing this kind of job will lead the process, while the rural beneficiaries will select their own people to set it up in the communities for people residing in these communities to buy share .
He said no one person will dominate it, as Western Union or any money transfer would also be involved in the process, where the institution will take in savings and take up things and ensure that the people benefit from the profits.
Dr. Jones said as a pilot project, the CBL will start with six of such institutions and the commercial Bank that is responsible has already visited four counties and the result from these counties is encouraging.
He expressed hope that the local people will now begin to work with the leaders to resolve the issue of land for the construction of these institutions.
Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson lauded the CBL, especially its Executive Governor Dr. Mills Jones and his team for reaching out to help Liberians. He said if the Central Bank had taken this initiative in the past the country would have improved greatly. He acknowledged that he is a beneficiary of the CBL Agriculture scheme.
At the program, L$38m was given out to 102 institutions including credit unions and village saving Clubs from Gbarpolu, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties.