“An empowered and vigorous Liberian Private sector will be our second declaration of Independence. In addition to the flag and the national anthem we will then be on the road to freedom from claws of poverty,” Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Executive Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones has said.
Governor Jones said he believes that Liberians must come to a national consensus that building a Liberian middle class based on a vibrant private sector, with Liberians playing a meaningful role, is a national priority.
“Then we need a holistic plan of action to be implemented by people who believe that the economic empowerment of Liberians is an idea whose time is long overdue; people who will not speak out of both sides of their mouths, pretending to be for change while using subterfuge to fight the agents of change,” Governor Jones said.
The CBL Executive Governor who was delivering the keynoted address at the Second Anniversary of the National Toiletries Incorporated said Liberia has already lost the 20th century thus well-meaning Liberians cannot sit back for the country to lose this century, adding, “So it is time to say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done.”
“We have chosen to frame the discussion in this way because in the process of nation-building, leadership matters. How can you have a meaningful discussion about macroeconomic stability arid sustained economic growth without looking at the sources of policies that determine these conditions?” Governor Jones wondered.
Dr. Jones said, “Policies don’t drop from the sky. They come from people; their thinking, their competence, their commitment and how they relate to the fellow citizens. Leadership must believe in something good, must believe in the people, have a caring heart and must have the courage to act on the basis of conviction for the greater good.”
Governor Jones argued that economic empowerment of Liberian entrepreneurs is key to macroeconomic stability and stressed that policy makers must believe this to be the case because when the going gets tough, as with the Ebola situation just experienced, Liberian entrepreneurs will not leave.
Governor Jones argued that the restructuring of Liberia’s economy is key to macroeconomic stability, including increasing productivity in the agricultural sector and adding value to the country’s primary commodities.
Dr. Jones asked, “Are we not tired of hearing about the fall in the price of iron ore and rubber? The lesson of experience is that an economy built on the present enclave export model is highly susceptible to shocks. In the circumstances, should we be simply planning for shocks by overemphasizing reserves accumulation or should there be instead a more balanced approach aiming to prevent shocks?”
He indicated that the argument can be made that some of such resources should be used as part of a plan of prevention, saying, “It is said that prevention is better than cure.”
Earlier Dr. Jones lauded the owner of the National Toiletries Incorporated Mr. Fomba Trawally , saying “FombaTrawally’s story is evidence that Liberia is still a land of possibilities. And that is what we celebrate here today.”
Governor Jones said the Trawally story is nothing short of being an inspiration to all, saying, “Liberians who are in business or want to go into business can be changed by this story.”
At the celebration ceremony it was disclosed that the company is extending its facilities to be able to better cover the scope of the local market, and that the National Toiletries Incorporated has started exporting its goods to the United States of America.