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The Central Bank of Liberia through Governor, Dr. Mills Jones, continues to touch the lives of many Liberian groups as evidenced by more than L$60m awarded in loans to five counties in Liberia.
At the official launch of CBL’s Loan Extension and Availability Facility (LEAF) program held last Friday at the Golden Gate Hotel in Paynesville, Governor Mills Jones said the loan is intended to positively impact the lives of people in the small business sector.
“The idea of the Central Bank of Liberia in reaching out is geared towards having a positive effect on Liberians with small businesses and those who need small loans to help make ends meet,” he noted.
He said these individuals comprise a significant segment of our society, adding: “sometimes they are the faceless, voiceless and the underserved who need help most”.
Dr. Misss Jones: “We are here today, not only to say that we see you, we hear you…but we are committed in helping you to help yourselves. For me, this is the joy of public service.”
The CBL governor noted that coming to public life is not a matter of looking for job but serving people significantly.
“We are here to serve and to make a difference. We at CBL will continue to touch the lives of our people through such help. For this we want to thank President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her government for supporting us in our endeavors,” he said.
Representative from microfinance institutions, Village Saving and Loan Association and Credit Union from five counties—Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Margibi—benefited the L$60m loan.
The CBL governor revealed that subsequent regional programs would be held for other beneficiaries in Grand Bassa, Sinoe and River Cess counties before the end of May.
That program will be held in Greenville, Sinoe County. Another program to be held in Zwedru will cover Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee counties, while the last launch in Gbarnga will cover Bong, Lofa and Nimba.
Dr. Mill Jones warned: “Let me make an important point at this juncture. We expect loan recipients under this program to pay back. This is not what you call free government money. The money is coming from the reserve of the Central Bank”.
“And it is different from the fund held by the CBL in the revenue account of the government. Resources in the revenue account are disbursed by CBL strictly on the authority of the Ministry of Finance.”
“What we have here from CBL belongs to CBL and it is from our reserves. So we asked you to pay back because that will enable us maintain and strengthen the reserves of the Central Bank of Liberia, which will help us keep the economy going on a study path. We count on you to do the right thing.”
“On the question of financial accountability,” Dr. Mill Jones said, “let me point that why we asking people to pay back because the CBL is also subject external audit.”
Also attending the occasion were several business executives, junior governors of CBL and chairman of House Standing Committee on Banking and Currency, Rep. Julius Berrian.