The Inquirer (Monrovia)

29 October 2012

Liberia: CBL Governor Rubbishes Media Claims

Photo: allAfrica.com
A man sells used clothes.

The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia(CBL) Dr Joseph Mills Jones has rubbished media reports prominent among which is allegation that he bought a bullet-proof vehicle valued at US$150,000 from the United States of America.

Speaking last Friday at a jammed packed honoring Program for his stewardship organized by the Citizens Solidarity Council (CSC) in the Township of Gardnersville, Governor Jones said newspapers' publication that he bought a Mercedes Benz from the United States at the cost of US$150,000 is false and misleading.

Dr. Jones said it is a lie that whenever he travels, he takes along US$19,000 and other benefits.

On hacking into someone's email, Governor Jones said it is not true that he hacked into someone's email, adding, "What do I know about hacking into someone's email?" Dr. Jones said for some newspapers to suggest that he is misusing the resources of the CBL is a sign of a weak mind that can not distinguish facts from fiction.

Dr. Jones quizzed his audience as to how the CBL has got its financial strength that it has today if it resources were being mismanaged by his administration. He recounted that several months ago, his administration launched a US$5m credit package through the banking system for Liberian entrepreneurs which benefited about 59 businesses.

He also disclosed that he recently announced that an additional US$5m package is being put together for Liberian businesses through the Liberia Business Association and his administration at the CBL has agreed to make resources available for lending to the agricultural sector.

He said after doing all of this, the CBL is still proud to be around a reserve of a little over US$300m and strongly refuted reports that he is dishing out money to members of the public for personal ambition noting that his quest is to make Liberians become meaningful and strong participants in their economy.

He also said what the CBL has been doing also extends to the Government of Liberia (GOL) because sometime ago the bank made available some resources to the GOL in the tune of US$40m for developmental projects in the interest of the economy which is the role of Central Bank all around the world in bringing about economic transformation and boost.

He said earlier, "If the charge is that I believe in the economic transformation of Liberia and that it should come sooner than later, I plead guilty. If the charge is that I believe that Liberians have the right to be meaningful participants in the transformation of the Liberian Economy, I plead guilty."

"If the charge is that we have brought the CBL to the point where it is more capable of managing the Liberian economy, something which it is mandated to do, I plead guilty. If the charge is that I have been working hard to strengthen the banking system something which is crucial to economic growth, development and stability of the economy, I plead guilty," Dr Jones stressed.

He noted that his administration at the CBL has been able to introduce policies that made credit more available to Liberian businesses on reasonable terms and the bank is helping to make small loans available to women in villages throughout Liberia.

The CBL in recent time has also been in the business of helping to build credit unions in different parts of the country and is working to maintain the value of the Liberian dollar. "I plead guilty to opening foreign exchange option to the Liberia marketing Association and women doing cross border trade and traders at the water-side," he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Solidarity Council, James Brooks, lauded the CBL Governor and his staff for bringing about reform and serious transformation in the management of the country's economy.

He said it is only fair to give someone their flowers for their hard and honesty instead castigating them, something which he said is unpatriotic.

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