The Inquirer (Monrovia)

8 January 2013

Liberia: CBL Gives U.S.$Five Million to Liberian Businesses

What appeared to be a boost to Liberian Entrepreneurship was witnessed yesterday when the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) launched a US$5m Loan Package for use by members of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA). Speaking at the official launching ceremony held at the Monrovia City Hall, CBL Executive Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones said the bank is keen on developing and improving the capacity of Liberian Entrepreneurs in a way that they will become key players in the country's economy.

Dr. Jones said the CBL acknowledges the important role played by the Liberia Business Association (LIBA) noting that the organization's leadership from time to time continues to engage the Central Bank.

Governor Jones who also acknowledges the hard work of LIBA's President Dee Maxwell Kemayah and the organization's Secretary General stressed that a collaborative effort between the public and private sector is key to economic viability of any country.

Dr. Jones noted that the CBL family believes that access to credit is pivotal to the growth of the private sector something which is a motivating factor for the Central Bank to initiate numerous credit schemes ranging from the Mortgage, Agriculture as well as Microfinance loans which the CBL had spread throughout the country.

Announcing the US$5m loan scheme for the LIBA, Governor Jones who was flanked by the CBL's Board of Governors said interest on the said amount should not exceed seven percent. He further disclosed that the loan scheme will be administered by three banks namely Ecobank, International Bank and First International Bank.

The CBL Executive Governor also disclosed that the US$5m earmarked for the loan scheme is coming from the Central Bank's resources. Dr. Jones used the occasion to ask members of LIBA to be united and use the opportunity at hand to strengthen their organization and continuously network.

Dr. Jones said LIBA must be felt in the counties of Liberia and its members must have that competitive spirit in a bid to build the Liberian economy and promote entrepreneurship.

Speaking on behalf of the three banks that are to administer the credit scheme, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Bank (IB) Mr. Henry F. Saamoi expressed gratitude to the CBL through its Executive Governor for the credit scheme.

Mr. Saamoi praised the CBL and said the banking sector in the country had being experiencing difficulties but since the ascendency of Dr. Mills Jones as head of the CBL things have changed drastically for the better.

On behalf of his colleagues, IB CEO promised to work with LIBA to achieve the objective of creating a middle class. He however urged Liberians to be responsible by paying their debts whenever they borrow.

For his part LIBA President Dee Maxwell Kemayah expressed thanks and appreciation to the CBL through its Executive Governor, saying "this economy must be driven by Liberians." He said LIBA is out for the economic transformation of Liberia.

The ceremony brought together Liberia's entrepreneurs, politicians, religious leaders among others.

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