28 January 2013

Liberia: Media Deserves CBL Loan Too


The Central Bank of Liberia has embarked on a loan scheme for sometimes now, aimed at building the capacity of small Liberian businesses to make them viable. The scheme is being implemented under the watch of the Executive Governor of the CBL Dr. Mills Jones. We believe the venture is a noble exercise, particularly at a time when many local businesses are faced with stagnation as a result of serious under-capitalization. Some have the entrepreneurial spirit, but due to the lack of capital, they either exit the market or cannot enter, and their dream die with them.

However, as the Central Bank continues with this exercise, the media, a key sector of both our economy and society seems to have been forgotten or deliberately ignored much to the detriment of the overall economic growth. The media, which is a critical tool for the advancement of political pluralism, genuine reconciliation, peace and economic growth and stability, has been left along to struggle on its own in our harsh post-war economic environment.

This posture by the Mills Jones Administration makes us to develop the feeling wrongly or rightly so, that the loan scheme is for selective local businesses or interest and political based institutions. We strongly hope that's not the case. We in the media are yearning for and deserve such capacity building exercise being initiated by the Central Bank of Liberia. As a member of the national economy, we avail ourselves and look forward to benefiting from this worthy initiative. In this regard, we are prepared as responsible media entities and executives to sit with the relevant CBL authorities on the loan scheme to discuss detail, terms and conditions require in assessing the loan.

Lest we forget, a vibrant media provides the bridge to a wholesome functioning society, which creates the environment for rapid economic activities and growth. Information is power, but when the sector responsible to propel the engine for growth is relegate to the lowest standard or looked down upon, the entire society could wallop in a vicious cycle.

It is about time that the CBL widens the space to bring onboard the media in this capacity building venture to lead a holistic endeavor that would yield a truly national output. We need all of the financial stimuli necessary to keep the media afloat on the forward march to achieving a middle income society. The CBL should realize that the media is a partner in this national desire to attaining a sustainable national economy that will make us all pride. Excluding or ignoring any sector of the economy could become counterproductive to the overall intent of the loan scheme.

We raise this concern with an open mind, holding no malice against current beneficiaries of the CBL loan scheme, but to encourage the bank to extend the opportunity to other well-intentioned local entrepreneurs, including the media in the overall viability of our national economy and taking ownership.

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