The New Dawn (Monrovia)

29 January 2013

Liberia: CBL Asked to Include the Media

Main opposition party Congress for Democratic Change or CDC National Secretary General Nathaniel Mcgill is urging the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to include the Liberian media on its loan scheme to enhance media independence and development.

Speaking last Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Bela Casa Hotel at an Award and Dinner Night to climax the 3rd anniversary celebrations of the New Dawn Newspaper, Mcgill deemed as selective on the part of the CBL to isolate the media in its loan program to businesses in the country to the tone of millions of dollars.

"I think the CBL should find a way to incorporate the media so that it can be independent," said Mcgill.

Mcgill made the comments over the week in the midst applause from media executives and members of the high table at the ceremony, including Finance Minister Amara Konneh, Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia Chigozie Obi Nnadozie, among others.

Despite the administration's boast of "free press", the government still remains under high public criticism for allegedly strangulating the media regarding payments for advertisements over prolonged period of time to the disadvantage of growth and development.

But the CDC chief scribe, Mcgill and other speakers at the program shared the view that an incapacitated media can easily be controlled by those providing finances, thereby hindering their growth and development.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told the 53rd Legislature in her state of the nation address delivered on Monday that government must take responsibility of empowering the media to enhance its independence. According to her, the government must include the media in its next fiscal budget toward, especially the construction of an independent media house.

"Our support for freedom of the media and free press will remain unshakable;I will therefore be submitting to you a bill in line with the Table Mounting Declaration ... in support of the media," said President Sirleaf.

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