The Coalition of Youth and Students for Better Liberia (COYSBL), a civil society organization, has expressed appreciation for the significant economic gains made by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) under the stewardship of Dr. J. Mills Jones as Governor.
A press release from the group indicated that amid daunting challenges, the Bank has realized significant and milestone gains that include strong economic growth, macroeconomic stability, Liberian entrepreneurial development and improvement in the general business climate.
The press release which was signed by Joseph Deema and approved by Ishmael Koffeh the COYSBL Director of programs and Executive Director, respectively stated that it is against the background of the CBL governor's immense and outstanding performances that their coalition has decided to name him:
'STATESMAN OF THE YEAR 2012'.
According to COYSBL, the bank has made exceptional progress in keeping with its 2012 policy statement in its 2012 annual reports, adding that this was proportional to the support that the CBL received that is marked by glittering and resounding improvements in its favorable balance of payment in import cover in 2012 which jumped from a deficit of US21,0 million recorded in 2011 to a surplus of US$29.4 million.
The group also cited other positive achievements of the bank as the relatively stable exchange rate which accounts for 0.6 percent appreciation to the value of the Liberian dollar for the most of 2012 as can be compared to previous depreciations of 1.7 percent to L$73.5 to a dollar.
'This means the bank succeeded in containing a single digit inflation rate at 6.9 percent for 2012 from 8.5 percent at the end of 2011. And during this time real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 8.7 percent in 2012 from US$768.0 million as compared to US$835.1 million in the previous year', the release added.
Other areas mentioned by the group in which the CBL under the tenure of Governor Mills Jones has done extremely well included improvements in export earnings and financial remittances; innovative interventions such as the launching of several initiatives such as the opportunity for Liberians top access loans for home ownership which is unprecedented in Liberia.
The CBL also continued the US$5 m credit stimulus initiative program for the small and medium size Liberian business enterprises; a continuation of its access to finance by launching the L$200.00m soft loans at 3.0 percent interest rate meant to facilitate onward lending to clients under the loan extension and Availability Facility LEA) scheme that was designed for MFIs and VSL institutions for a 3-year period.
The release indicated that the bank also came to the assistance of the agricultural sector with the launching of a US$7.0 million agricultural stimulus initiative meant to help provide access to finance, create employment opportunities and to facilitate direct investment stimulus in the agricultural sector.
The youth and student group indicated that these unprecedented and efficacious gains would not have been realized by the bank had it not been as a result of the result-oriented and professional skills of Dr. J.Mill;s Jones as Central bank Governor, adding that COYBSL being conscious of its patriotic role agrees with the Central bank's position to ensure that the economy remains strong while promising to instill confidence and fairplay in the economy through its sound monetary and macroeconomic policies.
The Coalition of Youth and Students for Better Liberia welcomes these tremendous gains made by the Central Bank family under the dynamic leadership of Dr. J. Mills Jones as a service to the nation and through this press release calls on all stakeholders in the Liberian society to emulate these virtues as 'we strive to making Liberia a better country and as we strive to achieve the dreams of government coined in Vision 2030' which is why they offer him the crown of 'Statesman of the Year 2012'.