By: Eldred Thomas/GNN Senior Reporter-
The former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has publicly vowed not to apologize to anyone regarding his strive at the CBL when initiated the bank’s micro finance loan program that benefited several Liberians to do business on their own.
The former governor turned politician made these remarks at the weekend when he served as Principal discussant on ”Youth Empowerment” in an interactive discourse organized by the Borough Recreational Intellectual Forum in the Borough of New Kru Town.
Dr. Joseph Mills Jones while serving became well known for his micro finance loan imitative that saw the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), the Liberian Marketing Association (LMA) and individual marketers to benefit from millions of Liberian dollars that were pumped into the economy.
The move on that part of the then Executive Governor of the CBL to provide micro loans to Liberia sparked debates across the country with many believing it was a clever attempt to sell his political ambition.
But publicly responding to critics of the program, Dr. Jones observed that the move was intended to help Liberians help themselves to get out of poverty and not to play politics as was been perceived in some quarters.
“If we have the chance to contribute through similar loan program, we will do it again and we will not apologize, Dr. Jones maintained”.
He frowned on those who he said are of the conviction that Liberia’s resources should not be used for the Liberian people.
Dr. Jones urged Liberians not to hide behind the innocence of those who want to talk economics, but knows nothing about the subject matter.”
“This program being condemned today has over the years yielded the necessary results by raising Liberians from extreme economic difficulties to a level where mainly marketers can now stand on their own to sustain their families.
He said giving the prevailing economic hardship the country is experiencing, the loan program was prudent to help empower Liberian entrepreneur’s to grow and expand their business activities.
This, Dr. Jones intimated is key to addressing the challenges of unemployment the Unity party is still struggling with as it fades out gradually.
The micro finance loan program initiated by Dr. Jones at the CBL was greeted by mounting criticisms from members of Liberian Legislature, political parties, civil society actors, and a cross section of the ordinary Liberians.
The Movement for Economic Empowerment at political leader at the same time attributed the slow pace of development in Liberia to lack of leaders with honesty in the country.
Dr. Jones said Liberians have suffered for too long in the hands of dishonest and bad leaders, something he lamented is responsible for the slow pace of development in Liberia.
According to the former Central Bank Governor, other countries around the world are moving forward in their economy, infrastructure development due the kind of leadership they have.
Addressing the group of young people, Dr. Jones stressed the importance of leadership in the Liberian society and pointed out that leaders must be in the position to feel the pains of those they lead and ensure their needs are addressed.
The presidential hopeful also reaffirmed his commitment to continuously work in the interest of Liberians as he has always done.