News Column

Total Ownership - CBL Opens New Bank for 'People of Gbarpolu County'

June 30, 2014

Wade C. L. Williams



Bopolu City in Gbarpolu County was a scene of excitement on Saturday when the Central Bank of Liberia launched the opening of a bank for the locals of the county called the Gbarpolu Rural Community Finance Institution.

At an elaborate ceremony attended by officials of the county administration, traditional leaders, women and youth groups and citizens of the County, Mrs. BenduJah, President Rural Women, Gbarpolu County was overwhelmed with joy as she spread her lappa on the floor for CBL governor Dr. J. Mills Jones to walk on, calling him the new Egwe (Name for a Nigerian Chief).

"We are so happy today, the women of Gbarpolu, for the first time in history of Gbarpolu County, the rural women, they never had anything to do, but today, the rural women can make their business," she said.

"Our great father please stand on this lappa, we want to honor you today. Since I was born in 1960, this is my first time for a governor of Liberia to remember the rural area. I want to talk to you today, they have so many detractors, people will tell you don't do this, don't do that, but I want you to remember, that the step that you have taken, there is a payback. We want to gown you today."

The Superintendent of the County Allen N. Gbowee said the bank would bring added value in terms of economic growth to the county. He said the citizens of the county had to travel all the way to Monrovia to save their earnings, but with the establishment of the bank in the county they are relieved. He thanked the CBL for spearheading the initiative.

"You have come to alleviate the suffering of our people, now, we don't have to keep our money under the bed, we have somewhere to save our money," he said. " On behalf of the people of Gbarpolu County we welcome you and your delegation to Gbarpolu, we pray, that you will enjoy Gbarpolu and will pay another visit to us very soon."

CBL Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones, presenting the bank to the people after being gowned by the women said that the government saw the need of the people in Gbarpolu and decided to respond to it in a timely manner by setting up the bank.

"We thank you that you welcome the effort that we are making because without your support we will not be able to do much. We're doing nothing more than trying to work for Liberia," he said.

"Let me say on behalf of the board of governors, how pleased we are to be here with you this afternoon. We want to thank the AFRILAND Bank, for cooperating with us at the Central Bank bringing their experience in other parts of Africa, dealing with institutions of this nature."

Governor Jones said a lot could be done if people set their minds to work in Liberia. He said it is only Liberians who can develop the country through hard work and called on his countrymen to stop the dependency syndrome and work to improve the standard of living of the people.

"Many times when we sit and talk, we talk about the possibilities that we see in our country; Liberia is a land of possibilities. We should not be negative. We can do things when we put our minds to it and we can get it done," he said.

"We don't have to wait for others to do for us, what we can do for ourselves. For too long we have been waiting; waiting for signal from outside, waiting for others to hold our hands in order for us to move. I think that after 167 years, we can stand up and we can walk on our own."

He said the CBL's effort to improve the living conditions of the ordinary Liberia is a vision that is shared among the bank's executives and its board of governors. "The work that we are doing at the Central Bank with the strong support of the board, reflects our commitment to our country Liberia," he said.

"It reflects our commitment to change. It reflects our commitment to progress. It reflects our commitment to say loud and clear, that business as usual has not gotten us anywhere and therefore, we must do something differently. We are working in order to have an impact on the lives of the people of Liberia and we will measure our success by the extent to which we can have that impact on the lives of the people of this country."

Presenting the certificate to the people of the county given them the authority to operate the bank, he said: "We are not just going to count growth rate, no, we want to see how we lift ourselves out of poverty and how we improve the standard of living of our people. That is how we must start success.

Also making remarks at the occasion held on Saturday, June 27, 2014 the Chief Executive Officer of the AFRILAND FIRST BANK, Mr. Hamadou Bayo said the bank will provide a wide range of services to the people of Gbarpolu and will be a major contributor to the economy of the county.

"I'm here to present to you your bank. From today henceforth, they (civil servants) will get their salaries, 30 days in a month; anytime they go to that bank they will get their salaries. They don't have to wait for the pay team," he said.

"This is done with the assistance of the governor of the Central Bank of Liberia. Secondly, if you need a loan, you don't have to go to Monrovia, you will sit right here in Bopolu and if you fill out the conditions, you will get it. Thirdly, if you have your son, your brother or your sister abroad, that want to send you money through Money Gram, Western Union or swift, you can sit right here in Gbarpolu, you will get it."


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Source: AllAfrica