The newly-appointed Director for Mission to Liberia at the United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID) says Liberia’s development greatly relies on the private sector therefore; the government cannot operate properly by itself without the assistance of the private sector.
Remarking Tuesday, August 13, 2013, at the opening of a two-week trainings organized by the United States Agency for International Development (IESC\IBEX program) in Monrovia for commercial bankers, SMEs and TOT, Mr. John Mark Winfield revealed that health, agriculture, education, energy among others are key sectors in the development of a country that cannot be done alone by central government.
Said Mr. Winfield: “The development of Liberia like any other country is implacably linked to you. It’s linked to the private sector and its ability to make a contribution to the development of a country. It cannot do without investors; it cannot do it without strong business plans. We are supporting small medium enterprises because they are key to the development of Liberia.”
Speaking behalf of the Central Bank Governor, the Director for regulation and supervision department at the CBL Mr. Mussah A. Kamara thanked USAID Liberia for its continue support to the rebuilding process of Liberia.
Mr. Kamara said there is a need to improve the current credit culture that exist in the Liberian banking environment, noting that dealing with the problem of nonperformance loans and poor credit culture requires a comprehensive strategy to cleanup bank balance sheets and make them fully responsible for their lending operations.
Said Kamara: “To achieve this therefore, the CBL has instituted and continues to institute series of measures to address the poor credit culture in the country. In this light, the CBL has issued a directive to banking institutions that prohibits them from providing financial services to individuals and institutions that are chronically delinquent in their obligations to the banking system. In line with this directive, a credit reference database which contains credit information of all banking institutions has been strenuously enforced.”
For her part, the Chief of Party of the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) Madam Watchen Harris Bruce informed journalists at the training which is being held at the compound of the Liberia Business Registry (LBR), that the training begins with a four day credit trainings for USAID partner banks (Ecobank, IB) along with invited members of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), including Afriland First Bank, GTbank, Global Bank FIBank amongst others.
Bruce revealed that the next workshop will be a two-day training for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agribusiness and Renewable Energy sectors while the last two-day training will target business development consultants training of trainers for the formation of a business development consortium.
She noted that the training presentation will be delivered by Ms. Lucretia Freeman-Buster, a commercial banker from Washinton D.C. in the USA and locally based Liberian executives who are highly accomplished and results-driven with banking supervision, business development and commercial credit experiences, adding that the training will be presented through lectures, case-studies and experience sharing as well as syndicate sections.
Madam Bruce said the objectives of the trainings are: to reinforce and expand the professional skills of bankers and loan officers, and provide a comprehensive understanding of the credit process, analysis process, loan review and documentation.
She revealed that the training will also give assisting and potential small business operators the edge in the skills that led to success and a range of management practices necessary to operate a small business in an increasing complex global business environment.
She said it will help contribute to strategic planning that will build the capacity of training of trainers (TOT) through formulation of a road map and outline for development of a bankable projects or deals and commercial credit application analytical skills in target beneficiary groups to be designated by IBEX team.