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Gov’t Launches New Financial Policy

By Alex Yomah
The Government of Liberia through the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) with support from World Bank On Friday, December 13, 2019, officially launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) 2019-2023, which seeks to accentuate the financial inclusion agenda of Pillars I and II of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) as part of the Government’s development objective.
Finance and Development Planning Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Samora Wolokollie who proxied for President George Manneh Weah officially launched the NFIS.
Minister Wolokollie expressed excitement and assured that government will implement so as to ensure a cashless society in the financial sector.
Giving an overview and the importance of NFIS, CBL Deputy Governor for Economic Policy/Officer in Charge, Musa Dukuly, said the process requires consistent innovation and strategy aimed at engendering a conducive environment for price and financial sector stability here.
Dr. Dukuly explained that in Liberia, the heightened inflationary pressure in recent time has threatened financial sector stability and induced speculative attack on the domestic currency, as the result, the Bank has been conducting comprehensive research on the dynamics of foreign currency deposits and asset quality, and found them to be significantly linked to structural constraints, including moderate economic competitiveness, macroeconomic instability, and financial sector underdevelopment.
“From the perspective of monetary authorities, evidence shows that financial inclusion is crucial for promoting not only financial stability, in terms of efficient funding mechanism, but also relevant for supporting private sector development,” he said.
According to Dr. Dukuly, in order to improve the viability and confidence of the financial sector, the Management of the CBL, in collaboration with other partners, spearheaded the launch of another futuristic vision, which will translate enormous benefits to the financial sector.
“On this occasion, I am delighted to inform you that the Central Bank of Liberia, with support from the World Bank, has concluded the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS). The Strategy seeks to accentuate the financial inclusion agenda of Pillars I and II of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) as part of the Government’s development objective,” he said.
“This Strategy is based on what I can describe as “Financial Inclusion in Liberia: How far we have come and where are we headed?” It is imperative to note that the Strategy also aims to promote access to financial services in a coordinated and focused manner through digital channels in Liberia, ” he added.
“It is my hope that this Strategy will enhance the implementation of a national financial inclusion effort in Liberia to create opportunity for the disadvantaged population to access financial services across the country,” CBL Deputy Governor and officer in charge concluded.
Also speaking, Finance and Development Planning Deputy Minister for Economic Management, Augustus J. Flomo, said since this government came to power, there have been many strategic initiatives specifically focused on access to financial services which remain dismally low.
“We believe that access to financial services for everybody, irrespective of your position along the economic ladder, will improve livelihoods of Liberians across all segments of society, especially the disadvantaged,” Minister Flomo said.
He said government takes cardinal interest in the NFIS, as evidenced by its alignment with government’s efforts such as pillars I &ii of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
He said the vision of the NFIS is to build a sustainable financial that is deeply rooted in digital financial services that would ensure access to and enhance usage of the formal financial sector.
“It has set an ambitious, but surely attainable goal of at least 50% of the Liberian population having access to formal financial services by 2023,” Deputy Minister Flomo said.
Asserting further, Minister Flomo said while Liberia made progress in terms of increasing financial inclusion, with financial account ownership statistics increasing from 18.8% in 2011 to 36% in 2019 and that is according to the most recent data; much remains to be done.
He added, “The Liberia financial sector still faces challenges, including limited infrastructure, low financial literacy and large disconnection of the rural community from activity.”
For his part, World Bank Representative Nicholas Smith, expressed thanks and appreciations to government through its fiscal managers.
“I am excited to see things happening today. World Bank will continue to work with you [Gov’t] to ensure this strategy is implemented,” he said.

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