‘Gov’t Need to Redouble Its Efforts to Build Vibrant Private Sector’

first_imgThe Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has suggested that the Government redouble its efforts aimed at building a vibrant private sector through, among others, the provision of strong credit support, especially to the agriculture, services and manufacturing sectors in order to ensure a better growth performance and stronger support for Liberian entrepreneurship.“It would accelerate job creation and the realization of Liberia becoming a middle income country in line with the Government’s Agenda for Transformation (AfT),” said CBL its 2015 policy statement, released earlier this week. “We also intervened in the real sector through credit easing and credit guarantee, especially for the rubber and housing sectors; and rolling over microfinance payments under the credit unions and village savings and loan associations operating in rural Liberia, affected by the Ebola crisis,” the statement noted.Credit easing is a policy tool used by central banks to make credit more readily available in the event of a financial crisis. Credit guarantee, however, is the guarantee that often provides for a specific remedy to creditor if debtor does not return the debt.According to the report, they (CBL) have observed that the just ended Ebola outbreak, which plagued the country, last year exposed the structural weaknesses of the Liberian economy; highlighting the compelling need for a more concerted effort to restructure the economy. The statement places greater emphasis on value-addition mode of domestic production, especially in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.“It is important to note that the economy is estimated to grow under one percent for 2014 and 2015, and although projected to rebound and average around 5.0 percent growth in the medium term (2014-2020), it is by far lower than the pre-Ebola (2006-2013) growth of about 8.0 percent,” the CBL explained. The statement noted further that such growth trend is inadequate to create significant employment and make a positive change in poverty reductions.Accordingly, “there is a need for appropriate macroeconomic management tools to promote diversification for more inclusive growth and development in the country,” the CBL said.Mr. Jefferson Kambo, Officer-in-Charge of Research at the CBL, explained to the Daily Observer via phone that if iron ore and rubber can be processed into steel and tires (respectively) in Liberia, this would help to “modify our growth so that the growth would be sustainable.” According to him, Liberia has good soil, yet, “We are still importing rice. We need to put our efforts together to transform our economy by producing our own product here.”Also, the CBL’s eight-page policy statement discloses that the Bank is working to develop an appropriate framework that involves private investors to finance agriculture and housing.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

UG unions accuse Labour Department of bias

first_imgThe two unions representing workers attached to the University of Guyana (UG) said on Thursday that its members will not be deterred from their current stint of protest actions as they called out the Social Protection Ministry’s Labour Department for being partisan during a meeting on Tuesday. This engagement was intended to resolve issues between employees and the UG administration.However, University of Guyana Workers’ Union and the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association are unsettled over the meeting with Chief Labour Officer Charles Ogle and other officials. In an official statement on Friday, the unions said the Labour Department’s representatives did not appear to be the impartial arbiters they were expected to be in such a situation.Labour Minister Keith ScottUnion representatives further said they were told that striking was “impossible and that it is not right”, adding that they were also told that “what was allowed before would not be allowed again and that they could face disciplinary consequences for their role in leading industrial action.”The bodies are taking this directive as a reference to their 2015 strike action. The unions said they expect labour officials to be “unbiased”, adding that accusations of acting in favour of a particular political group would never arise. Similar accusations of biasness against the Labour Department were made by the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) when the department had moved to select its own arbitrator when teachers were protesting last year.On Thursday, the UG unions said the perceived threats will not deter them from their objectives as they renewed commitments to fighting for the interests of over 1000 staff members and 7000 students at the nation’s only tertiary learning institution. They are hopeful that the forensic audit of the university’s finances will help members determine the true fiscal status of UG as they continue to demand more investment for teaching and less talk.UG workers protesting on Tuesday lastThis call was also made at Tuesday’s picket at UG’s Turkeyen campus. The unions during the picketing exercise had alleged that the institution was unable to properly account for its expenditures, nor could it offer a salary increase to its staffers, although tuition fees have been increasing annually.President of the UG Senior Staff Association (UGSS) Jewel Thomas had told members of the media earlier that the University has rejected their proposal for an increase in salaries, saying the University has a deficit. She had accused the University of wasteful spending, explaining that the University has been hosting talks and events to accommodate various speakers; some of whom the University does not even know of although funds go towards their accommodation, food and travel.They said they were later told that the University is in a deficit for 2018. Meanwhile, the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith had said the unions breached an agreement they had with the institution.In November 2018, the trade unions representing the university’s workers announced that they had rejected the imposed salary increases of three and four per cent, announced by that institution for 2018, as they deemed the entire situation “deeply disrespectful”.According to the unions, “not only are the imposed increases a violation of good labour relations practices, but some might say that arrogance and hypocrisy are displayed in this action.”last_img read more