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Banks Urged To Do More for SMEs

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first_imgIt was a conversation that had been held in many different pockets of the economy, throughout the Sirleaf Administration, though hardly as propitious as it was yesterday, when Commerce and Industry Minister Axel M. Addy called on commercial banks to do more to support the development of Small Medium Enterprises (SME) in order to achieve long-term growth for the Liberian economy. Speaking on April 19, 2016 at a one-day roundtable conference with donors and the private sector on Liberia’s Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Minister Addy declared that support to Small Medium Enterprises (SME) will greatly help to increase employment opportunities and decrease the burden of importing on Liberia.In the midst of stakeholders including government officials, representatives of banking institutions and non-governmental organizations, and ambassadors, the Minister said banking institutions in the country were [mainly] after big investors and not SME entrepreneurs. His remarks sparked a spirited exchange of experiences from representatives of local banks, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and other stakeholders, who weighed in on the concern. Responding to the Minister’s plea, a representative of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) contended that most loans taken by SME owners are “non-performing”. Loans that are not repaid, said the LBDI representative, cause serious setbacks for the banks.Francis A. Dennis, President of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC), said one cause for non-compliance with payment of loans is the absence of a commercial court in the country to try delinquent borrowers indebted to banks.Mr. Dennis, who is also a former president of LBDI and former president of the Liberia Bankers’ Association, said banking institutions are not open to every player in the economy but chasing the same customers, noting that opening up to the economy will enable SMEs to grow.Also commenting was Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), who said “The Judiciary has problems. Many young people are employed by banks and they steal taxpayers’ monies, but getting them prosecuted in the court is difficult, and law enforcement is weak.”Another participant suggested that the “naming and shaming” method instituted by the Central Bank is helping to minimize delinquency on the part of borrowers. The participant, however, said for such behavior on the part of borrowers to be further curtailed, there should be legal reforms to enhance compliance with loan payment. He said when cases are adjudicated and borrowers are convicted, they take their appeals to the Supreme Court, where the case will also experience delay with adverse effect on the banks’ profits and capital.A representative of the International Monitory Fund (IMF) at the conference also suggested that banking institutions should set a proper and affordable credit rate analysis that will encourage “would be SMEs.”Minister Addy was speaking from the perspective that “Liberia has over the years heavily imported [more] than exported, which has aversely burdened the country’s economy,” and that giving preference to SME entrepreneurs to have access to finance and be capacitated to operate will surely enhance the growth Liberia needs. He also said prioritizing SMEs is significant to the growth and development of the economy because it will enhance even agriculture, which serves as a backbone to the economy.He disclosed that the ministry is currently partnering with an institution to train some local entrepreneurs; and when they complete the training, each will be given US$10,000 to start their businesses, and they will be monitored. “Students in Liberia and Africa in general are graduating from universities and colleges every year without hope of employment,” the Minister told the gathering. “If you ask them about where they want to work, they will respond that they want to work in government; and if asked where they want to live, they will prefer to live in the West because they see how better their friends are in those western countries. Investment in SMEs is very important to changing the dynamics of thoughts of many of our citizens because it will create the jobs they need to sustain them.”He added that Liberia has heavily relied on exporting its raw materials including iron ore, rubber, timber and cash crops without added value, while at the same time importing larger portion of its needs including rice, petroleum products and other manufactured goods. And now that the price of iron ore has fallen on the world market, he said, Liberia’s economic growth can be enhanced only if SMEs are supported to get locally produced commodities properly packaged for export.“It only takes support of investors to come in as middlemen to have packaging facilities that will help local entrepreneurs package their goods and properly labeled for export; and when this is done, the agriculture sector will be highly promoted that more people will produce agricultural commodities in the country,” Minister Addy suggested.The roundtable conference about Liberia’s Accession to the WTO Protocol and Post Accession Plan was organized by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The EIF is a multi-donor program which supports least developed countries to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them tackle supply-side constraints to trade. Giving some synopsis on the gathering on Tuesday, Minister Addy said “This gathering today is part of a series of discussions about Liberia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO); and by the way, we have had discussions on the same matter with the National Legislature.”He said the gathering comes following Liberia’s participation in discussions on its accession to the WTO for the last seven years, and the ongoing phase is to discuss with donors and the private sector some domestic challenges and opportunities in making business under WTO protocol. Donors have supported the process of Liberia joining WTO for the last seven years, he disclosed, and now that Liberia has met the standards of WTO, donors and the private sector are joining government to strategize how the post accession plan can be implemented.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

LOCAL NEWS: ST COLUMBA’S PARISH TERMON NOTES

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first_imgSt. Columba’s Parish TermonFr. Patrick Mc Hugh PPPhone/Fax 074-9139016 Emergency Mobile number 086-2831800Fr. Michael Mc Keever, Churchill at 074-9137057 or daytime at 074-9121208Parish website: www.gartantermon.net or www.raphoeparishes.com/termon.htmSaturday 3rd & Sunday 4th of March  2012 2nd Sunday of LentWeekday Masses & Announced Mass Intentions  Sat 3rd March7.00pmPrivate IntentionSun 4th March 9.00am &11.00amMissa Pro Populo   Holy SoulsMon 5th March9.30am Bridget Gallagher RIP ( St Kieran)Tues 6th March 9.30 amNora Syrotinsky  RIP –  who died recently Wed 7th March 9.30amMary Langan Fintown RIP (Ss . Perpetua & felicity)Thurs 8th March 7.00pmHoly Souls  (St. Senan)Fri  9th March9.30 amThe Deceased members of the Strain family Currin RIPSat 10th March  10.00am 7.00 pmPrivate IntentionPrivate IntentionSun 11th March9.00am11.00amMissa Pro Populo Charlie Mc Daid Doon RIPThe Loop Hearing Aid system is currently available for all Ceremonies in this Church  The 9.00am Mass every Sunday is offered for the intentions of the people of the parish Confessions are available after Mass on Sat evening & on the First Friday of every Month. Divine Mercy after 10.00am Mass every Saturday except the first Saturday of the Month. Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Thursday 8th of March after Mass concluding with the Rosary and the blessing of the people at 9.30pm.Raphoe Diocese Pilgrimage to Lourdes 22nd – 27th May Details of this years Pilgrimage to Lourdes is on the church notice board the cost is €685 per person sharing plus €25 for the bus fare to and from Belfast International Airport.  For more information or to book a place on the Pilgrimage contact Brenda on 074 9125090.First Confessions –for Scoil Colmcille Termon on Thursday March 20th @ 7.00pm Mass First Holy Communion –Scoil Colmcille, Termon on Saturday May 5thGraveyard Mass – Termon on July 8th Confirmation- March 29th 6.00pmRegistration for the Náionra (Old School) will be held on Monday 5th March @7.00pm – 8.00Pm. ECCE scheme is in operation for all eligible children. Income, Building Fund and & Weekend Collection €1733. Expenditure €22,494.24Collectors for the Month of MarchSaturday Vigil Mass 7.00pmPaddy Mc LaughlinSun 9.00am MassDanny Kelly Currin & Jamie Gallagher CurrinSunday 11.00am MassC. Gallagher Burn rd & Patrick Gallagher L’ascarry Your help is appreciated!!Healing Mass with the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will be on Thurs’ April 26th @7pmStations of the Cross and  Benediction on this Sunday evening at 7.00pm. We pray this evening for the Sick & HouseboundParish statement of accounts are available at the back of the ChurchThe next Parish Pastoral Council Meeting will be held on Tues March 13th @ 7.30pm any items you wish to have discussed should be submitted to any member of the Council before Sunday March 11th. How to book for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) There are three ways to book for the Congress: 1) Telephone the IEC2012 Booking offices on 01 2981122. 2) Book Online on the Congress website www.iec2012.ie/registration 3) Download a paper booking form from the Congress website www.iec2012.ie/registration and send the completed form to CSSL, 3rd Floor, Paradigm House, Dundrum Office Park, Dundrum, Dublin 14. Advance bookings are open until the 9th of May 2012. After that date all bookings are onsite the RDS. Volunteers for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress – Closing date: 17th MarchVolunteers have an integral role to play in the success of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland. Volunteers are needed for the period of Wednesday 6th June until Tuesday 19th June 2012, for a minimum of 5 days. The closing date for volunteer applications is Saturday 17th March 2012 as volunteers must complete induction training and a Garda vetting process. Volunteer now and get involved! To register as a volunteer fill in the online form available on www.iec2012.ie/volunteer. ***Please make sure you have completed and returned your  CHY forms by next week.  Thank You!!! Notices from An Craoibhín ;An Craoibhín are holding their first annual 5k Road race and 6k Walk on Sunday 11th of March 2012 at 12.30pm. We are hoping that all the community will take part and support An  Craoibhín.   Refreshments will be served in our hall afterwards.PUBLIC NOTICE:Comhlacht Forbartha An Tearmann (Craoibhín Community & Enterprise Centre) are holding their Annual General Meeting on TUESDAY 6TH MARCH @ 8PM – EVERYONE IS WELCOME .Mulroy College Milford: Open/Enrolment Evening on Tuesday 6th March 2012 from 5.00-7.00pm- this is an opportunity for parents/guardians of 6t class pupils to take a tour of the College.LOCAL NEWS: ST COLUMBA’S PARISH TERMON NOTES was last modified: March 2nd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:LOCAL NEWS: ST COLUMBA’S PARISH TERMON NOTESlast_img read more