Leasing Investment Forum Kicks Off

MONROVIA – October 25, 2016:The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Mr. Milton A. Weeks says the bank is committed to ensuring the development of a robust and attractive finance lease environment in the financial services sector. Governor Weeks disclosed that a three-year strategic plan being developed by the CBL, has incorporated the development of the leasing sub-sector as a key initiative under one of the three pillars of the plan. The Governor said the use of financial instruments such as financial leasing, warehouse receipts financing, asset-based lending, using the Collateral Registry, and making more use of digital financial services need to be aggressively pursued.

 

Governor Weeks was speaking Tuesday, October 25, 2016, when he delivered introductory remarks at the Liberia Finance Leasing Forum in Monrovia. He again stressed that access to finance and financial inclusion which are critical components of the Liberian Government’s Agenda for Transformation (AfT), are priorities for the Central Bank of Liberia. To help achieve the objective, the CBL Governor disclosed that the Bank, with technical assistance from the World Bank and financial support from the Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening Initiative (FIRST Initiative), has developed the Financial Sector Development Implementation Plan (FSDIP) for Liberia. The Objectives, among others, he said are to promote a modern legal and regulatory framework that is implemented efficiently, and provide a sound and competitive financial market. The FSDIP, Governor Weeks said is also intended to promote supportive financial institutions and deeper financial inclusion. The plan is expected to be launched by the end of the year.

 

Meanwhile, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has described the forum on finance leasing as timely and one that deserves all the support.   VP Boikai said leasing plays a pivotal role in unlocking alternative means to affordable capital which is particularly important for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Delivering the opening statement at the Liberian Finance Leasing Forum, the Vice President recalled that the Liberian Government has successfully implemented several of the components to promote leasing development which include regulatory framework, legal framework, tax burden, and accounting practices. The challenge, he said is to confront the usual constraints which bedevil the effort at developing leasing in Sub-Saharan Africa including Liberia.  VP Boakai named the inadequate tax and legal framework for leasing operations; lack of technical partners in the region and scarcity of medium-term funding resources as constraints which affect leasing in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

He said while Liberia has taken a laudable first step in laying the foundation, development of leasing operations and investment in the leasing sector will be necessary to propel Liberia’s leasing sector to the next level and make the leasing business effective and sustainable.

 

The forum was hosted by the National Investment Commission and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

 

The Liberia Finance Leasing Forum is part of the IFC’s Africa Leasing Facility program, which promotes leasing as an innovative financing tool for the small-scale business sector across Sub-Saharan Africa.  It was attended by major stakeholders in the financial sector of Liberia as well as financial experts and investors from Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana.

 

For further details contact:

 

Cyrus Wleh Badio

Head of Communications

Central Bank of Liberia

Email: cwbadio@cbl.org.lr/wlehbad@gmail.com