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The Central Bank of Liberia through its Executive Governor, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones says he will pay off the debts owed by private schools to commercial banks.
He observed that the prolonged closure of schools as a result of the Ebola crisis, has contributed to increased debt burden of the private schools to commercial banks.
Dr. Jones said he will pay off the outstanding loan obligations of all private schools in the country.
Although the amount in question was not revealed but Governor Jones said the commercial banks have already provided the CBL with the list of schools and the amounts involved.
“In the wake of prolonged school closure as a result of the Ebola crisis, which has contributed to increased debt burden of the private schools that have borrowed from banks, the CBL will pay off the outstanding loan obligations of all private schools from kindergarten through high school. The commercial banks have already provided the CBL with the list of schools and the amounts involved. This intervention serves two purposes: it helps to relieve the banks of the burden of provisioning, where schools find themselves unable to repay the debts and it helps to relieve the potential burden on parents who may already be experiencing financial difficulties from increased fees that schools may have to impose in order to meet the obligation of the banks,” the CBL Executive Governor stressed.
Governor Jones made the statement Tuesday when he addressed the media on measures taken by the Central Bank during this Ebola crisis.
Jones said despite the challenges, the CBL is on course with its programs and policies aimed at maintaining macroeconomic stability and building a more inclusive economy, all with the intention of helping to lift Liberians out of poverty.
He admits that the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has had a negative impact on the economy; adding that projections show that the growth of the economy, which was expected to average 6.6 percent over the next three years before the Ebola epidemic, is now expected to slow down to about 1 percent.
Governor Jones further said that the Ebola crisis had a dampening effect on the microfinance sector.
He said the health crisis has led to a loss of markets for goods and services arising from travel restrictions and quarantine measures.
“The microfinance institutions have been constrained to limit their operations. Loans have ceased, resulting in the inability of many Liberians to access capital,” Jones stressed.
Dr. Jones assured that the Board of Governors and the management of the CBL remain committed to working within its mandate to support the process of economic recovery and transformation.