The World Bank through local Liberian commercial banking institutions has extended loan payment of Liberian business entrepreneurs, who have borrowed money to invest in their businesses.
The extension of the loan payment was announced by Commerce Minister Wilson K. Tarpeh on 27 March at the end of a five-day intensive training on Loan Management held at the Monrovia City Hall.
The training, which was jointly conducted by the Finance and Commerce Ministries, was intended to educate business entrepreneurs in the management, payment and transactions of loans taken from some financial institutions in the country.
Minister Tarpeh discloses the World Bank through local banks in the country has agreed to extend the loan payment from three years to five years respectively to afford creditors the opportunity to have adequate time in settling their financial debts.
He says he is aware of the circumstances Liberian business entrepreneurs go through in settling their debts owed financial institutions due to constraints.
He however advises debtors to work harder in returning money borrowed.
He warns the extension does not mean that debtors should stop settling their debts.
The pronouncement by the government comes as a relief for business entrepreneurs, some of whom find it difficult to settle their debts.
As Minister Tarpeh made the pronouncement, participants at the training went wild, applauding the World Bank, government and commercial banks for relieving them of the financial nightmare.
They promise to ensure that the money borrowed will be paid in time without any precondition.
For his part, Deputy Finance Minister Samora Wolokollie says with the extension of the loan payment period, local Liberian business entrepreneurs can now travel to foreign countries to purchase goods, sell and repay debts to commercial banks to avoid embarrassment.
He informs the gathering of government’s continued commitment in seeking the interest of the Liberian people, who he says, are key to the implementation of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led – government’s Pro – Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity.
He thanks commercial banks that provided loan to Liberian business entrepreneurs.
Also speaking, Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) President John Davis advises business entrepreneurs that have borrowed money from commercial banks like LBDI, Afriland Bank and GN Bank, among others, to repay their loans so as to allow the banks to re-loan them for future business transactions.
The participants expressed gratitude to the World Bank, the Government of Liberia and commercial banking institutions for the consideration afforded them.
Meanwhile, documents were signed by representatives of the businesses, Government, World Bank as well as heads of some commercial banking institutions during the ceremony.
The loan which was provided through the Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) section of the Ministry of Finance is intended to build the capacities of Liberian businesses in contributing meaningfully to the social and economic development of the country.
By Emmanuel Mondaye –Edited by Winston W. Parley