Monrovia - Lawmakers who have earlier expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which Central Bank Governor Dr. Mills Jones had dished out thousands of United States Dollars loans to locals in the country last week voted unanimously to amend part of the act creating the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
The Lawmakers assertions have been that the loans scheme initiated by Governor Jones was not only intended to help the locals, but a clever attempt by the CBL Governor to rally support for his presidential bid come 2017, though Governor Jones had made no public comment about his presidential ambition as has been rumored around by Liberians.
The Move by the Lawmakers to amend the CBL Act has been the issue of debate taking place at University campuses; entertainment places as well as job sites by several Liberians. Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, a human rights lawyer, is the latest Liberian to speak on the CBL amended act terming the act as discriminatory.
In a FrontPageAfrica interview Wednesday afternoon on the grounds of the Temple of Justice, Gongloe stated that while it was true that Governor Jones has politicized the micro-loan scheme, the action taken against him by the Lawmakers was discriminatory and breached Article 11 section (C) of the Constitution.
The Constitution states that all persons are equal before the law and therefore entitled to equal protection under the law. “Laws should not be discriminatory, laws should be for all”, said Gongloe.
Gongloe added that when Lawmakers breach the constitution, the citizens have the right to take the issue to court. He threatened to join the bandwagon in defense of the CBL Governor if called upon, but added that it will not be on the basis of politics.
“The control and supply of money in the country are the sole priority of the Central Bank,” Gongloe stated.
He said what the Lawmakers should have done was to remove that portion of the Act that allows the Central Bank to provide loans from the country’s reserve since indeed the issue of loan given out by the Central Bank is causing uneasiness.
“Let us revamp the Agricultural Bank and mandate it to provide loans,” said Cllr. Gongloe. He said that the action taken by the Lawmakers should have been extended to all public institutions and not only the CBL.
“What will happen when the Maritime Commissioner announces that he will provide fishing boats to all fishermen in the country from Cape Mount to Maryland Counties? Will the Lawmakers say the Commissioner is politicking and amend an act creating the Maritime Authority?” Gongloe asked.
Gongloe wonders whether the Lawmakers would take the same decision against the LPRC if the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) announced to give each petty trader selling gasoline 50 gallons each.
“Will the lawmakers claim that the LPRC Managing Director is politicking and amend the act creating the LPRC?”