Bestman honored for services to Liberia

Dr. Jones presents a certificate to Mr. Bestman

Dr. Jones presents a certificate to Mr. Bestman

The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. Joseph Mills Jones says Liberia will remain grateful to John G. Bestman after 11 years of services at to the bank.

“His work and sacrifices offer to the banking sector and Liberia at large help significantly for the institution,” Dr. Jones said.

Dr. Jones made the statement Friday at the farewell dinner in honor of Mr. Bestman at the Monrovia City Hall, when he finally retired as a member of the Board of Governors of the CBL.

“John Bestman when the new economic history is written, your name will be among those who dared to challenged the status quo among those who dared to dissent, not for the sake of dissenting, but because it was the right thing to do, you spoke softly, but carried the big stick. The stick that you carried, John, was the message that fighting poverty in Liberia required financial empowerment of Liberians,” said Dr. Jones.

According to him, the work the former CBL Governor did was not about himself but the people he served–the Liberian people, especially the voiceless, the poor and those in rural and underserved areas of the country.

“This is a dinner in honor of a man who deserves not just this mark of respect, but the approbation of the nation. Indeed, he has served well in many areas of major responsibility: as Minister of Finance, Governor of the National Bank of Liberia, and as member of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Liberia,” the CBL Governor told the gathering.

Governor Jones described the honoree as humble man with much to be proud about; he is a man of solid education, experience and as well as accomplishments.

“John is an example of a role model we can assuredly recommend to the younger generation to follow,” Jones noted. 

The CBL boss noted that Mr. Bestman did not ride to prominence on the wings of sycophancy; therefore, his prominence stood the test of time because it’s earned; it was because of performance that Mr. Bestman understood that public service was about the bigger picture—our country Liberia, “I would dare say that we need more men and women like John Bestman.”

“If Liberia is to live up to its promise, these are the people whose lives must be touched; and if we are to make Liberia a big tent for all, these are the people whose lives must be touched. I remain committed to this approach to public service,” Dr. Jones declared.

In response, Mr. Bestman thanked President Sirleaf for the opportunity given him over the years to serve his people.

My experience over these years has been hugely blessed and richly rewarding. I commend her (President Sirleaf) for the quality of professional men and women she continues to appoint to the Board of Governors,” said Mr. Bestman.

He also thanked Dr. Jones and the members of the board for the high level of professionalism demonstrated during his tenure in advancing the interest of the Liberian people over the last nine years.

“As you know, the role of the CBL is to manage the monetary sector of the economy, regulating the banking system and putting in place measures to optimize the level of the money supply,” he said.

Mr. Bestman said the CBL also advances policies by using tools to reduce inflation and to ensure adequate foreign exchange reserves are maintained to protect the national currency as a store of value.

“I must say that all evidence exists that indeed the nation’s banking sector is on a sound footing as I retire today. We have managed to keep inflation in single digits, while in many countries in the region, inflation due to currency depreciation is in double digits,” he said.

He added that the value of the Liberian dollar, despite limited export capacity and low productivity is still relatively stable vis a vis the value of international currencies.

Mr. Bestman indicated that during his tenure on the board they have managed to keep the Liberian dollar at a reasonable rate by active interventions in the market place.

Text & Photo: Peter N.  Toby