The Institute for Research and Democratic Development or IREDD is deeply concerned about the prolong delay in the passage of the Local Government Act by the Liberian Senate.
Addressing a news conference in Monrovia last week, Executive Director Harold Marvin Aidoo, Snr, notes that while enormous effort was put in the process, leading to the passage of the bill by the House of Representatives in 2017, the stalemate at the Senate is undermining governance reforms process, particularly Decentralization.
Mr. Aidoo explains that many of the challenges that have engulfed the County Social Development Funds management and implementation for example, is as a result of a highly centralized system of governance.
According to him, the extreme levels of poverty and underdevelopment are all attributed to a centralized form of governance, which has excluded the majority of the counties and by extension the population and created an imbalance in social economic and political indicators as far as governance and development is concerned.
The IREDD remind the Coalition for Democratic Change-led government that no Pro-poor policy will lift Liberians out of poverty and marginalization if the fundamental governance challenge, which is over centralization of development and governance that undermines shared growth and development is not addressed.
“In other words, for the government’s Pro-poor agenda to succeed the very first step should be a decentralization process that is anchored on a Local Government Act. That devolves decision making process from Monrovia to the population at the counties,” he stresses.
IREDD sharply reacts to assertions that tend to suggest that the inclusion of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bhofal Chambers on executive delegation to trips outside of the country has the propensity to undermine the independence of the legislature.
The pro-democracy group, which followed closely the working of the Liberian Legislature intimates that as a parliamentary monitoring organization that has monitored the work of the legislature for the past 12 years and still monitoring, “we wish to note and inform the Liberian people that so far there are no sufficient indicators to suggest the Legislature has gone-to-bed with the executive or in other words, has been compromised.”
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne