Over eighty Participants from six counties in Liberia have recommended to the Government of Liberia the suspension of the creation of new sub national units in the country to enable government administrative structures properly function.
The participants made the recommendation last weekend in Gbarnga, Bong County in a joint resolution when the Ministry of Internal Affairs concluded a three-day High Level Consultation and Sensitization on the Rationalization of Government Administrative Structures.
The participants also recommended that people who are elected to public offices desirous of seeking higher elected positions resign their posts before contesting.
The participants, including city mayors, civil society organizations, chiefs, political party representatives and local leaders, as well as representatives from other government institutions, expressed the belief that rationalizing local government structures will heavily assist government in its development plan.
In their joint resolution, they also maintained that when government administrative structures are rationalized, government will be efficient, effective and will experience the reduction of financial burden.
Speaking to our Bong County correspondent at the forum, Assistant Internal Affairs Minister for Urban Affairs Robert Bestman said the creation of many cities in the country in the absence of the basic necessities has resulted to huge personnel costs for the government.
Assistant Minister Bestman said considering such sub government institutions makes it difficult for the government to undertake projects it should be undertaking. “In Sierra Leone, we have about four commissioners, but in Liberia our commissioners are too many that it makes it difficult for government to even buy them ve3hicles because if you want to buy a US$25, 000 car for each commissioner and you do the calculation, the calculator will not accommodate the figure due to the amount of money it will cost government,” he said, adding that as a result, “the government has to always postpone access to some of these amenities. Every year we have to say next year because we want to see whether government can raise the money.”
The Assistant Minister for Urban Affairs, speaking about the creation of cities, further noted that there were too many cities in some counties very under populated and do not have services cities should have, stressing that if cities must be created based on population, Nimba County for example, would have more than two hundred cities, while Bong County might also have over one hundred and fifty cities, that will cost a lot of money for the government.
Minister Bestman also disclosed that consultations on the Rationalization of Government Administrative Structures have been taking place across the country and would be climaxed with Members of the Legislature to whom recommendations from across the country will be presented for approval.
By Papa Morris from Gbarnga, Bong County -Edited by George Barpeen