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Don’t slow us down Ellen tells lawmakers

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President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is seeking the commitment of Liberian lawmakers in approving resources and exercising oversight responsibility, pleading with the legislature not to slow the executive down in the discharge of its responsibilities.

“Finally, whatever we do, we are the administration, we are the executive we won’t do it without the legislature. They have to also approve the resources to the budget; they have oversight responsibility, but I’m saying to them – don’t slow us down,” she said Monday while dedicating a 68.61 kilometer rehabilitated Gbarnga – Ganta – Guinea border route.

Addressing concerns to complete the road connection around the country before leaving power, Mrs. Sirleaf said the government cannot do it alone and admitted of having challenges that require the cooperation of all, particularly those that are paid to leave alleys so as to enable road construction work to go on.

The dedication in the Liberian border town of Ganta was graced by Guinea’s Minister of State, Mr. Elha Bah Ousman and his entourage, following which President Sirleaf and her entourage briefly visited the Guinean town of Jakay before returning to Monrovia.

President Sirleaf thanked those who –one way or the other, contributed to the project, including officials and contractors, as well as the multiple partners involved, especially the World Bank and European Union, among others.

In response to a request by Liberians who after working with foreign contractors sought certification from the government to operate their own construction firm, President Sirleaf instructed her Minister of Public Works, Mr. Gyude Moore, to look into such request.

“So, I want you to look into that and see because I see the potential of that in what they are driving towards. When the government in its new law had said the 25 percent of all goods and services [that are] financed by public resources will be given to Liberian enterprises; I hope we can see these people coming together to be able to win some contracts,” she said.

President Sirleaf said the great joy of being part of the dedication was the prospects [of]integration … that have been set by the presidents of the Mano River Union. “Our goal is to ensure that there’s connectivity among all of our countries,” she said, particularly considering the enhancement of inter-connectivity of roads, power and communication.

President Sirleaf said the project was just a small beginning, but admonished Liberians that development is not only government; but what the people themselves do to be able to complement government’s work.

She exceptionally praised residents of Ganta for the level of development that they are carrying on in the city, citing structures that have been built there as clear indication of their readiness for peace and development.

She also gave credit to county officials, including the superintendents as being the driving force behind the development by warning citizens against building structures at the front view of the city that are not presentable.

Public Works Minister Moore said the government’s intention was for citizens in Monrovia or other parts of Liberia to drive by road to Ghana, Ivory Coast and other neighboring countries on a paved road. He announced that feasibility studies and designing are being done for the roads from Buchanan to Greenville, Barclayville onto [Harper], expressing confidence that by December, the road between Pleebo and Harper will be built.

Deputy Finance Minister James Kollie admonished Liberians to take advantage of the road in the direction of the economic value it has in an effort to decreasing the economic collapse here. Lawmakers from Bong and Nimba Counties, including Sen. Henry Yallah and Rep. Matornakay Tingbeh in separate remarks, thanked President Sirleaf and the government and partners for the project, describing it as a milestone.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by George Barpeen

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