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UP govt. lays foundation for decentralization

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-CNDRA Director General
The Director General of the Center for Nation Document and Record Agency or CNDRA, Madam P. Bloh Sayeh says the Unity Party-led government headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has laid the foundation of genuine efforts to decentralize governance and public services to citizens across Liberia.

Madam Sayeh says the UP-led administration has also adequately responded to the needs of the citizenry taking services directly to the people, noting that the completion of the new service center in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County is a clear indication the government, under the UP has prioritized decentralization of its major activities.

Addressing a news conference Thursday, April 14, at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism on Capitol Hill, the CNDRA Executive Director praised the Sirleaf administration for responding to the basic needs of Liberians by taking service delivery outside of Monrovia to enable them have an opportunity to have access to those services that are in the capitol.

Speaking on the recent launch of the new historical website, she said the exercise was intended to respond to many challenges, including land issues, stressing that Land record is a key component to land reform, adding that having properly managed, stored and preserved land records is important in maintaining peace, and resolving highly explosive land issues in the country.

Madam Sayeh pointed out that land issues can be traced directly to fraud which is in some case aided by improperly managed records. “In order to address these issues, we have to plan for our own agency and in our plan be inclusive of how we relate to other agencies and ministries that are land stakeholders in doing this, the first step was to build our human resource capacity, where we trained people in basic computer science courses such as Word and Print Shop, among others.”

The Executive Director described land rights law as important, because it brings all land services under one entity instead of those services being fragmented, adding “This new land agency can lay down the foundation for sustainable development.”

She said a national land valuation data base that supports equitable property taxation can substantially increase government revenue, and land authority can also provide a basic infrastructure on which to build a modern spatial information system designed to support sustainable development in the country.

She recalled that on 21 March President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf officially launched the Liberian History Website known as Liberian Journey, History, Memory, and the Making of a Nation. Madam Sayeh indicated that this interactive website can generate good debates on Liberian History, which she says has a potential to unify Liberians as well as becoming a tool that can be used to obtain additional historical information to produce an inclusive history of Liberia.

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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