Liberia’s Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai, has challenged county superintendents and local officers to lift the burden of deprivation that the locals have had to endure and make them excited and optimistic participants of the Country’s governance system.
Ambassador Boakia spoke at the climax of the de-concentration platform launched on Saturday, 21 February 2015 in Gbarnga, Bong County, where for seven days, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and local officials brainstormed on the task of decentralization of government services, politics and administration.
He reminded the superintendents that progress in successive phases hinges largely on what they will make of the de-concentration phase.
“As we push ahead in this new paradigm in governance, we must keep in our mind the deprivation that our people have had to endure,” the Vice President urged, and stressed that it should be a move to lift such burden.
He underscored the administration’s firmness and commitment to the program, as he deemed it as government’s courage in pursuing courses that go to directly impacting the citizenry.
“Our resolve in this regard knows no bounds. Count on us to always be there whenever you need an extra push to get over a hurdle,” he said.
Mr. Boakai said as county officials are given such responsibility, it is also accompanied by the authority it demands for its successful execution.
He has notwithstanding reminded the local authorities that the main challenge lies in applying strategies contained in the de-concentration platform to practical situations in deriving anticipated outcome.
“More often than not, we have had very little difficulty in showing our prowess in the construction of nice-sounding and superbly looking theories, but then falling flat in the sphere of implementation”, he noted.
He finally reminded that “we” often get distracted from the main track, either by neglect, laziness, avarice, or sheer lack of commitment.
Earlier speaking, the Commissioner for De-concentration at the Governance Commission, Mr. Yarsua Weh-Dorliae, said to succeed, the requisite law through legislation was required, warning that what is not done legally is not done at all.
He pleaded with Vice President Boakai for his usual leadership and elder advice at the Legislature to ensure the passage of the law to legalize the power President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf recently conferred on the local officials.
Internal Affairs Minister, Morris Dukuly, said a total of 45 services have been identified for de-concentration, and said local government officers were now prepared after the re-orientation exercise to administer services in the counties.
The Ministry is hoping that in the 2015/2016 Fiscal Year, the Budget Law would be considered for allotting finances to the local government for direct implementation of government’s plans.
By Winston W. Parley