Make 2017 A Real Time for Change

In few months, Liberia will begin the process of presidential and Legislative elections. The success of the elections will transition the country to another era of boat – load of post war challenges. Although President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf achieved debt relief as one of the fundamental steps necessary for national reconstruction, other measures expected to kick off development fell short of expectations.

After 12 years, the hope was that sustainable energy development and supply, safe drinking, access to health care and education would had taken priority. It is true that attempts were made. But lack of policy implementation compounded by weak supervision from government oversight agencies stalled progress. People appointed to public offices weren’t adequately vetted for experience, moral character, national commitment and personal value’s alignment with national vision.

The result has been disappointing as most public officials feast on public revenues and international assistance for personal gains with impunity and without evidence of work done. Individuals opened clinics and health centers without proper government licensing and qualified staff, schools are operated in unfinished and abandoned structures without Ministry of education supervision to ensure the curriculum is an approved one. Some institutions of higher learning lacked tenured professors, research projects, adequate learning space, library and technology that will boost innovations and yet, universities and colleges are found all over Monrovia with government’s accreditation.

In addition, public agencies continued to waste money on rents more than quality assurance, innovation and technology to improve services. The President herself appears unconcerned about renovating the Executive Mansion as funds for the Mansion’s repairs go unaccounted for, according to public audit by the General auditing office.

The general lack of accountability has ruined Mrs. Sirleaf’s legacy. Her last minute effort on roads improvement and other projects is regrettably too little too late to make a mark. By beginning to do in a year what she had 11 years to do means nothing at this time.

But there’s one action Liberians can take to save the nation’s future and stop con men from making fortunes at the expense of the people. Liberians must know who they choose for president and legislators in the 2017 elections in order to protect the country from being overrun by another generation of corrupt officials.

It’s much more difficult to fine such people, but it takes careful look and hard questioning to fine one. At this moment only the citizens with a heart can do it.

 

 

 

Filed in: Op-ed

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