The Emerging Liberia: A Responsible Government Part II

David K. Flomo


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

June 18, 2004


A year ago, The Perspective published my first article on "The Emerging Liberia: A Responsible Government" which outlined accountability and transparency in government if the NTGL of Chairman Charles C. Byrant is to restore some trust and confidence in government during this transition period. However, we see the norms and the attitude of "business as usual" being practiced by some officials of government especially our professionals and nonprofessionals (returnees from USA and Europe) who are part of what I called "The Crisis Management and Compromised Government of Liberia/CMCGL" formulated in Accra under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement/CPA designed to end the violence and massive killings that were the order of the day in Liberia by the former rebel government of Charles Taylor and the incoming rebels of MODEL and LURD.

Again, I want to advance the following to the members of the NTGL, rebel movements of LURD, MODEL, and NPP who formed "The Crisis Management and Compromised Government of Liberia/CMCGL" under the chairmanship of Charles C. Byrant to immediately desist from the tendency of doing business as usual by putting in place polices and programs as the foundation for the incoming legitimate government of Liberia following the 2005 general elections.

I'll suggest that Chairman Byrant discourages the tendency of congratulatory messages and resolutions published in local newspapers on his birthday, anniversary, travels, and national holidays in his/wife name. I think frowning/discouraging these publications and suggesting funding for these ads be directed to charity organizations will send a clear message that change is coming and the occupant of the Executive Mansion will no longer condone unnecessary praises and resolutions. Media institutions in Liberia must desist from publishing unnecessary captions/headlines for the occupant of the Executive Mansion when the story doesn't warrant headline but instead must caption headlines of ordinary citizens who are doing ordinary things to restore their lives, either by rebuilding their homes, sending their children to schools, and getting involved in community empowerment programs.

Political institutions and politicians in Liberia must respect the Liberian people’s intelligence and must not insult their intelligence by showering them with rice, money, pledges, and not well planned project for their communities simply for election fever favors and votes. Instead, these politicians must realized that after elections season, these communities will still exist.

I, therefore, urge these politicians to use their resources on projects/programs that will benefit the Liberian communities even after the elections season. I will prefer a politician financing a community center for local communities in Liberia designed for after school programs for the poorest neighborhoods whose residence cannot afford electricity for their children to study and do school assignments, whose children cannot afford playground materials/equipment, whose residence cannot afford a copy of local newspaper daily, whose residence cannot afford minimum payment for a hall for meetings, conferences, weddings, and community programs. A community center built for these purposes in the Liberian communities by politicians will serve the general good of the community instead of rice, poorly built latrines, and cash donations that highly benefit the general good of the community. The Liberian politicians must start discussing the constitutional empowerment of the Liberian people by advocating the teaching of the Liberian Constitution in the Liberian School System so that "No one Liberian will interpret the Law of the Land" and that government must fund, print, and make available to every Liberian a pocket-size copy of the constitution free of charge.

The NTGL, NTGLA, Civil organizations, and the Liberian people must now start advancing proposals for public discussions for the incoming government to adopt through Legislations if we're to move Liberia forward. I am of the opinion these discussions/ideas must formed part of our kitchen/beer table discussions for the emerging Liberia if we dare a responsible government. In order to empower the regional/county government, the National Election Commission must conduct regional/county officials elections before the general Presidential elections, government must decentralize/create seven regional headquarters for government services, develop a tax code/revenue system for all counties, develop a county budget system managed by the county administration, provide each county an annual county development seed fund of $1 Million dollars over a period of five years from the Maritime Fund Revenue/GOL Development Fund, and develop a Regional Energy Efficiency and Capacity Building Program/Hydro-Electrcity Project at the regional levels because of the availability and abundant of rivers in every sector of the country.

It's now time for GOL to reduce the size of government for efficiency and productivity and introduce fiscal responsibility. There's the urgent need for government to construct/own all ministries and agencies and terminate all lease agreements with private property owners and merge, consolidate, relocate, rename, and eliminate most ministries and agencies.

The following ministries and agencies should be merged, motor vehicle division and vehicle registration at National Police Headquarters and Ministry of Finance be transferred to the Ministry of Transport, the CID, FBI, BINS, NSA, and SSS be consolidated into a new Ministry of National Security, rename Ministry of Information/Cultural Affairs to Ministry of Information and consolidate the cultural section into the Ministry of Local Government and the Tourism section into the Ministry of Commerce and renamed Ministry of Local Govt as Local Govt & Cultural Affairs, and Ministry of Commerce as Commerce & Tourism.

The following ministries/agencies/institutions must be relocated to make them relevant, create jobs, and accessible. The ministries of Agriculture, Local Govt/Cultural Affairs, and FDA be relocated to Bong County, National Defense, BTC, Camp Schefflin, and LPMC to Grand Bassa County, and build the new Ministry of National Security at BTC site, build the National Training Academy (for training security and paramilitary officers of Liberia) at Camp Schiefflin and transfer the National Police Academy to Schiefflin.

To divert traffic and create a consolidated ministries and agencies, the site of ATS should be used for the construction of the Ministry of Sports/Recreation and the site for the General Market be used for public parking lot for the ministries of Sports/Recreation and the Ministry of National Security and the ATS be consolidated at SKD complex and the General Market at the Fiamah Market.

While we've relative peace returning to Liberia, we need to seize the opportunity to embark on new directions, visions, policies, and programs for the emerging Liberia with the help of the international community. These policy proposals and ideas will give the people of Liberia hope and trust that there's new day/change coming to Liberia and "doing business as usual" will take a back seat in the new Liberia.

About the Author: David K. Flomo is a Local Liberian Community Activist and Information Systems Technologist. He lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina