By Jefferson D. Tweh
In an effort to bring government closer to the people, the Government of Liberia and its development partners have demonstrated their commitment and dedicated two service centers in Margibi and Bong Counties. Speaking at the dedicatory program of service centers in Gbarnga, Bong County; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said her government has a long way to go and that it requires strong commitment on the part of the government to take the next mark. President Sirleaf said that Liberia has come a long way and still has to go further. She thanked the development partners for their support and also congratulated the citizens of the two counties for the commitment made.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Governance Commission, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer said the County Service Center is the first thing in the decentralization process. He disclosed that government’s target is to get closer to the completion of service centers in 15 counties before the end of this administration. Dr.Sawyer congratulated the development partners for the great support given to the Government of Liberia. For his part, the Representative of District # 3, Bong County, George Mulbah, said decentralization started in 2006 when US$1 million was identified in the national budget, and both Executive and Legislature Branches agreed that funding be sent to the counties. He noted that this is the first time that Liberians in the hinterland can sit and determine how to use the funding from national budget, and there “we followed it with US$3 million.”
Rep. Mulbah explained that concessioners that came to Liberia were asked to make contributions to the community and that the funding is called “Social Development Funds”. According to Representative Mulbah, the County Service Center is a landmark that President Sirleaf set for the country and that there should be a legislation to support the process.He said County Service Center will help to boost government’s revenue. He then urged the citizens of Bong County as well as those who will work in the service center to maintain it appropriately.
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