Liberia: Making sense of a true change

Liberian President Weah must give all Liberians a fair chance

It does not make any sense for government officials of Liberia to make more salaries and allowances more than their American counterparts. This is because payments of salaries and allowances in all successful countries and companies are determined by productive capacities.  In the Liberian situation, what is the benchmark?

There is huge doubt for any Liberian who claims a love for the country and to have the Liberian people at heart if he or she is using his or her position of power to exploit the Liberian people for personal benefit. There is no doubt the current pay and allowances for Liberian government officials amount to economic exploitation. This amount to a crime.  

Love of country means those in position of power are making sacrifices for the common good of the country, which means creating opportunities for people to fend for themselves.  

Moreover, this will be in line with article one of the Liberian Constitution. It says anyone serving in government including the president is a public servant and the key reason of service is working for the satisfaction and security of the Liberian people by doing what the people want and not the other way around.

It is for this reason, I am asking the Weah’s government to right this wrong. This July 26 in 2018 will mark the 72 years of this wrong. The question is, what are celebrating when the livelihoods of 98 percent of the population is at the mercy of nature?  

Though President George M. Weah and Vice President Jewel Cianneh Howard Taylor failed to take up the issue of salaries and allowances reduction in favor of millions of suffering Liberians as senators, the Liberian people took their bet on them in anticipation they would do the right thing once elected. For this reason, it is the chance for this government to create fair fighting chance for ordinary Liberians.

Let their economic team calculate and tell the Liberian people how much amount these cuts will save in terms of dollars and cents.  I suggest making the Roberts International Highway four lanes must be the first project from these cuts. It is not wrong to ask for help from others, but one’s willingness to help himself or her demonstrates seriousness.

This will also attract more help. The example and true meaning of a change will allow the Liberian people to internalize. This is concrete as one can see and feel it. For too long we talk change in abstract terms. It is time to talk change in concrete and measurable terms with timeline.

We should all recognize that one of our key problems is living a false lifestyle as a country, which is living an unsustainable life. The resulting effect is that the few in position of power are exploiting the majority of the population to maintain such a lifestyle.  

Additionally, I am proposing $20 million United States dollars inclusion in the national budget for domestic scholarships for higher learning at the University of Liberia and other higher institutions and 2 percent of all business taxes towards education.

The Liberian people, particularly the youths, need a fair fighting chance. This proposed scholarship program is an example of equal fighting chance as one will only be required to score and maintain the grades to qualify. No specil connection is required in any form.

When this is done Liberians at home and abroad will contribute to such rewarding project once it is transparent and outside political influence. 

We need to re-examine ourselves. Before we borrow, we should first reform the utilization of our resources. For example, even handpumps and community toilet projects are founded by NGO’s or donors.  Where is the money from our resources?   From the Freeport of Monrovia? From Roberts International Airport? From Maritimes? From Liberia Revenue Authority?  From Forestry Development Authority? From Lands, Mines and   Energy…gold and diamond, From the 25 percent high currency exchange from remittances to Liberian through western Union and Money gram etc.…?

This will mark the true beginning of change for Liberia and the Liberian people.  This will give all Liberian children a fighting chance and hope for a better livelihood.  This will also take away leaders using state resources for personal benefit.

An independent commission should be created by an act of legislation to handle these funds.  This will give all children in the 134 administrative districts, 73 electoral districts, and 15 counties a fighting chance for higher education. This will motivate both girls and boys to compete.

This is how to make a sense of a genuine change.

 

Jarwinken Wiah

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