Amb. Rufus Neufville

The Only Way Out For The Government Of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai – Amb. Rufus Neufville Writes….

President Joseph Nyuma Boakai presided over his 3rd Cabinet Meeting yesterday. It is safe to assume that they discussed the scarcity of resources versus the high expectations of the Liberian people. This item has persisted on the agenda of many administrations while Liberians linger in poverty.

I am writing this note to tell the President that the only way out for his administration is to go out and look for money. The current revenue projection cannot solve even 20% of the problems this government inherited. The only thing a budget of $692.40 million can do is to pay recurrent expenditures and improve the lives of few people in Monrovia and some well-connected merchants. And the net result is that within few months the rest of the people will begin to build resentment towards the new “elites” and oppose the government.

Here is what I am talking about. Assuming we raise about $692.40 million per year for the 6 years of this administration and the recurrent expenditure stays at 92.5%. We will have $51.9 million each year for investment or development; and for the entire 6 years we will have about $311 million to alleviate the grinding hardship in the country.

Now, let us ask the hard questions:

  1. Can $311 million, spread over six years, build the roads and the infrastructure we promised?
  2. Can $311 million improve our educational system?
  3. Can $311 million increase civil servants’ salary and provide low-income housing units for teachers and nurses?
  4. Can this little money, spread over six years, solve the energy and water issues?
  5. What about providing support to private sector. Can we do this with such amount?
  6. Can these peanuts – $311 million – RESCUE the people from the ashes of social indignation?

None of these questions can be answered in the affirmative. We are in trouble and it is just a matter of time for you to see it in the faces of people on BROAD STREET. We are in trouble and it is just a matter of time for people to beat the drum of political change…

I feel for President Boakai and I think it would be unfair and unwise to blame him after just three months in office. BUT the government must move fast because hungry babies do not feel sorry for their parents for too long..

It is therefore my candid opinion that the administration must look outside of this tiny revenue envelope to solve the economic woes it inherited.

LIBERIA NEEDS MORE EXTERNAL HELP. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY OUT FOR THIS GOVERNMENT.

Amb. Rufus Neufville

Former Chief of Protocol

Republic of Liberia

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