President George Weah is on track keeping and fulfilling his promises to the nation, contrary to public insinuations, according to Press Secretary Sam Mannah.
With about five months in office, public outcries being led by opposition figures continue inundate the public space that the government is taking the nation down the valley, as there are no tangibles of achievements since taking office in January.
Mr. Mannah has however shed light on the President’s good intentions and accomplishments in five months, to dispel the tightly held notions that nothing is being done, and that Liberia is in a mess.
He informed those trumpeting ‘Liberia is in a mess’ chorale to rethink, as the country was not in a mess, neither is it close to being in a mess.
“It’s the likes of some of you out there who think you know it all, or it’s either your way or no other way,” the Press Secretary said.
He said it was foolhardy and wishful thinking for any Liberian to put the country in such category when the President was working to address the problems that have long affected the citizens and held the country backward.
He chronicled the President’s accomplishments by pointing to actions he has already taken such as the construction of the first Military Hospital, and the payment of WAEC fees of 34,000 students as well as the recall of five concession agreements from the National legislature.
The government’s decision to recall the agreements had been informed by investigations that they (agreements) did not meet legal standards, and therefore not in the interest of the citizens.
He also recalled how the government compelled Mittal Steel to live up to their promise to pave the road connecting Ganta to Yekepa, not leaving negotiations to have Robertsfield Highway expanded into four-lane highway.
Also, the press secretary said the government established a US$1 million Credit Line for small Liberian businesses, and installed 736 out of 2,000 street lights across Monrovia.
The government has initiated discussions to maximize electricity through an alternative means are accomplishments chronicled by Mr. Mannah in a statement issued Monday.
According to him, the government reduced tariffs on all basic commodities imported into the country, and is currently paving the road connecting the Doe’s community to Clara Town.
“How can we be in a mess when we are changing the roofs on every home in the Gilbratar Community (President’s personal initiative), commenced the Installation of an online digital registration platform at the University of Liberia, as well as the provision of Free WiFi for students on the main campus of the University of Liberia?” he wondered.
The Press Secretary also highlighted placement of about 480 PSL teachers on government payroll, and the allocation of US$500,000 for the renovation of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital as major accomplishments of the government in five months of being in power.
In five months, he disclosed that government allocated funds to repair 32 National Transit Authority (NTA) buses to aid with public transportation, and about to embark on a US$7 million housing project to develop rural and slum communities.
Also, the Weah-led government took measures to help reduce wasteful spending by standardizing compensation, and also cut salaries of high-earning 4,000 government employees.
“The President led the way by being the first to reduce his salary by 25%, and now, we are poised to construct more paved roads in our first term than the entire past administrations combined within our over 170 years of existence,” the press secretary noted.
“Since our inception as a sovereign Nation about 170 years ago, we have only been able to pave 750 kilometers of road out of a total 11,000 kilometers of road network. That’s about a 94% deficit of unpaved road. President Weah, sensing the need to reduce this deficit has embarked on a robust road construction campaign to construct a total of an additional 759 kilometers of Road within the first 3 years of his Presidency.”
Making reference to loans, he advised Liberians to navigate the debate with a sense of realism, as the president was committed to ensuring that they (loans) are used for the intended purpose.
He said: “Development is not cheap, but the overall economic benefits it brings are unmeasurable. Liberia cannot be developed with our annual 500 plus million dollars budget that is mostly based on projected revenue and donors’ contribution.”
Written: By Sam Manneh