Home Politics Boakai Replies Critics!… Showcases Gains In 100 Days; But Says ‘Vestiges Of The Past Still Stare” At His Regime

Boakai Replies Critics!… Showcases Gains In 100 Days; But Says ‘Vestiges Of The Past Still Stare” At His Regime

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MONROVIA: The Liberian Leader Joseph N. Boakai has sharply reacted to critics who described his first 100 days in office as a failure.

The President responded that his 100-day in office is not a comprehensive measure of his six-year administration.

He said it is one thing to rescue a country from corruption, decay, and mismanagement. And it is entirely another thing to set it on track and the right trajectory.

He, however, said it remains a challenge and responsibility that the Liberia people have entrusted to his administration, as such, he is determined, as the leader to chart a course that will not let our people down!

He noted that, given the urgency to provide immediate relief to millions of Liberians during the first quarter of the year, his government launched a 100-day deliverables plan.

He justifies that the 100 days plan of his government considered addressing urgent needs by intervening in critical sectors.

These interventions, implemented by the various ministries, agencies, and commissions (MACs), were informed by the following key objectives.

According to him, over the past 100 days, progress made, some of the challenges confronting them and setting long-term development goals to improve the living standards of Liberians in the coming years.

He pointed out that, when his government was ushered in one hundred days ago, it was against the backdrop of a people and country wanting a responsive government that would bring much relief from years of deprivation, indignity, and insecurity.

We started this journey together with the faith that we can face and address our difficulties, correct and set a path for a transformed future.

Addressing the nation recently on the occasion marking his 100 days in office, the Liberia leader said first, the need to ensure accountability in the public sector was a major objective underpinning service delivery in the first 100 days.

“Therefore, addressing transparency and accountability in the public sector by undertaking robust anti-graft measures, including strengthening financial oversight, and promoting ethical practices across all sectors to combat corruption, was seen as a critical step to removing barriers,” he said.

He noted that, secondly, as citizens of Liberia continued to be confronted with the seemingly perennial problems of poor roads and accessibility, addressing infrastructure needs was a priority objective of this plan.

He emphasized that, focusing on the maintenance of major road corridors, improving sanitation service, providing critical meteorological equipment, and upgrading ICT systems at the only international airport in the country was considered a major attempt at bringing relief to citizens.

“Third, wrestling two fundamental issues consequential to the future of our country in terms of expanding educational opportunities and combatting the drug and substance abuse scourge was an important objective to bolster this plan” the Liberian leader added.

He said his government, therefore, saw under this plan the need to support education for struggling students and implement interventions to rescue at-risk youth overtaken by the drug epidemic.

The President added that policy changes aimed at improving economic development were a fundamental objective of this plan.

In this quarter, initial reforms and capacity building in agriculture, tourism, and commerce were seen as building blocks for our long-term economic development.

“Pivotal to our 100-day deliverable plan, was the need to introduce key legislations crucial to our governance process, and to the promotion of the potential growth-spurring tourism sector. In these past 100 days, and despite limited resources, we were able to make significant gains against interventions we set out in various sectors,” he said.

He also said his government has taken major steps to boost agriculture as a cornerstone of our economic development which include the completion of national agriculture development plan, which will be ready for validation in the next two weeks.

He indicated that, in addition, a critical intervention to ensure that the government achieve their goal of reducing rice importation by 70% started this quarter with the acquisition and cultivation of 2000 hectares of land in Bong, Lofa, and Nimba Counties.
He added that, the Ministry of Agriculture has begun the cultivation of 1000 hectares of lowland at Fuamah Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Bong Mines.

“In addition, the government has launched and started the cultivation of the University of Liberia farms in Fendall, which is aimed at feeding students, generating income, and for practical training and research” he said.

Commenting on health, President Boakai noted that his government efforts to intervene in healthcare have not only aimed to provide essential medications and increase access to quality healthcare but also to gradually restore the confidence of our people and development partners in a healthcare system plagued by years of corruption and poor service.

He pointed out that, in keeping with their intervention to sustain the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies with reduction of stock-outs, the government has ensured that essential medicines and medical supplies are distributed to 100% of drug depots of 13 counties in the country, with Last mile distributions to Montserrado and Margibi Counties having been achieved 100%.

He said to improve diagnostic capacities at health centers and to address critical illnesses, the government has identified sites to build four regional diagnostic centers in the country soon.

In January, this year we declared the drug and substance abuse epidemic in the country a national health emergency.

According to him, as a result, the government saw the need to address what is perhaps one of the most troubling social crises of the modern era in Liberia. We are happy to announce that several interventions to combat the crisis have already been made this quarter in keeping with the stated deliverables.
“An inter-ministerial committee to lead the fight against substance and drug abuse was established.

Similarly, a robust public awareness campaign to dissuade young people from drug use has been taking place in schools, communities, churches, and mosques” he said.

President Boakai intimated that in addition, 123 beneficiaries of the At-Risk Youth Program have been transitioned from rehabilitation to recovery and reintegration.

“To show further commitment to suffering families, who are dealing with this crisis, the government has secured 50 acres of public land in Bentol for the Construction of a National Referral Neuropsychiatric Hospital. Still on the health front, and for good measure, our intervention has yielded a substantial reduction in maternal and neonatal deaths” he noted.

Torching on Road Rehabilitation and Infrastructure, he said a key target for the government’s deliverable for the first 100 days was the reconditioning of roads to ensure that they are pliable to create access and boost economic activities.

He said under their 100-Day Action plan for road maintenance, they earmarked 11 key projects across the country to make sure that primary roads are all pliable during all seasons.

The Liberian leader said, the Ministry of Public Works has been undertaking major road corridor projects totaling about 783.5 km in Bong, Lofa, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Rivergee, Grand Bassa, Sinoe, Maryland, and Grand Kru Counties. “To date, contractors, equipment, and logistics have been heavily mobilized, and active work such as clearing, grading, shaping, and stabilization of critical spots, identification of culvert lines, and borrowing pits for material testing along all corridors are ongoing” he said.

President Boakai stressed that, in addition, maintenance zones for equipment and road crew have been identified to ensure roads are maintained all year round. Adding that, “I am pleased to report that as a result of these interventions, we are receiving reports from citizens that travel time between counties has substantially been reduced” he said.

Commenting on public administration, President emphasized that, strengthening public administration for efficiency, including payroll and personnel audits across the government Ministries Agencies and corporations to eliminate waste and save the government urgently needed funds has begun to bear fruits.

He said other interventions such as the launch of a National Consultancy Policy to enhance the efficient use of the often-abused consultancy services in government was achieved.

On the issues Sanitation, he added that, it is well known that they inherited a poor sanitation system that they immediately sought to address noting that, to date, they have acquired the trucks and equipment needed and have begun to clear the sewage system in Monrovia. Similarly, we have begun to restore the water supply to Central Monrovia, Bushrod Island, Kakata, and Buchanan.

Speaking on Legislative Agenda, he said they have submitted three bills to meet our legislative agenda for the first 100 days. The following draft laws were submitted during this quarter: The Presidential Transition Act; the Bill for the Establishment of the Ministry of Local Government, and the National Tourism Bill.

He added that, despite these achievements, they also acknowledge that challenges remain and they have tried to meet these targets with limited resources in a tight fiscal space.

“In addition, we have inherited a system that was bedeviled by weak institutions and therefore under extreme stress. Vestiges of the past still stare at us and undermine service delivery to citizens,” he said.

He noted that, the road ahead is not without obstacles, and they must remain vigilant in their efforts to overcome them as they are committed to addressing issues of corruption and improving the material and social conditions of all Liberians.

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