Home Politics NAYMOTE ‘Fixes’ Boakai -As Liberians Weigh In

NAYMOTE ‘Fixes’ Boakai -As Liberians Weigh In

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By Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: There have been nothing tentative about President Boakai’s first 100 days in office. The defining characteristics of his presidency were his appetite for leadership, the breadth of his ambitions, and his determination to implement the Unity Party’s ARREST agenda amidst opposition.
Boakai began to lead even before he was sworn in, responding to the road crisis by pledging his administration’s commitment to prevent road connectivity from becoming even worse. He has set in motion many initiatives.
Analysts say he has been rewarded with approval ratings that exceed those of his predecessors for his first time, while other citizens raised serious questions about the long-term implications of his agenda.

As NAYMOTE Liberia Executive Director, Eddie D. Jarwolo noted, “NAYMOTE is tracking actions taken towards the 100-day commitments of the Unity Party led government.”

The NAYMOTE’s report, released Monday, May 13, 2024, on Boakai’s first 100 days in office, highlighted both failures and progress in critical areas that concern the nation’s growth and development.

Of the many promises, the report said: “The Boakai-Koung administration completed only 10%; leaving 42% in progress and 48% not rated.”

Others believe that no presidency is truly defined in the first 100 days, but there are clear insights into a new leader’s temperament, governing style, and political philosophy that can guide the future.

For Boakai, the transition from presidential candidate to the Mansion began to answer some of the contradictions that persisted through his long quest for Executive Mansion.

One of those was how Boakai would resolve the tension between his talk on the post-partisan governing style and the substance of an agenda that tilted clearly in the direction of competence and good governance.

“It is clearer that Joseph Boakai was actually serious about the agenda he was advancing and now as president, he is trying to move it,” said a policymaker who prefers anonymity for this story.

Boakai also definitively answered the question of which would take priority, enacting the broad agenda of the War and Economic Crimes Court that he championed throughout the campaign or responding to corruption that hit in so hard as the campaign ended.

Pundits questioned whether he could do both, given the fiscal implications.

Boakai decided not to choose between them, and he used a recent statement when he suspended the Financial Intelligence Agency boss, Stanley Ford, that there is no tolerance for any form of malpractice, and later directed the Ministry of Justice to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the allegation of stolen money.

Boakai’s ambitions were revealed through his agenda. His appetite for governing is clear from the way he talked about the presidency; supporters say that his goal is to be a transformer.

His most revealing comment came on April 1, 2024, in an interview with Alan Kasujja, Host of BBC’s Africa Daily.

“Corruption is responsible for where we are and the crisis of this country because a lot of people come to the government believing that they come there to enrich themselves.
“We came on a rescue ticket, to rescue this country from corruption and to make sure that we move the country in the direction that there will be development,” the Liberian President indicated.

The remaining unresolved question was Boakai’s political move.

His first 100 days produced much-talk but little action. His critics called him too old, and other opposition politicians warned that he had begun a dangerous experiment by weeding out CDCians from public sector positions.

The NAYMOTE report points to a major failure in education despite promises to improve the sector in the course of his first 100 days.

In Education: “No available information,” said the report, “to pay outstanding scholarship for local and international students and complete the construction of 25 schools which are nearing completion.”

According to the Civil Society Group, the government could not provide information about retaining or optimizing the free tuition program to ensure the delivery of the program’s objectives. –Including the provision of adequate academic and logistical support for the current 22,000 students.

Some UP-Aalliance members described the report as progressive; analysts responding to the report said that much was expected from the rescue team.

The report generated mixed public reactions via Liberian social media users, for example, Ernest Jorginho Tubman, said,’ You guys failed in delivering what you promised the Liberian people in your 100-day deliverables. We pray that you guys do better in your six years. All we need is a better Liberia for everyone.”
His economic policies amount to a huge increase in government spending and a major intervention of Gov’s budget towards the Public Sector Investment Program; however, NAYMOTE argues that there is no available information on the suspension of CTN and Review of the MedTech Contract, moratorium on duty free, and tax incentives as indicated by the government.

Whether this is seen by Boakai as necessary for the economic problems he inherited or an underlying belief in the effectiveness of the government will be known later.

In an administration that includes major and world-class personalities, such as Foreign Affairs Minister Sara Beslow Nyanti, there is no doubt about who is setting the tone.

He is an experienced old man, professional, and politician. “He believes effective government is important for the people,” said another Face-book commenter.

Other critics disagree with the substance of Boakai’s economic policies and believe that those policies will look more questionable in a year or two than they do at the moment.
Others think that it will be months before the public begins to judge whether or not he has delivered promising results. However, in his first 100 days, Boakai had already revealed much about himself.

Eddie D. Jarwolo: “The Boakai-led administration has tackled a robust plan with 107 deliverables spanning multiple sectors since taking office. Of these, 11 constituting 10% are completed, 45 constituting 42% are in progress, and 51 constituting 48% remain unrated due to the lack of available information, signaling the need for proactive measures to fulfill commitments to the Liberian populace.”

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