County Service Center remains an asset…says President Sirleaf

Apr 22, 2016

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf cutting the ribbon to the County Service Center in Magibi County

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the opening of one of several County Service Centers across Liberia, has stressed the need for citizens and residents to give their fullest support and protection to the upkeep of the facility.

In Kakata, Margibi County where a second County Service Center was officially dedicated, the Liberian Leader commended the people of Margibi for working with government in realizing such an achievement, pointing out that the people have now become embedded into the County Service Centre. 

At a dedicatory ceremony held on Thursday April 21, 2016, President Sirleaf reminded citizens of Margibi that when they give their contributions in support of such initiatives it helps them reach their goals. 

"This center remains an asset, and so when you support it, appreciate it, and take ownership – it serves you better,” President Sirleaf said.

She said despite the challenges confronting her government, the goals set by her administration will be met in the interest of Liberians.

“We are happy to meet that one objective because when we, as citizens set out to do something, and after achieving, we look behind and say that we have achieved that goal - is the commitment that is now behind all of us together,” the Liberian Chief Executive noted. 

The establishment of County Service Centers across the Country, is part of the government’s De-concentration Platform under the Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP) primarily intended to bring services closer to the people. 

The LDSP is being funded and supported by the European Union, the Government of Sweden, United States Agency for International Development, United Nations Mission in Liberia, and the United Nations Development Programme.

The Service Center is a one-stop shop where documentation services relating to permits, licenses and certifications are offered reflecting the same quality and cost in Monrovia. 

Over 199,000 residents are expected to have access to these services in Margibi County.

At the dedication programme, President Sirleaf also implored the National Legislature through the County Legislative Caucus to impact political decentralization by acting on the Local Governance Bill before them for consideration. 

She also thanked local leaders, the Governance Commission, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, dedicated international partners and those who contributed meaningfully to the construction of the Service Center, by bringing their expertise to the table for such remarkable achievement towards Liberia’s developmental goals, as well as the enormous contributions and outstanding role played in the process of government’s decentralization. 

Also making remarks, the Chairman of the Governance Commission, Dr. Amos Sawyer, cautioned policy-makers to ensure that the program is irreversible and urged members of the National Legislature to pass the Local Governance Bill. 

For his part, the Chairman of the Margibi County Legislative Caucus, Representative Emmanuel Nuquay, termed the County Service Center as “a demonstration of the true love of the Government of Liberia to the people of his county and Liberians at large”. 

He said decentralization increases the people’s commitment to the democratization of any nation. 

Also making remarks, Kakata City Mayor Eddie Murphy said the construction of the Center will now make it easier for services to be rendered to people in the county, instead of travelling as far as Monrovia. 

Mr. Murphy admonished citizens of the county to make maximum use of the facility and avoid taking matters into their own hands, in case they visit the Centre and the kind of service they envisage is not available. 

He called on the citizenry not to become disgruntled and resort to any acts of vandalism. 

In separate remarks made by international partners, the government of Sweden represented by the visiting State secretary for International Development Cooperation Ms. Urika Modeers applauded the Government of Liberia for efforts made to concretize its decentralization programme.

Ms. Modeers spoke of her government’s longstanding relationship with the people of Liberia and observed that so far, Liberia was heading in the right direction.

The Political Counselor of the European Union delegation to Liberia Anna Somblard said the EU recognizes that service delivery is meant to reduce the suffering of citizens, adding that the County Service Center will make it easier for the people of Margibi County to remain in the county in order to access services they previously sought in Monrovia. 

On behalf of the United Nations System in Liberia, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and UNDP Resident Representative Antonio Vigilante, described decentralization as a meeting point between the government and its citizens, which can only foster better understanding, increase participation and promote community empowerment.

Mr. Vigilante applauded the commitment by the Government of Liberia to accelerate the establishment of County Service Centers across Liberia. He expressed the hope that fees collected from these services are maintained for better sustainability of the facilities.

He assured long term support from UNDP, mentioning that there are plans to support a business window within the County Service Centers through micro and small enterprise programme.

Some of the documentation services to be accessed include traditional marriage certificates, birth registration, deeds registration, drivers’ license, work permits etc.

Contact

For further information, contact:

Virginia Chitanda Chief Technical Advisor Decentralization Programme virginia.chitanda@undp.org  Tel: +231-775237796

D. Emmanuel Wheinyue- Media Engagement Officer, National Decentralization Implementation Secretariat, Ministry of Internal Affairs/Email- dwheinyue@yahoo.com Tel;+231      0770178755/0886222510

Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.org Tel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425

Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: zotasam@gmail.com Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162

 

          

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