Decentralization of documentation services move to Central Liberia

Apr 26, 2016

As the Government of Liberia continues its implementation of the de-concentration platform launched by the Liberian Leader sometime last year, a third County Service Center (CSC) has been dedicated, this time, in Gbarnga, Bong County.

This is in keeping with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s promise to the people of Liberia, to take the government closer to them. It is a continuation of ensuring that rural residents have access to documentation services.

Already, the CSC  opened in Buchanan in Grand Bassa which has reported revenue generation of over 1.8million dollars for the period July 2015 to January 2016.

A second Center has been dedicated in Kakata, Margibi County and the fourth to be opened in Sanniquellie Nimba County at the same cost and quality like in Monrovia.

Construction of other County Service Centers are underway, in Rivercess, Gbarpolu, Grand kru and Bomi Counties.

Over 300, 000 people in Bong County and surrounding areas will access the CSC which will deliver essential Government documentation services, including traditional and Western marriage certificates, Liberian and foreign owned sole proprietorships, business registration, deeds registration, school operation licenses, zoning and land use permit, ECOWAS alien work permit, among others.

The Government of Liberia, through a European Union Grant contribution, is facilitating the actualization of County Service Centers (CSCs) in eight counties.

This is being carried out under the Liberia Decentralization Support Program or LDSP managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Liberia. Other partners include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Mission in Liberia (UMMIL) and the Government of Sweden.

Staff operating these centers are recruited from the counties specified and trained under the project.

At the dedication of the Center in Gbarnga, Bong County on April 25, 2016, President Sirleaf applauded all stakeholders in the process for the strong partnership especially during the challenging times.

The Liberian Leader spoke of the commitment of local and international partners that continue to stand behind Liberia especially in difficult times. “You have all bent your elbows to make this happen. We are now seeing the results” said President Sirleaf.

Governance Commission Chairman Dr. Amos Sawyer described the County Service Center as the first stage in the decentralization process.

According to Dr. Sawyer, the central Government remains the source of a lot of power, but with a responsibility to delegate power to local authority.

He stressed the need for the Legislature to pass into law the Local Governance Act in order to sustain the wishes of the people under the local governance structure.

Speaking on behalf of the Legislature, Bong County Representative George Mulbah promised to impress upon his colleagues at the National Legislature to pass the Local Governance Act. Representative Mulbah urged citizens to properly access and utilize the facilities offered to them.

At the same time, the Political Counselor of the European Union delegation to Liberia Anna Somblard, credited the Government of Liberia for the political will and commitment to serve its people through the decentralization programme.

Ms. Somblard said decentralization makes access to central government by its people easier, promotes nation building and holds government accountable to the people.

For her part, Swedish Ambassador to Liberia Lena Nordstorm, reminded Liberians that development comes from responsible leaders and requires hard work and full participation which are powerful instruments for decentralization.

On behalf of the UN Family, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for the Rule of Law, Walderman Vrey applauded Government’s willingness and commitment to mobilize resources and technical expertise toward the smooth execution of public policy administration. Mr. Vrey expressed the hope that County Service Centers will make services friendlier to women.

The CSC, described as a one-stop shop now reduces the struggle faced by many rural residents in accessing various documentation services.

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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