Last Service Center Officially Dedicated in Montserrado CountyDec 20, 2017
The Liberian Leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on 20 December cut the ribbon to the Montserrado County Service Centre in Bentol. It’s the last of the 15 new centres to be commissioned.
These county-level administrative centres, build with support from UNDP, EU, USA, UNMIL and Sweden, provide essential basic government services to a large number of citizens.
Dignitaries including Farid Sarif, UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UNDP’s Resident Representative Yacoub El Hillo, UNDP’s Country Director, Pa Lamin Beyai, and Ambassadors from EU, USA and Sweden, helped officially launch the centre.
To date, more than 30,000 people have accessed the services nationwide, raising over US$500,000 in revenue for the government coffers, which goes back into the system to provide more services.
Having basic government services at the county-level, according to President Johnson Sirleaf, is only one part of decentralization. Liberia’s development depends on having these one-stop shops at the heart of counties, rather than clumped together in Monrovia.
“If you can’t get a drivers’ license, it’s not working. If you can’t get a wedding certificate, it’s not working. Let’s go that extra mile to show that it’s working as it should,” she said.
Some of the services provided at the centre include marriage license, birth certificates, business registration, labor dispute submissions, and psychosocial support, among 13 other services.
This is a great step towards decentralization. Currently, citizens must travel to Monrovia to access these basic services regardless of where they are in the country.
Some people travel for one week, at great cost, to reach the capital city, then they pay for lodging and food, on top of the cost of the services themselves.
This results in many people forgoing the documentation, or waiting until the last minute.
Now, the centres can provide those services all in one place closer to home.
Over the period 2015-2017, UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs with funding from donors like EU, Sweden and USA, constructed or refurbished 15 centres, and outfitted the buildings with all the furnishings to make them functional.
As a result of this investment, government budgets have allocated significant funding to keep these centres operational.Contact
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