President Weah speaking at the Mosque during the Thanksgiving Service. (photo: Executive Mansion…Says it surpasses that of any president since 1847With enormous economic and infrastructural challenges facing the country, the Executive Mansion has defended President George Weah five months “achievements” in office, claiming that the Weah Administration’s achievements surpasses that of any other President since the country’s independence in 1847.Even though the promise of connecting all county capitals by paved roads is yet to get into full swing, Weah has already been referred to by his office through a press release as the first sitting President in the country’s decades of existence that has promised to connect the entire country with paved roads.According to the release, President Weah insisted that no government has ever done well in its first five months in office than what his government has done within five months in office.“The President indicated that no amount of criticisms and dissenting public opinions will impede his government’s determination to advance its development agenda, because there are associated economic and trade dividends when the roads are paved,” the Executive Mansion release said.President Weah spoke Friday, July 20, at the Thanksgiving and Intercessory Prayer held at the Lusinee Kamara Mosque in Morris Farm, Paynesville, as part of events marking the 171st Independence Day celebration of Liberia.“Let me say this for all of us, especially the young people. No matter what, once you are there, people will have dissenting views; this is life. If you do well, another person will not appreciate it; you do badly, somebody will not appreciate it. So, no matter what you do in life, there will be critics but what is important is for us to remain focused on what we want to do,” Weah told the gathering of Islamic worshipers as quoted by the press release.Although the Executive Mansion release noted that the statement explains his vows as promised during the campaign period of the overall national development drive the country has ever witnessed since it was founded, the exchange rate between the Liberian dollar and the U.S dollar is yet to be stabilized, and the Weah-led administration is yet to make known government’s immediate action on how transaction with both currencies should go.“The President emphasized the urgent need for the people of Liberia to place unity at the front-burner of their undertakings during this period of celebration of the 171st Independence Day of the country,” according to the release regarding the event that took place at the mosque in Morris Farm.The President’s office further noted that national achievement through development does not come amid division and negative criticisms.“We are about to witness our 171st Anniversary; when we were designing our program to know what will be the order of the day, what we will be doing, the first thing that was on our agenda was to unite our brothers and sisters – Liberians,” Weah said, emphasizing his quest for a united Liberia and people.According to him, the situation Liberia faces did not start with his administration, but he stressed his commitment to change it while at the same time encouraging Liberians to watch for an unprecedented pace of development between now and December.“As we are about to celebrate our independence, what is happening today reflects things that will be on the books, but we are criticized for doing the right thing than those that did the wrong one,” Weah said.The President’s office said although fanaticism is considered part of human infrastructure, “Weah feels that it is always good for people to be constructive in their criticisms.”“Liberia will be 171 on July 26 this year since the problem started. Is it in the five months of my administration?” he quipped (joked), and again begged the indulgence of Liberians to exercise a bit of patience, because he has taken the responsibility to fix the numerous problems his administration has inherited.Earlier, Sheik Rashid A. Sheriff delivered the sermon and called on Liberians to unite, give the government a chance, and also desist from negative criticisms.Sheriff urged Liberians to be thankful to Allah (God) for all of the things happening, because that is the essence of our creation. “Unity is always the instrument for the growth of any nation,” he said.To score political marks, politicians are noted for exaggerating and back lashing their predecessors in order to win public sympathy as they perform their side of duty.Weah, whose administration has come to the Presidency through a popular vote, has yet to submit to his people the most talked about Pro-Poor Agenda.It was shocking to the hearing of the masses, during his speech on the state of the crumbling economy recently, when the President promised that an instrument called Pro-Poor Agenda for development will be completed soon and submitted to government’s partners for perusal and later implementation.It may be recalled that in 2006, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf launched the “Poverty Reduction Strategy” (PRS), an instrument that is also noted for desperately failing on its thematic points for the people it was initiated to free from the conundrum (mystery) known as extreme poverty.According to the UNDP’s (United Nations Development Program) latest index on poor countries, Liberia is the third poorest country in the world after Niger, whose GDP per capita is $1,069 (£744), and Burundi whose GDP per capita $951 (£662).Liberia’s GDP per capita stands at US$934 (£652) even though the country is wealthy in natural mineral resources while Malawi’s GDP per capita is $819 (£572); Democratic Republic of Congo’s GDP per capita is $753 (£525) and Central African Republic, has a GDP per capita of $639 (£445).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Almost two weeks after an order was issued for the closure of sandpits in Bartica by the Natural Resources Ministry, the Town Council has been facing some challenges as it relates to other pending projects.Bartica Mayor Gifford MarshallThis was related by the Mayor of Bartica Gifford Marshall who explained that the municipality has met the requirements that were demanded to improve the working conditions of the sandpits. However, those facilities are yet to be reopened.“One of our agencies responsible for mining came into Bartica and close what we would refer to as one of our sandpits. To date, that facility remains closed and of course, it is causing some major challenges for the municipality. Despite the municipality would’ve met the requirements that were demanded by the agency, that facility remains closed,” the Mayor stated.He noted that while the municipality is affected, the other challenges come from the fact that all works have been stalled until the matter is resolved and the sandpits are up and running. It is a situation that is considered as “unbearable”.“Of course, that means that all government projects are on hold. That also means that private contractors cannot work. The banks are calling us and asking us what is happening and it’s a situation that is getting unbearable to say the least,” he stated.Meanwhile, Mayor Marshall also posited that attempts were made to engage the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and if a positive outcome is not generated, then the Council would remain on the sideline and the decision would be left to the people of Bartica.“I spoke with the commissioner of GGMC just a few days ago and subsequently wrote him. It is my belief that if they do not act appropriately, then I think the people of Bartica will have to decide the way forward and I will leave that to them. Not the councilors and the Mayor, but the people of Bartica will have to decide the way forward.”Just two weeks ago, there were orders to close the sandpit following at Five Miles, Bartica following “dangerous safety infraction” that was said to have occurred there during a visit by the Minister within the Natural Resources Minister, Simona Broomes.Men were seen shoveling from a steep drop with unstable overburden which could have proven to be detrimental to those workers. Additionally, millions were reportedly owed in royalties to the GGMC.