Liberia: Creating A Vibrant Private Sector and Not Dishing Out and Tussling Over Government Jobs Is the Way Forward

Petrol station in downtown Monrovia, Liberia (Wikimedia Commons: Erik Hershman)

Guest Editorial by Rev. Dr. Slewion P. Lewis

Over the years, the practice of dishing out and tussling over appointed and non-appointed government positions has and continues to be a normal thing in our body politics as Liberians. Because of this political culture that has overwhelmed our political system for so many years, and that is so common in our governance structure, many of our citizens and politicians tend to depend heavily on government jobs for survival or as the only means of living a decent life. 

Equally so, because of a very weak and ineffective private sector, many of our citizens, including top politicians, run to the public sector for employment, thereby placing a huge burden on the government as it relates to employment opportunities for its citizens.

While it's true that the government, in any given society, is the highest employer, yet, it is very impossible, no matter the economy of the country, for any government to employ all of its citizens.  

As our beloved country is now under a new dispensation and leadership, and as we love Liberia, think Liberia and build Liberia, creating a vibrant private sector and not dishing out jobs or tussling over appointed government positions is the way forward, if this administration is poised to reduce the unemployment rate in the country and increase to an appreciated level the standards of living of its citizens.

With the primary aims of surviving in the midst of competing choices and priorities and minimizing profits, the private sector plays a pivotal and vital role in the economy of any nation. By creating employment opportunities, providing efficient and proficient goods and services, stimulating economic growth, generating tax revenues which the government can use for financing key social and infrastructure developments, and helping to solve some developmental challenges of the country, the private sector is without doubt a key component of any society.

Recognizing the importance of a vibrant private sector, the government should prioritize policies and laws that will promote the private sector and create an enabling environment where the private sector will be able to thrive. The private sector in addition to creating employments, plays a crucial role as a catalyst for economic growth and development globally. And with its objectives of business and innovation, the private sector mobilizes resources and fosters creative innovation and productivity which are significant for the economic growth of any nation.

Therefore, as His Excellency Joseph N. Boakai, Sr. continues the appointments of members of his cabinet and other officials of government, let the government prioritize making the private sector vibrant by supporting the development of specific kinds of businesses through providing support packages for small and medium-sized businesses. Providing incentives for other large-sized businesses and direct foreign investments in addition to increasing productivity through competition and innovation are other ways that this administration can make the private sector vibrant and reduce the stress of unemployment within country.

Ergo, it's my prayer that the president will consider the creation of a presidential task force on private sector that will serve as advisor to him on private sector reforms and encourage more private investments and contributions through recommendations for appropriate actions that will foster greater public-private partnerships and at the same time reduce the burdens and dependence on the national government for employment.

Long live our Sweet land of liberty and may  peace and Iove reign throughout the length and breadth of our common patrimony.

About the Author

The Rev. Dr. Slewion P. Lewis is an ordained priest of the Episcopal Church of Liberia who currently serves as Dean of the Emmanuel W. Johnson College of Theology at the Cuttington University Undergraduate Program, Director of Theological Education, Episcopal Church of Liberia and Priest-in-Charge at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Sergeant Kollie Town (SKT), Suakoko, Bong County