The budgetary allotment for the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) should be increased so that the soldiers are motivated to effectively discharge their duties, Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, the security advisor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said.
He was speaking yesterday at this year’s Armed Forces Day Symposium, which brought together several panelists at the Monrovia City Hall to discuss the theme, “AFL Contributions to Peace, Stability and Development.”
The army, he said, must be innovative to go into business and diversify its activities to produce wealth so as to provide benefits for its active and retired personnel.
“The army has some educated personnel who can manage banking, factories, agricultural activities, construction and even the importation of commodities for distribution on the local market. The army, with its involvement in business, can be an agency of employment for thousands of university graduates, who are desperate for jobs,” Fahnbulleh declared.
The army as development partner of the civilian authorities, he said, “will then have to deal with the working of market forces and thus get an insight into the global generation of wealth and feel deeply the necessity for stability and peace to maximize the indicators of progress.”
“There is no development without adequate revenues or budgetary allotments, be it the army or any paramilitary organization,” Dr. Fahnbulleh told the gathering.
He said the AFL’s contribution to peace, stability and development must be evaluated within the context of their duty to the nation in order for the soldiers to be motivated.
In terms of economic growth and development, Fahnbulleh stated that the the army must protect the country’s natural resources from predators, who often escape the wrath of the State, thereby denying the citizens the right to utilize the resources for their benefit.
“In order to achieve this, the army needs to be equipped and to be equipped, the government needs to increase their budget to purchase the needed logistics,” Fahnbulleh said.
According to Fahnbulleh, it is often said that there can be no development without security, adding: “in this period of global economic downturn, we need to maximize all the potentials from the abundant resources to reconstruct the country.”
He said the army needs to be equipped, trained and deployed all over the country to protect Liberia’s territory, secure the resources and create an enabling environment for development to take place.