Deputy SRSG Underscores Importance of Decentralization

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The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General of United Nations Mission in Liberia, Antonio Vigilante, has underscored the importance of the County Service Center (CSC) to the decentralization process that would allow the people to have access to basic services in the various counties.

The Deputy SRSG made the statement at the groundbreaking ceremony of the CSC in Gbarpolu County, which would allow the people to have access to services they had over the years obtained from Montserrado County.

Mr. Vigilante said it is not possible that Liberia keeps so much concentration in Monrovia. “We have to extend services to other counties and not leave behind those counties that are more remote.

“The Service Center, when completed will be very important, because the people will not have to travel to Montserrado County to get marriage certificates, birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, and alien registrations among others,” he said.

“We need to start with those that have been neglected. When beginning this program, we decided to start with the counties that have the infrastructure, like Bong, Lofa and Grand Bassa. We also decided that all counties have service centers which can support decentralization and development in general,” he said.

He said partners of the government, including European Union (EU), Swedish Government, UNDP and USAID have decided to fully support the decentralization process of the government, especially through the UNMIL quick impact project.

“Together with partners of the government, we will make sure that the service center in Gbarpolu is opened, done well and quickly, because resources have to be spent by June,” he maintained.

The Deputy SRSG further stressed the need to support other small enterprises, including micro credits, helping young entrepreneurs that would help them in sustaining themselves and pledged UNMIL’s commitment in handling other sectors.

“We need a business support where people can go for advice, training, and support to help in building a business, and also access micro credits. Very soon, we will approve the project and will start with some of the centers that are already opened,” he said.

The deputy SRSG said he was delighted to see the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) delivering to the people, particularly services that are cardinal to enhance decentralization and development.

Also speaking, Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Varney A. Sirleaf, said the groundbreaking of the service center signified the long awaited prosperity that the people of Gbarpolu have been wishing for.

Minister Sirleaf also stressed the need for working together with other partners to help the county to have a radio station and to ensure that the people are informed, especially on development issues.

“We as a government are under obligation to put smiles on your faces. That is why you people voted us into office. We will help to ensure that this radio station is completed,” Minister Sirleaf added.

Superintendent Armah Sarnor said, “We are happy that this project is about to kickoff in our county. This is the time for all of us to put our hands together to push this project forward for the benefit of the people.”

Supt Sarnor hailed Minister Sirleaf for the effort and hoped that the project will serve the country and the people of Gbarpolu in particular.

He added, “This project came at the right time, because the administrative building is offering office space to different ministries and agencies and commissions.”

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