The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) yesterday assured the outgoing Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, Lena Nordstrom, of government’s continued commitment and support to the decentralization program which ensures that civil services are brought closer to the people.
Varney A. Sirleaf, MIA Deputy Minister for Administration, gave the assurance on behalf of Minister Henrique Tokpah during a farewell and gowning ceremony for Ambassador Nordstrom held at the Ministry.
He said the MIA was celebrating with the outgoing Ambassador whose tour of duty was “successful,”noting that Liberia’s “administrative and political decentralization” programs are on course. He commended partners for the level of support so far to the government and the people of Liberia.
“You are not just the outgoing ambassador, but will remain the Ambassador of Liberia’s Decentralization. Your passion for decentralization in Liberia continues to increase even as you are leaving Liberia,” Minister Sirleaf said.
The government will continue to appeal for additional support to the country’s decentralization even after President Sirleaf’s administration expires, “because it is the service that Liberians appreciate,” said the Minister.
We want to inform you how pleased the Government of Liberia is with all the support from the international community,” Minister Sirleaf said.
He said the ministry would have been excited to have Ambassador Nordstrom participate in the opening of the remaining County Service Centers, especially the one in River Cess County, where she was fully involved in the ground breaking ceremony.
“The decentralization program is now on an irreversible path,” he told the departing diplomat.
He named some of the service centers, particularly the ones in Grand Bassa, Bong, and Nimba counties that are currently functioning, while the ones in Bomi, Gbarpolu, and Grand Cape Mount counties are furnished, but are yet to be dedicated.
In her remarks, Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Commissioner General, said her commission remains delighted in joining other government’s institutions to celebrate the work of Ambassador Nordstrom.
“We have over time enjoyed the interactions with the ambassador for her vision and pace-setting activities. We are therefore presenting to you two beautiful African masks,” she added.
In response, Ambassador Nordstrom said she was immensely honored by such great attention from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other government entities.
“With the issue of decentralization, I know what it means for someone to get their service where they live, and don’t have to take a bus in order to get the service. The ongoing decentralization is intended to bring trust between the government and the people. This is the way to build peace and maintain peace in Liberia,” she admonished.