As a lot of parents have been wondering how to go about sending and keeping their children in school as a result of Liberia’s harsh economic environment, Montserrado County Electoral District #16 Representative, Dixon Wlawlee Seboe, has disclosed spending L$5.1 million (about US$30,000) on scholarship for academic 2019/2020 in the Borough of New Kru Town, which runs Bong Mines Bridge to St. Paul Bridge.
Presenting his 2020 legislative report to constituents at the Isaac Tugbeh Wleh Town Hall in the St. Paul Bridge Community on 12 February, Representative Seboe noted with emphasis that Education remains his heartbeat because it is the only way a society can be refined as it education makes people to think well to render logical decisions.
During constituency break, lawmakers are to go to their counties and districts to report to the electorates the progress of the government and hindrances it is encountering.
The Montserrado lawmaker, who is also a staunch partisan of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), indicated in his report that since education prepares people to be better and to make society better, he does not hesitate or regret spending the amount he spent for the last academic year to educate deserving young boys and girls in the district.
“It moves up and down depending on how many students we have. We had 272 students, which cost us about L$5.1 million for the academic year. We intend to push it upward to hit 400 to 500 in our next tenure,” Representative Seboe said.
Academic year 2019/2020 did not present a feasible learning environment for Liberian students. The Coronavirus pandemic halted students from having normal classes, and many parents being economically struck by the pandemic could not afford to send their children to school even in this academic year; a situation that anyone benefiting from such a gesture will not withhold gratitude from the person who helps him or her to be elated.
“As it has always been, what is so dear to my heart is the issue of sending a lot of kids to school. Moreover, I was thrilled when a fourth-grader, George Dwomoh from the Greater Vision Christian School, mentioned the fact that he is benefiting from the scholarship program,” the lawmaker expressed as the mother of the student testified about the gesture.
Representative Seboe added, “That was the thrilling moment in the entire program. It made me overly excited and it gives me the courage to do more.”
The Liberian Government has a national budget from which monies are allotted to different development programs including scholarships. County Development Fund (CSDF) and Legislative Support Project have a high level of legislative influence in the county, but in Representative Seboe’s report to his constituents, he said he did not receive any money from the national government for his scholarship venture but all he spent was his.
“So, it is going to hit maybe around L$8 million, but we are committed to it. And it is important to know that all of the money we spent is squarely ours. So it means we go beyond representation, lawmaking and oversight that are our three cardinal responsibilities just to ensure that these kids are in school,” Seboe indicated.
Representative Seboe reiterating that he did not receive any county/social development funds for the district went on to inform the people of District #16 that he undertook some personal projects including financial aid to benefit over 250 persons in 64 schools using his own money.
“We do this with passion to assist the underprivileged and less fortunate kids in the district,” he added.
On lawmaking, Representative Seboe, who chairs the committee on banking and currency, highlighted the passage of the Central Bank of Liberia Act, which gives it more operational independence.
He said it puts the monetary sector at an acceptable best practiced level internationally.
Representative Seboe disclosed that it is his plan to introduce a bill that will seek to raise “D. Tweh Memorial High School to a technical institution,” and another one creating an autonomous agency of “customs and border protection for effectiveness and better coordination.”
On representation, Representative Seboe underscored the intervention of the National Disaster Management Agency during fire outbreaks in the district, which paid-off for affected residents in Nyuan Panton, Karpeh Street, Zinc Camp, Bassa Town and Zuma Town communities with bags of rice, bundles of zinc and mattresses as part of the relief coming to the district through his instrumentality.
On the issue of sea erosion, Representative Seboe said the district is benefiting from an approximately US$250,000 governmental coastline defense project following his intervention with the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and Finance & Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah.
“This has curtailed the level of disaster along the coastline in District 16.
Furthermore, affected residents received household items and cash for resettlement and business establishment from the National Disaster Management Agency. This initiative brought relief to our people and they hailed my legislative prowess,” he stressed.
Representative Seboe also recalled that he established an anti-Covid-19 task force and made a personal donation of US$1,000 and L$80,000. He also recalled the provision of medical supplies to Redemption Hospital through the instrumentality of Montserrado County Electoral District #12 Representative, (Dr.) George B. Samah, the completion and turnover of 89 housing units in Popo Beach sponsored by President George Manneh Weah, and the groundbreaking and construction of the new Duala Market project through the Japanese Government.
On projects, Representative Seboe named the Momboe Town and Crab Hole bridge projects, the Bong Mines Bridge latrine, Zuma Town market and Momboe Town Road rehabilitation, and the expansion of the Trowin Bridge as some of the major projects he pointed out. According to him, he and China Union made separate contributions in the tone of US$2, 400.
Other roads rehabilitated were the Island Clinic, one of the longest in the district, and Popo Beach to Point 4 road valued at US$9,000.
Other personal contributions according to his report were US$2,000 to sea erosion victims, 25 bags of rice and L$80,000 to Muslims during Ramadan, L$100,000 to St Paul Bridge annual sports tournament, L$500,000 loan for mostly market women, L$200,000 and 30 mattresses to fire victims.
Others also mentioned were L$400,000 grant to petty traders, L$610,000 for drainage cleaning project in 13 communities, and 30 bags of cement for the new D. M. Mac Bee Christian School project affected by the sea.
Also Representative Seboe recalled the US$1,000 to the Federation of Borough Youth Covid-19 awareness, 10 bags of rice and L$60,000 to health workers at Redemption for Covid-19, and 70 bags of rice to 12 medical facilities, including Stockton Creek and St. Paul Bridge Community Clinics as other interventions he made.