NAYMOTE Enlightens Citizens on Local Gov’t Act

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Eddie Jarwolo, Executive Director, NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development

As part of efforts to ensure that citizens are enlightened on the Local Government Act (LGA), NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development has completed a two-day training with local government officials.

The training aims to strengthen citizens’ participation in local government to be a part of the decision-making process of the country. The LGA is intended to help local authorities at county levels to manage and carry out development in their respective areas.

The two-day event was organized by NAYMOTE with support from its partners to ensure that citizens are educated on the LGA. It is part of several activities the organization has undertaken with respect to the Local Government Act of 2018.

The training brought together ten Township Commissioners from Montserrado county, including commissioners from Virginia, Congo town, Kingsville, Mount Coffee, Clara Town, New Georgia, Gardnersville, and West Point, and one district Superintendent.

Speaking at the opening of the training, NAYMOTE’s Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo said if the development drive of the country must be successful in a few years from now, citizens must understand the LGA.

He acknowledged that Liberia has made significant progress from the national decentralization policy to the passage of the LGA act of 2018 and the establishment of the County Service Centers (CSC) in all of the 15 counties.

He also mentioned that the training has been conducted at key institutions in Paynesville for 30 participants, progress he said came as a result of a grant support from the national Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Mr. Jarwolo indicated that the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has led the process and will need national commitment, budgetary support, and massive awareness to help citizens understand, appreciate and take ownership of the LGA.

He further mentioned that the simplified booklet is expected to be used as reference material by local government administrators, civil society, community groups, school administrators, the media and peacebuilders in educating citizens about the LGA and its benefits to national economic development, peacebuilding and youth empowerment.

Mr. Jarwlo also emphasized that the decentralization and local government acts are increasingly recognized as a basic component for democratic governance since they provide an enabling environment in which decision making and service delivery can go a long way in improving the quality of life, particularly poor and the marginalized sectors.

He called on participants to support these national efforts which are expected to bring to the forefront national decision making, strengthening participatory governance, and promoting public service delivery and accountability.

Additionally, Mr. Jarwolo called on Liberians to get involved in ensuring the effective implementation of the LGA of 2018, that the National Legislature will allocate funding in the national budget to rollout the LGA to ensure that international partners divert more focus towards an effective and efficient local government administration, realizing that this will provide power to the people and get them involved in the development processes of the country from the bottom to the top.

Mensah Q. Suku, Commissioner of the township of Congo Town, stressed the need for local authorities to be empowered so that more civic education can be done, this he believes will help citizens to understanding the structure and function of local authorities.

It may be recalled that the Government of Liberia adopted the National Policy on Decentralization and Local Governance in 2012, and in 2018 it was passed into law by the 54th National legislature the LGA.

The LGA gives legal effect to the policy and makes it mandatory for the government to implement an effective local government administration.

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