After outlining President George Weah’s annual message on January 28, 2019, NAYMOTE has released an additional report on the president’s meter project, tracking his achievements over one year period, and has therefore advised the government to limit its promises so as to accomplish the little within a year.
The report, which specifies the number of promises made and the projects completed and ongoing by the President, enables Liberians and civil society actors to evaluate his performance and the CDC against promises made during and after the elections.
“Since the ascendancy of the President and his government in power, actions have been taken towards the implementation of 38 promises, including five completed, and 33 ongoing during the first year in office.” The focus areas of implementation were within education, health, infrastructure, agriculture and youth development,” NAYMOTE said.
The report also states NAYMOTE and partners tracked “87 promises, documented for Democratic Development. 65 of those promises were drafted from the ruling CDC manifesto and 22 from campaign speeches, policy statements and presidential priority projects since Weah was inaugurated on January 22, 2018.”
The projects completed, according to the report, are the payment of West African Examination Council (WAEC) fees for all students who sat the WAEC (West African Examination Council) exams in 2017; the renovation of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, the passage of the Land Rights Act; the reduction of salaries for public officials under the executive branch of government, and the pavement of the Doe Community to Clara Town road.
The President’s Meter Project also observed that “there were no tangible actions taken on promises placed around accountability and anti-corruption as well as promise on physically challenged and senior citizens.”
Promises made on education and training amounted to 10, while eight were towards health and sanitation; gender equality, three promises; and four promises toward youth reorientation and empowerment.
Other promises made included five on physically challenged and senior citizens, 12 focused on sustainable economic growth, seven highlighted agriculture and forestry; 14 dealt with infrastructure development, one highlighted transportation; five on justice and human rights, two on reconciliation, three on security and national defense; four on decentralization of institutions and systems, four on accountability and anti-corruption and five on foreign policy and diplomatic relations.
President Weah in many of his public statements highlighted infrastructure development, particularly the construction of roads, as his top priority; therefore, he has allotted 26 of these promises toward economic and infrastructure development.
NAYMOTE said it generated its performance report from various tracking tools through an established database. “In order to ensure accuracy, information on promises tracked was triangulated using primary data source (government official records), Non-partisan Think Tank reports, civil society and independent media reports, as well as interviews conducted with government officials.”
NAYMOTE executive director Eddie D. Jarwolo lauded OSIWA for their staunch support and called on other partners, including the United Nations, European Union, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and USAID (United States Agency for International Development), to support such a project, because when citizens have access to information on the status of government’s promises, they become civilly engaged and more informed about government’s actions and can hold them accountable for any failures.
To have an effective implementation of government’s promises, Mr. Jarwolo recommended that the government develop a results-based communication strategy to facilitate a two-way flow of information between the government and citizens; establish an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate government’s efforts in fulfilling promises, develop a monitoring and evaluation system for monitoring government’s promises, and link them to the pillars of the Pro-Poor Agenda and its implementation.