LMA Commissioner declares at OGP 4th Action Plan Launch
Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) Commissioner, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, has blamed the low progress of Liberia on failure to implement programs and policies.
Commissioner Nagbe, an experienced and long-time public servant who had served various ministries and agencies including the Ministry of Information, told gathering at the launch of the Open Governance Partnership National Action Plan for 2020-2022 on February 10, 2021 that Liberia has all the fine policies and laws, but the problem that the country faces is implementation.
Addressing the gathering as a keynote speaker during the launch, Commissioner Nagbe said: “Not that we don’t have laws and policies; our problem has been implementation. We must take responsibility for our development. We have depended on partners for too long to still be relying on them.”
For implementation to be effective, Commissioner Nagbe said projects to be implemented should also be accompanied by proper planning with integrity embedded into governance.
The ODP Action Plan calls for openness of governance activities that ensures transparency and involvement of the citizens in the governance process.
Nagbe said if the people know about the national budget and how it is used, there will be no suspicion to doubt the abilities of government in meeting their expectations, but when the opposite occurs, there will always be cloud of doubt and suspicion.
Asserting further, he said if the justice system is transparent so that people will get justice without favor or bribing judges, there will be public confidence and instead of citizens taking the laws into their hands, they will seek the rule of law.
Alluding to the objective of the OGP, Mr. Nagbe said in planning the development activities of the country, it is essential that the people be a part and fully participate instead of being at the tail end.
He stressed that while foreign partners are assisting Liberia in the implementation of its national action plan, it is, however, imperative on the Liberian people themselves to implement their own plan because it is their primary responsibility.
He said implementing development goals or project is not favor done by the government but an obligation to the people as defined in the meaning and concept of government and democracy.
In the overview of the 4th OGP National Action Plan, the head of Secretariat, G. Ralph Jimmeh, Jr. informed the gathering at the launch that among line ministries and agencies that have been highlighted in past reports, the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Health and Education are now included. According to Mr. Jimmeh, Ministry of Education did not meet up with its deliverables as it committed to do.
The OGP follows government agencies and ministries in ensuring that they adopt transparency and openness in their activities.
It is currently following scores of public institutions and one of them is the National Legislature. In the Action Plan, the Legislature has committed to engaging citizens in the legislative process by increasing citizens’ participations and increasing transparency in the legislative process whereby citizens will be provided information to help them understand which bills and laws are going through voting process.
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has a commitment to publication of budget document; which will help citizens to understand the government’s resource allocations and management. The Judiciary under the OGP has the commitment to support capacity for citizen participation in legal issues, and this will seek to ensure access to justice for citizens through educating jury members, training magistrates, monitoring local courts and increasing citizen awareness of legal rights and access to justice.
The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), has the commitment to supporting institutions of integrity, and its commitment is to support the passage of laws that support integrity. Health Ministry has the commitment to improve health care delivery, while the Ministry of Gender is committed to accountability and transparency in addressing sexual and gender-based violence.
The OGP was established in 2011 with the commitment to adhere to all international standards relating to good, open and responsive governance. It is supported by the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States, European Union and other institutions including the World Bank.