After 366 days in 2013, we have begun a New Year. With barely five days into 2014, many citizens have already begun to expect more of the government this year.
In every sector of government, Liberians want change and new ideas that will benefit their country and its economy.
The Daily Observer’s reporter toured Monrovia yesterday to hear from citizens concerning their expectations from government in 2014. Unsurprisingly, everyone had different expectations.
Moses Forkpah, a resident of the Fiamah Community in Sinkor, said that this 2014, government should pay more attention to the financial sector. Mr. Forkpah called on them to see how banking institutions can be improved in the services they render to the public.
“The Banking sector in Liberia is very important, so the kind of services rendered should be up to international standards because there will always be guest in the country and they cannot be inconvenienced,” he explained.
“Over the years, the financial sector of Liberia has improved tremendously, but more has to be done. Our Bankers need more education on how to deal with customers and clients as well,” Mr. Forkpah said.
He also said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf should take bold steps in the reduction of corruption, adding that the President and her colleagues should also take a more detailed look at concession agreements.
“It would also be in the country’s interest if the President encourages more investors in the country because if they come to Liberia, there would be other responsibilities given to them. When I say responsibilities, I mean they would help improve other areas the county is still struggling with. Areas like water, health, electricity and employment,” Mr. Forkpah concluded.
Mrs. Beatrice Holt, a resident of the Old Road Community, said the government has to put in place more policies to combat the high rate of teenage pregnancy.
She said teenage pregnancy in Liberia remains a serious issue that has hampered the improvement and well-being of the nation’s young girls
“Our young girls these days are ruining their future for no reason. This is bad for our country. These young girls could be future leaders and decision makers; that is why they have to be protected and educated on what is right and how they should lead a healthy life,” Mrs. Holt asserted.
The Gender Ministry has done a lot to help these young women, but the minster needs to expand upon her good work and tackle the issue more aggressively. Women are important to every society and we cannot sit by and watch our young girls ruining their chances of becoming role models in the African setting,” she said.
For his part, Mr. Chucks Chosen, owner of the Chucks Chosen Business Center on Carey Street said if Liberians want a changed society, Liberians must look up to God first.
He said Liberians must learn to accept that without the help of God, Liberia will not experience a change in this New Year.
However, he noted the Government of Liberia should improve on its education system because it is through education Liberia will have good leaders for the future.
‘This Government should see how it can implement better policies to improve the education system. Teachers should be paid their proper salaries, and students should be given the necessary items needed for successful learning,” Mr. Chosen explained.
We also spoke with Mrs. Watchen Bruce, the Chief of Party of the International Executive Services Corps (IESC), who said she would like to see the government working in close relationship with private sector in 2014.
She said that with such a partnership the private sector would be able to achieve its intended goals.
“Since IESC’s work is to help expand businesses across the country, we want to collaborate with government to improve access to finance. We also want to build the capacity of business owners,” Mrs. Bruce detailed.
“We want to help people know how to maintain their businesses and get steady profits so they can witness a physical manifestation of their achievements. This is being achieved through a program called Investing for Business Expansion sponsored by USAID. Closer partnership with government is very important to these kinds of initiatives,” she concluded.