‘Is There a National Plan for Development?’

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The Chairman on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Joseph Nagbe, is proposing a national dialogue of planners and legislators to begin to sit together and determine how to develop Liberia.

The Sinoe County Senator speaking on the floor of the Senate Chamber recently during that body’s debate over the House of Representatives US$73 Million Bill for concurrence, among other things wondered as to whether the country has a national plan for development.

 “Since I entered this Government from the 52nd Legislature to the present, I hold a question in my heart, and I am yet to find the answer, and perhaps it is the discussion that we are beginning. The question is, is there a national plan for development? Do we have that plan; if we have that plan where it is?”

Senator Nagbe described slain former President William R. Tolbert, Jr., as a leader who had plan for Liberia. He carried the nickname ‘Speedy or Total Involvement for Higher Heights.’ “When he announced the fight against illiteracy, he strengthened all the teachers’ training institutions in this country, that is what we went through and it was free; you went to university and you were trained up to PhD level, came back and taught in Liberia, that was example of a national plan.”

Amidst a noisy background from among his colleagues in Chamber, Sen. Nagbe reminded them that what the country was doing now is ‘try-and-error method.’ “We talk about country development and no plan, but still we give counties money, and as a result of that, they are doing little or nothing in our respective counties.”

“In my mind, if there is a national plan how to develop this country, then we will be left as Legislators to decide what we do with the budget; but because there is no such plan, our meager financial resources are being fragmented all the time. As a result, the impact of development on our people is limited and woefully inadequate,” Sen. Nagbe asserted.

He observed that the Government’s method of spending the national resources on development is causing the problem the country is presently facing. “How do you build a nation,  we have not got the spirit as a government, and I am saying this and I am taking responsibility for it; the way we are spending our financial national resources on development is causing us the problem we have. Here we are in the Senate now talking about US$73 million, some proposing 15 percent of the national budget; to do what with that money?”

Now that they (Legislators) are so moved to begin to think the way some of them are beginning to think about the country, Sen. Nagbe maintained that the country needs a national plan; but was quick to warn that in the absence of that, any money that is appropriated, or disbursed to counties will be the same story like the US$200,000 that cannot be accounted for so easily.

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