The opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) has termed as “worst” the condition of the state under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf than past governments.
Addressing a news conference on Monday in Monrovia, MPC through its political leader Simeon Freeman noted that Liberia's economic, education and governance systems have broken down as though they did not exist in the past.
"Today, Liberia, like the late 80s, is a place of huge capital flight, huge trade deficit, extremely low employment and especially high youth unemployment rate, non-performing educational institutions, very poor infrastructure and non-existing health delivery structure," the MPC former standard bearer stated.
According to Mr. Freeman, outlook of the Liberian economy deprives any well-meaning Liberians of the possibilities to live a standardized and well-organized life that will provide for his/her family.
“There is no opportunity for Liberian businesses in terms of capital because of the high interest rate associated with loans from commercial banks,” he said.
He added, “Liberians have never competed with Asian and Middle Eastern businesses for several reasons [than is happening now].”
Giving his justification, he further said foreigners have access to small interest rate loans from the banks than Liberians.
He also stated that the lack of government’s resources to initiate, develop and prosper a non-existent Liberian private sector, and government jobs have historically been a means of employment and wealth creation for some in isolation of the rest of Liberians from the wealth creation chain.
Commenting on the education system, MPC termed Madam Sirleaf's approach as "replicating similar trends of yester-years when the largest employer was government. The maintenance of the same system guaranteed that government will be the largest employer. The largest colleges at our universities are mainly political or arts-related courses while national support to university education is extremely dismal."
“A good quality education in Liberia should cost a minimum of $2,000 per annum,” Freeman said. “This cost,” according to him, “automatically discounts the US$10 million government support to the University of Liberia. When support to education is dismal and the educational focus is non-technical, Government will certainly remain the largest employer,” the MPC leader asserted.
The party believes that the negative situation facing Liberia as allegedly created by Madam Sirleaf has greatly deteriorated the image of Liberia.
MPC: "Liberian students have a long history of massive failures in WAEC exams and that has worsened under Ellen. Liberia has a history of extremely poor health delivery system and that has worsened under Ellen.
Liberia has historically been a source of huge Foreign Direct Investment with little or no benefit to its people; huge benefit to public servants and poor FDI corporate tax payment history. It is worst under Ellen because every natural resource of Liberia has been mortgaged for peanuts to the detriment of the country and in many instances to very shady companies.
Liberia has long been a place of growth without development. That indication has worsened under Ellen. While shady investments appeared to have propped up growth, the resultant impact of growth on development is not forthcoming.
Liberia has historically been one of the poorest economies in the world.”
President Sirleaf very recently told the nation that conditions surrounding the country’s recovery process have made Liberians to fall far behind.
Addressing the nation on the state of the economy on Wednesday, May 28, President Sirleaf stated the difficulties in the recovery process have been a result of constraint on the part of government to prioritize everything at the same time.
“Our continued post-conflict recovery process is of such that we must continue to do everything at the same time,” she said.
The Liberian leader likened the post-conflict recovery process to driving an old bus while at the same time repairing its many deficient and dysfunctional parts.
“As we know, for the past years our bus has been parked, some of the parts have gotten rusty, some are unusable, and many of our people were left stranded and abandoned on the sides of the road. From opportunity to morality, our children, and in many respects ourselves, have fallen too far behind,” President Sirleaf stated.
The President’s statement that day is, however, in sharp contrast with several comments made earlier that the country has now been placed on the right trajectory for economic growth and infrastructural development.
It must be noted, however, that much efforts have been made to restore the country’s damage infrastructures, power, roads, ports and other facilities.