Honored by Association of Internal Affairs Women
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dedicated separate development projects on Tubman Boulevard in Bentol and the Freeport of Monrovia. She said Liberia will experience growth and development when people are committed and take ownership. The growth and development of the country, she said, cannot be only about the many hospitals and schools built, but rather by the way Liberians conduct themselves. Liberians should take responsibility to sustain their growth and development and not always rely on others, she added.
“Development comes from people’s commitment to their own development, through the way you talk, think, walk, what you say, how you do it,” she said. “Until we can take responsibility for our own development, please do not depend on anybody else, because they can help, but at the end of the day, they will not always be there with you.”
Montserrado County Service Center dedicated
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement last week Wednesday in Bentol City, Montserrado County where she dedicated the newly constructed Montserrado County Service Center.
President Sirleaf cautioned that those who are aiding Liberia will one day leave, emphasizing that Liberians must learn how to take ownership of their own development.
According to President Sirleaf, anyone winning the presidential runoff election will be under moral obligation to follow the trends of development. She described the Service Center and others in the country as a dream fulfilled, especially if it has the equipment to issue drivers licenses, birth certificates, among others, adding that anything to the contrary, “then it is not completed.”
In her remarks, Elizabeth Harleman, head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden, congratulated the Government of Liberia for the hard work and great achievements. She assured that Sweden will continue to be a development partner to Liberia – even during the inception of the new government and after the departure of UNMIL.
The Swedish Envoy said: “When Liberia continues to strengthen peace and build a more inclusive society, where all parts of the country can and will prosper, Sweden will continue to be a longtime partner.” She added that some challenges still remain, including the endorsement of the local government acts, which according to her, remains an essential element for the full realization of decentralization in Liberia.
U.S Ambassador Christian Elder said the United States will stand with the people of Liberia in its development initiatives. She was extremely impressed with the Government of Liberia’s decentralization projects through the construction of County Service Centers around the country. She used the occasion to appeal to the National Legislature to consider the passage of several fundamental laws including the Land Rights Law.
Dedication of SDA Millennium Guest House and Suites
Earlier, President Sirleaf dedicated the Millennium Guest House and Suites under the auspices of the West Central Africa Division of Seventh Day Adventist Church, terming the church as one of Government’s strongest partners – all the way from the birth of Liberia. She recalled the building of schools in urban and rural areas of the country when Liberia benefited from missionaries, and said even though Liberia does not have many missionaries in the country, those that are still here, including the Seventh Day Adventists, are still here in solidarity, encouraging others to pray.
She said the SDA should have built another church but decided to build a place that the Liberian people would like to see because, according to her, it will create job opportunities for many Liberian youth. She used the occasion to commend members of the SDA family for paying their offerings, tithes and other contributions to make the construction a reality.
Pastor Dr. Elie Weick, President, West Central Africa Division of the SDA, said it was a blessing to be in Liberia. He said the SDA church has spread around the world with more than 25 million members; operating 8000 schools, 175 universities, 2,300 secondary schools, and 6000 primary schools, including 22 food factories, 75 hospitals, 140 nursing homes, 15 media centers, 65 publishing houses, and branches, among others. He said apart from these, the Seventh Day Adventist church has a Relief Agency called ADRA, which operates in several countries around the world.
Pastor Weick noted that the SDA church has always been very close to Liberia, adding that during the Ebola crisis, the SDA distributed supplies, including food, chlorine, mattresses, personal protective equipment and disinfectants, among other assorted relief items. He praised President Sirleaf for what he called ‘religious freedom’ for all in the country. Similarly, the SDA pastor commended President Sirleaf for granting the SDA church a charter to operate the first Denominational University in Liberia, located in Gbeh Town, Margibi County.
Dedication of NPA Fuel Unloading Facilities
In another ceremony, President Sirleaf dedicated the newly constructed Fuel Unloading Facilities at the Freeport of Monrovia. She noted that during her 12-year administration, she was struck by two shocks: the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and the decline of the world prices of some of the country’s major export commodities. President Sirleaf then commended the World Bank for helping to support the restoration of the facilities.
The President said she was very happy that the facilities, whose construction started in 2016, could be realized at this time. She however expressed disappointment on seeing some of the old tanks that were abandoned and still in deplorable conditions at the port. She said even though she may not be able to do all, she will still continue to do what she has to do to improve the country.
The NPA managing director, David Williams, lauded President Sirleaf for lending her support to the project. He said the facilities remain a milestone project and the subsequent completion of the new oil terminal has provided the confidence that Liberia’s fuel supplies on the market will remain high given the size of the tankers and quantity of petroleum products, which he said will alleviate any fuel shortage on the market.
Williams said the NPA, as the owner of this project, is responsible for the maintenance and efficient operation of the oil terminal, adding: “We will continue to enhance our working relationship with the LPRC and strengthen our collaboration with petroleum importers to ensure the viability of the new oil terminal.”
President Sirleaf gowned and certificated
On the margins of the dedication of the Service Center, the women of the Ministry of Internal Affairs gowned and certificated President Sirleaf for what they termed as her invaluable contributions to the development of women and girls and the sustenance of peace in Liberia. Reading the citation, the women’s president, Tieda B. George, praised President Sirleaf for giving women a voice and visibility in Liberia.
Responding, President Sirleaf thanked the women for the honor and encouraged them to keep the peace and continue to work hard to move Liberia forward.