To achieve Pro-Poor Agenda for health, education, youth empowerment
President George Weah mandated cabinet ministers to carry out a comprehensive assessment to develop a realistic roadmap that will serve as a ‘guiding framework’ to advance the government’s pro-poor agenda.
In his first cabinet meeting yesterday, Weah also requested the ministers to ensure that the roadmap will account for the realistic approach that will take care of road construction, better healthcare, education and youth empowerment.
He said these are part of his government’s pro-poor agenda priorities that should bring short-term success to ordinary Liberians.
President Weah also said a committee must be set up to review the recovery and transformation of the ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Commerce, Education, Health and Public Works.
Following a careful review of a recast National Budget for Fiscal year 2017/2018, the cabinet, pursuing the government’s pro-poor agenda, mandated a number of priority projects.
They included payment of the West African Examination Council/West African Senior School Examination Council (WAEC/WASSEC) fees for 12th graders in public and private schools; maintaining traffic and street lights as well as the construction of new street lights in Monrovia; the digital registration at the University of Liberia (UL) and the provision of Wi-Fi (high speed internet) in key locations at the UL main campus.
They also include the upgrading of equipment and facilities at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and the government-backed credit line to stimulate the private sector development.
According to an Executive Mansion release, cabinet members received a briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on prevailing developments in the country’s Foreign Service, especially the compelling need to provide progress reports from embassies and honorary consuls abroad, in light of their economic benefits as they relate to their representation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also mentioned the need for Liberia to introduce online visa services for incoming visitors to be obtained on the visitors’ arrival as part of the ministry’s 150 days deliverables.
Further briefings at yesterday’s cabinet meeting included those from the Justice and Rule of Law Sector that encompass the Liberia National Police (LNP), Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) and Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS).
Additional briefings included the augmentation of the LNP to its full strength of 8,000 officers; the de-congestion at the Monrovia Central Prison; and beefing up of the manpower capability at the Palace of Corrections in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
Additional priority projects mandated by the cabinet are the issuance of the National Biometric identification cards to help clean-up government’s payroll; an increase in the staff in the education sector for FY 17/18 – bringing 400 Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) teachers onto the payroll and correcting 180 underpaid personnel.
Others are professional skills development to increase the number of Liberian experts in the health sector; humanitarian outreach program by the First Lady; a feasibility study for the Military Hospital; the Resettlement Action Program (RAP) for the road from Sanniquellie to the Loguatuo border with Ivory Coast; and road maintenance across the country.
The Cabinet also mandated a ‘Cabinet Retreat and Orientation’, aimed at providing insights into the business of governance, standing orders as well as rules of engagement in the execution of the business of government.
In the end, President Weah challenged his ministers to remain focused, patriotic and selfless in their problem-solving ventures, noting, “Our approach to addressing problems will enable us to rapidly achieve our goals for the greater good of the people. You will be judged effectively on account of your performance and tangible results.”