House Speaker J. Alex Tyler in a repulsive but composed tone have announced that the Legislature will “scrutinize Executive programs” without prejudice to “ensure effectiveness of cost and efficiency of resources.”
Speaker Tyler said that the new “Plan of Action” is prompted on their new focus on development especially at a time when things are really tough on Liberians.
“We must be doubly accountable,” Speaker Tyler said.
The House Speaker made the hard-hitting statement yesterday in the House’s Chamber during the formal opening program marking the 5th Session of the 53rd Legislature.
“As we all do know, difficult times usually demand difficult actions and challenging reforms. The Legislature was saddled with the task of ensuring that reforms were implemented in response to the difficult times inherited as a result of the collapse of all political, social and economic activities brought on the people of this country by years of conflagration,” the Speaker said.
“This meant cooperating with Executive submissions, programs, legislations, and development agenda void of expected technicalities and rigid measures for the good of our people. The social and political structures of Liberia needed to be restored and enhanced.”
He added: “The wheels of industry needed to be revived to create employment and establish a firm revenue generating base. The justice system needed to be put back on track. The security of the state and citizens needed to be ensured.”
The Speaker said all the projects which have been on-going (or stalled) since 2006 (10 years ago), must be brought to an accelerated completion despite whether these projects are governmental undertakings, initiated by development partners or facilitated by Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
“Fellow Colleagues, we are today shifting the gears in legislative oversight–Committee, (wherein) Chairpersons are going to be demanding Quarterly Reports from Agencies and/or Ministries responsible to submit same. This decision reached by the Leadership, is intended to have a solid grip on an otherwise lackadaisical attitude exhibited by persons responsible to make scheduled and timely reports to the people,” Speaker Tyler said.
“And, we intend to rigorously superintend our responsibilities, without prejudice to the implementers.”
The Bomi lawmaker stated that there are individuals who part of the government while other are out of Government–who would prefer to engage in politics and politricks, rather than devote their enormous energies to development.
“In this, I leave the matter to the people to judge: they have the final word, not they (the accusers) nor I,” the Speaker said.
The Speaker also pointed out that though Liberia is now 168 years old, Liberians still do not command their economy; arguing that the industrial enclaves; manufacturing industries; trading and commerce and real estate are still dominated by foreign investments as well as the Liberianization Policy has no structure for comprehensive implementation.
“It is no news, Colleagues, that there have been no concrete efforts over the years to redeem the situation. The people of Liberia are looking up to Government for redemption. We must turn our eyes and ears to calls for Liberian participation in the industrial and manufacturing industries as well as putting trading and commerce on a higher pedestal,” Speaker Tyler said.
He maintained that the Legislative Agenda for 2016 must therefore focus on the involvement of Liberians in the mainstream economy and development initiatives void of un-necessary politics. As Legislators, I urge all of us to begin concrete actions.
Our Legislative Agenda for 2016 must therefore focus on Liberians involvement in the mainstream economy and development initiatives void of un-necessary politics. As Legislators, I urge all of us to begin concrete actions.
However, the Speaker said the Legislature must be the conduit of political, social and economic rights to the people. We must be their ears, eyes, mouth and planners of their destiny.
“We must intercede for them and be the custodians of their trust. The failure of the National Legislature to inspire and process economic growth and development as well as the social and economic rights of the people, shall indeed be a failure to exercise the powers they have conferred on us and the faith they have in us,” the Speaker said.
“We must offer them that believability. If the Legislature has failed over the years of the existence of the nation to recognize this, it is most timely that we, the Members of the 53rd Legislature, muster up our courage and energies to do so and to ensure representation by measuring the expectations of our constituents. We must now exercise those powers conferred on us in ways that bring joy and hope to our people. Our posture and responses must change from early post war measures and realities. We must look at the new trend and our responses should be as such.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker have proposed the launch of a new, nationwide agricultural initiative, aimed at enhancing food production and to promote, encourage and uplift our farmers, throughout the length and breadth of Liberia.
He said the initiative would be called the “Agricultural Break Excellence Achievement Award,” which will be given to the counties with the highest yields in food production of rice, cassava, and mixed bag (such as Plantains and Bananas, Eddoes, Potatoes, Yams, and fruits and vegetables).
According to the Speaker, counties stand to win prizes between US$ 25,000 and US$ 100,000.
“I urge all of you – my Colleagues and fellow citizens – to strive not only for what you want to achieve for yourself and your family; but rather, strive for what you want your brother (or sister) to achieve for himself (or herself) and their families. For, a person should not be judged by how much he/she has and is willing to give; but by how much he/she is willing to sacrifice.”
“I say, a country with just a few well-to-do (or wealthy) people, is a country which has several legs, but is standing only on one. That one leg cannot and will not carry the weight for long; it will buckle under the load, and collapse.
We must therefore create opportunities for others, as we endeavor to create opportunities for ourselves.
We must contend for a more just society; we must struggle for a more caring and sharing nation; we must fight for lifting the state not shifting blame or responsibility.”