The dedication last Friday of the US$11 million NASSCORP Complex by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is highly significant for many reasons. First, it marks the culmination of the complete turnaround which the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) has experienced since the
Sirleaf government took over in 2006. Before then, all the Liberian people knew about the corporation was that it was scandal-ridden, with some of its top officials, in a clear demonstration of thievery and complete lack of patriotism, pillaging and plundering the coffers. And thanks to the equally corrupt and inept Judiciary, with its scandal-ridden jury system, the thieves got away scot-free, with millions of stolen United States dollars.
Today there seems to be at NASSCORP a more efficient, highly transparent and patriotic management, which is using its resources not to put money into their own pockets, but to undertake credible investments to boost the company’s finances and contribute directly to the government’s infrastructure and its financial stability, which has become shaky in recent times.
Our Presidential Correspondent William Harmon, in his comprehensive story on the dedicatory event, quoted the President Sirleaf as giving the second and third reasons for its significance. The corporation’s leadership “must work to ensure completion of the civil service reform, which is at an advanced stage, and then move on to the pension reform. This marks the second significance of last Friday’s dedication. NASSCORP, working closely with the
National Civil Service Agency (CCA) and other organs of government, will ensure that all the reforms are completed. This, the President declared, will pave the way for government to meet its commitments to NASSCORP. Herein lays the third reason why Friday’s dedication is significant.
“We will continue to work with you,” she assured the NASSCORP management, “to ensure that government meets its commitments to the corporation.”
Who can guess how much money the government, Liberia’s largest employer, owes NASSCORP? An instant guess would suggest in the millions of dollars. NASSCORP Director General DeWitt vonBalmoosmust know he and his team need to work very closely and swiftly with the CCA and other relevant public bodies to hasten the completion of the reforms, so that GOL may begin paying NASSCORP what GOL owes.
This will empower this progressive corporation to undertake more investments, which may one day change the skyline of Monrovia andother cities around the nation.
In a recent editorial this newspaper observed that the nation’s insurance companies, with only two exceptions, had failed to undertake substantial investments in the country and the foreign ones, like American Life, had nothing to show for the tons of money they made in Liberia in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
NASSCORP’S vonBallmoos, his Board and co-workers are to be congratulated for this major achievement. We pray that they will continue the good work and grow from strength to strength as they strive to set a good example in public corporate management.
It is also our hope that NASSCORP will begin thinking seriously about tourism development in Liberia. The corporation must begin identifying tourist sites crying for investments and development.
Such sites include Robertsport, its mountain, its surfing-rich Atlantic beaches and, of course, Cape Mount’s unmatchable Lake Piso.
Then there is Lake Shepard in Harper, Cape Palmas and the Patawee waterfall near Cuttington in Bong County.
We suggest that Mr. vonBalmoos establish a Tourism Development Committee to scout around the country and explore tourism opportunities. The
Committee should visit neighboring countries doing well in tourism and other highly successful touristic destinations to see how things are done. Such an initiative would not only help jumpstart real tourism in Liberia but dramatically boost NASSCORP’s earnings and transform it into a money spinner.
We could not close this editorial without extending a hand of congratulations H.Q. Taylor and his company, ECOCON Incorporated, for their remarkable accomplishment in erecting that building.
This is distinctly a sign of things to come in our country.