Revamping Liberia: Political Leadership Challenges

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Over the years, amongst others – Liberia had had a dereliction of duty that led to near collapse of the state in administration, good governance, concession agreements, socioeconomic conditions, rule of law, access to employment opportunities, transformation and gentrification of Monrovia in particular, and other cities and the country at large. Liberia is actually in a state of decline, disrepair, and destitution.

In revamping Liberia, there’s a call for reenactment and new policies to move forward the country. Amongst others – the policies for:

▪ Inclusive Governance

▪ Expert Placement

▪ Job Categorization and Classification

▪ Matching Salary Administration across levels of government

▪ Human Capital Investment

▪ Right Sizing Government

▪ Review of Concession Agreements

▪ National Council on Reconciliation, Unity, Peace and Security.

To meet the range of challenges facing the new administration and Liberia from fiscal profligacy, public corruption, violent drug abuse, to underemployment and umployment – the new administration will have to strengthen its inclusive employment based on specialty,  qualification and experience. Rescuing Liberia means public employment at senior level positions should include every distinguished element of our population regardless of partisan-politics. In fact, this enhances – Reconciliation, Unity, Peace and Security of the state.

In an effort to rescuing Liberia, much is expected from the citizenry in a short period of time. Yet, the possibility of meeting most if not all of the political statements – campaign messages made by the Unity Party and its Standard-bearer now President of Liberia – Joseph Nyuma Boakai will not happen instantaneously but by programmable agendas for complete and total development programs.

It’s expected that the UP led-Government will have to recruit Liberians from all works of life and political backgrounds  – which in itself isn’t only a government of inclusion but a guaranteed security of the state. Such recruitment and nomination should be based on proficiency and experience rather than partisanship if Liberia indeed is to be rescued as said and expected. Emphasis should be placed on specialty, qualification, experience and broad-based matching job. Misplacement of employment is not rescuing Liberia – it’s just a bandwagon fallacy.

While addressing the needs of citizens, it’s our hope that Reconciliation, Unity, Peace and Security will be a joint primary concern from which all development programs will derive to expand nationwide developments in – Education, Healthcare  Services, Agriculture, Infrastructure amongst others. In the absence of sincere – Reconciliation, Unity, Peace and Security, it’s highly unlikely that any true and lasting development ever will take place and produce the necessary outcomes for the total growth and development of the greater majority other than the very few rotating elites in governance of the state. No one else will build confidence in the government other than itself if it lacks the ability and capability to foster – Reconciliation, Unity, Peace and Security between and amongst the citizenry.

There’s a dire need for the government to conduct a joint workshop comprising the Civil Service Agency – CSA, Liberia Institute of Public Administration – LIPA, Bureau of Concession – BOC, and Bureau of the Budget – BB to develop a framework for:

▪ job categorization  and classification

▪ salary matching across levels of government

▪ human capital investment needs in the short and long-terms for promotions and succession planning

▪ right sizing government for efficiency and effectiveness

▪ revisiting of concession agreements to include manufacturing and processing plants, matching salaries and wages, and provisions of other social services to employees and dependents.

More importantly, the reenactment and the enforcement thereof to reduce if not eradicate drug abuse, public corruption, abuse of employment by submission and acceptance of dubious and fake academic credentials cannot be overemphasized.

The writer concludes by calling on the UP led-Government to constitutionally create what he calls the – National Council on Reconciliation, Unity, Peace and Security aimed at reconciling the nation-state for total growth and development of everyone and everybody.

About the Author:

Pero M. K. Kerkula is a former instructor of Public Administration at the University of Liberia, and Service Learning and Community Development at the United Methodist University respectively. He was also a delegate to the International Peace Conference on Liberia – Comprehensive Peace Agreement on Liberia held in Akosombo-Accra, Republic of Ghana.

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