Monrovia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dedicated separate development projects on Tubman Boulevard, Bentol and the Freeport of Monrovia.
She said Liberia stands to experience growth and development once people are committed and take ownership.
She said the growth and development of the country cannot be about the many hospitals and schools built; but the way Liberians will conduct themselves, stressing - Liberians should take responsibility to sustain the growth and development and not to always rely on others.
“Development comes from people; People commitment to their own development; through the way you talk, the way you think, the way you walk, what you say, how you do it, indeed what really brings development.
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,” President Sirleaf noted.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 in Bentol City, Montserrado County where she had gone dedicate and cut ribbon to the newly constructed Montserrado County Service Center.
President Sirleaf furthered that those who are aiding Liberia will one day leave Liberia emphasizing that Liberians must learn how to take ownership of their own development.
She assured that she will do everything to make the centers functional - stressing the need for dedication and commitment.
President Sirleaf commended partners for their continued support toward Liberia’s development agenda.
The Liberian leader said the County Service Center is one her dreams fulfilled.
She said if the Center does not have funding to register those who will be going there for service, then it means that it is not yet finished.
To achieve these, President Sirleaf called for going the extra mile in ensuring that the Country Service Centers have what it takes to function.
President Sirleaf noted that if these things are provided the Center will be able to generate its own revenues to help support national government.
According to President Sirleaf, anyone coming after the Presidential Run-off Elections will be under moral obligation to follow the trends of development achieved.
She termed the Montserrado County Service Center and others in the country as a long road to sojourn.
She termed the construction of the County Service Center as a dream fulfilled, especially if it has the equipment to issue driver licenses, birth certificates but anything to the contrary - then it is not completed.
Also making remarks, Madam 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 stressed 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 stressed that even though some challenges still remain, including the endorsement of the local government acts, which according to her, remains an essential element for full realization of decentralization in Liberia.
Making remarks, U.S Ambassador, Christian Elder said the United States will stand with the people of Liberia in its development initiatives adding that she was extremely impressed with the Government of Liberia decentralization and deconcentration projects through the construction of County Service Centers around the country.
She said the opening of the last County Service Center is now the responsibility of the citizens to make the project successful and make it alive by undergoing training.
She used the occasion to appeal the National Legislature to consider the passage of some fundamental laws including the Land Rights Law, among others.
Earlier, President Sirleaf dedicated a 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 its strongest partners - all the way from the birth of Liberia.
She recounted that the building of schools, in urban and rural areas of the country, when Liberia benefitted from missionaries by learning how to be good Christians.
President Sirleaf said even though today - Liberia does not have many missionaries in the country, but those that are still here, including the Seventh Day Adventists are still here in solidarity, encouraging others to pray.
The Liberian leader said the SDA should have built another Church, but decided to build a place that the Liberian people will like to see, because according to her, it will create jobs opportunities for many Liberian youths.
She thanked the leadership of the Church for selecting Liberia among other countries like Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone where the SDA Church could be interested in building a very strong solidarity with the Liberian.
She used the occasion to commend members of the SDA family for paying their offerings, titles and other contributions in making the construction a reality.
In remarks, Pastor Dr. Elie Weick, President, West Central Africa Division of SDA, said it is a blessing to be in Liberia.
He said the SDA Church has spread around the world with more than 25 million membership; 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, amongst 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, Chlorines, mattresses, personal protective equipment, and disinfectants, among other assorted relief items to Liberia.
He praised President Sirleaf for what he called Religious Freedom in the country for all people.
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.
Meanwhile, in another development, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dedicated the newly constructed Fuel Unloading Facilities at the Freeport of Monrovia.
She noted that during the 12 years of her administration, she was struck by two shocks; the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and declined into the world prices of some of major export commodities.
President Sirleaf then commended the World Bank for helping to support the restoration the facilities.
President Sirleaf said the nation’s entire development planned was disrupted, due to the Ebola crisis and declined in the world prices in the market.
However, she said she was very happy that the facilities, which construction started in 2016 could be realized at this time.
President Sirleaf however expressed disappointment on seeing some of old tanks that have been abandoned at the port and still in the deplorable order at the port. She said even though she may not be able to do all, she will still continue what she wants to do to improve the country.
For his part, 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 tankers and quantity of petroleum products will alleviate any fuel shortage on the market.
Mr. Williams said NPA, as owner of this project has responsibility for the maintenance and efficient operation of the oil terminal.
“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.
On the margins of the dedication of the Montserrado County Service Center, Women of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have gowned and certificated President Sirleaf for what they termed her invaluable contributions to the development of women and girl and the sustenance of peace in Liberia. Reading the citation, the women President, Tieda B. George, praised President Sirleaf for giving women voice and visibility.
Responding, President Sirleaf thanked the women for the honor bestowed on her and encouraged them to keep the peace and continue to work hard to move Liberia forward. The ceremony took place in Bentol City on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.