Monrovia - Workers at the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) Tuesday, January 16, witnessed a dedication of the state-run media institution’s refurbished main broadcast building.
The dedication ceremony, performed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was done on the main compound of the state broadcaster.
The partially refurbished main broadcast complex hosts the Liberia Broadcasting System and the National Broadcaster of Liberia.
Giving the overview of the project, the Director General of LBS, Ledgerhood J. Rennie, said the two major projects came about after the workers have had a retreat. At that retreat, they considered how LBS could impact on the legacy projects of President Sirleaf’s administration.
“So, working with the board, we decided that we will do the renovation of this building and funding was made available,” Rennie added.
The LBS Director General said that carrying on the two projects was also due to the many requests and growing interest of citizens in the South-eastern region of the country to listen to the state-run media institution.
“We had lots of requests from the people of the south-east and they wanted to hear the national broadcaster especially in River Gee, Sinoe and Grand Kru counties.
“And so, in 2016/2017 budget, we managed to convince the outgoing Finance Minister at the time, Amara Konneh, through whom we managed to get money to start the project.”
“The people of Sinoe are now listening as we speak on this program. They have a 3-kilowatt transmitter installed there.
The people of River Gee and Grand Kru Counties also have access now to the national broadcaster.
All other sub-stations built by external funding from the Chinese are just 1-Kilowatt transmission, but that one through the government-own funding is 3-Kilowatt.
So, you can see how progressive we have been here trying to provide an enabling environment for Liberians to understand what their government is doing and so that they too can be able to participate,” he averred.
Director General Rennie expressed thank and gratitude to the General Service and Supplies group of Liberian contractors for the work well done, totaling the cost of the project to US$435,000
“The Bill of Quantity (BOQ) that was done by Public Works was for the full renovation of the building and the amount came up to US$435,000.
In the budget, we were given US$196, 000,” LBS Director noted.
For her part, President Sirleaf lauded the effort of the board, management and workers of the entity, declaring that the project is a clear evidence of determination, commitment and strength of her administration.
“This structure is clear evidence of determination, commitment and strength. So many times when we talk to people about getting things done, the first thing they will say is ‘but no money.’
Yes, there is no money but there are those who will keep persevering until they can find that little bit of money to put to work. I want to thank the board, management and all the workers who still sturdy with the small money. They have produced what we see today,” President Sirleaf said.
The President used the occasion to call on media institutions to be independent and objective in their reportage to change the negative narratives and help Liberians understand their country.
“My message to you, Director General and your staff, ELBC, the state radio has performed."
"To a large extent, we expect them to remain independent, and I believed we have stayed within that commitment to allow you the independence to report the news and the people’s will.”
Madam Sirleaf adds: “But you could you do more; there is not enough to talk about the policies, the laws, the opinions from the court but too much of wanting to be just another commercial station, just another one with ‘what your name?
Where are you calling from?’ Let me urge you to go beyond that to really help Liberians to understand their country, constitution and laws, its policies to be a champion for the things you believe in whether is fighting corruption, whether is promoting liberties, whether is communication, whether is promoting the infrastructure development, there is so much that is happening, so much that has been done and so many challenges that have been done that you really can be the one that promotes changing of the narratives in this country.”
“The narratives are too negative. We spend too much time finding false and criticizing instead of looking at how we can promote each person to be a better person"
"Each entity should do what they able to in the best of his ability and resources,” the Liberian leader urged.