Greetings Senator Tokpa:
I have seen citizens of Bong County congratulating you on your proposed act to make the National Higher Education a Ministry.
As a Senator from Bong County, I urge you to withdraw such bill if already submitted to the Senate for consideration.
Modern government in this 21st century is focused on reducing the size of government by establishing regulatory bodies and privatizing many sectors for efficient and effective operations for the benefits of its citizenry.
Mr. Senator, as you are aware that the Liberian budget has been below 600 million for the last 3-4 years and you as legislator and the executive have not been able to identify new sources of revenue generation to increase the budget.
Presently, nearly 80-85 percent of the budget is for salaries and recurring expenditures, in the wake of such, we cannot invest into ministry that will take away from Public Sector Investment (PSI).
The true means in which citizens feel the impacts of the budget and government is investing in the public sectors to improve the likelihood of our people and to increase economic activities. I would encourage you to develop a decentralized infrastructure budget for counties and cities. Decentralize budgets for education, health, electricity, water, and other essential services that will help all parts of the country to attract investments and open doors for job creations.
From a 500 million budget, we can give each county 5 million for roads, 5 million for health, at least 1-2 million for each political capital of every subdivision, 3 -5 million to each county for education. This will boost investments, create jobs, and better living opportunities or conditions in all counties.
The issue of independence and autonomy improves the governance in every nation. Therefore, I encourage you to write the senate for the full implementation of the local governance act, electing all superintendents, all county capital city mayors, and some big cities and townships.
We cannot continue to have traditional leaders, superintendents, and city mayors serving at the pleasure and mercies of the president. Some can not even question the central government about our taxes and natural resources that citizens are not benefiting. Most of the county officials are only collecting paychecks like many ministers but doing nothing.
The Legislature should look into consideration the issue of wages for working Liberians. Every nation now has 3 types of wages that help lift people out of poverty. These are wages now pay around the world a) minimum wage which is set by the government to protect the citizens against bad labor, b) living wage which is determined by place of residence and economic activities. Example, employees of hotels or nightclubs in Gbarnga cannot be paid the same as hotel or night clubs’ employees in Monrovia due to high cost of living, c) Industry wage, a Janitor working for Lonestar Cell MTN cannot be paid the same as a Janitor working in guest houses because the communication industry generates huge revenue.
These measures will reduce the power of the president, eliminate the imperial presidency in Liberia, develop all counties, create jobs, and put more monies into the pockets of citizens.
Fred T. Sodone
Son of Kpaii District, Bong County