By Wilfred S. Gortor
MONROVIA, June 21 (LINA) – For 170 years now, Liberia has been facedwith huge infrastructural deficit, including the lack of electricity, roadconnectivity and major social services, particularly in urban cities.
This fact cannot be overemphasized.
Therefore, government of President George Manneh Weah has assuredLiberians that under its new Pro-Poor governance arrangement, the nation’sinfrastructural nightmare coupled with other deserving developmental driveswill be tackled.
Solving this problem, for some officials of the Weah-led governmentwill require hard work, courage and the political will to instituterobust action plans through painstaking use of available financialresources to propel the nation through its quest to achieve urban developmentwith the hope of subsequently boosting future economic growth.
The Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs at the Ministry ofInternal Affairs, Paulita C.C. Wie, is one official of government whosees the drive towards upgrading urban settlements in Liberia with therequisite developmental needs such as roads, electricity and runningwater, among others, as a paramount drive towards Liberia’sfuture economic growth.
Having gottenfarsighted experience as a result of a recent tour during which she visitedabout 13 cities around the country, Wie, like many other passionatedevelopment-oriented officials of government, came face-to-face with Liberia’surban cities’ poor developmental quagmire that has subsisted for over a century.
For her, the oldtale of the poor infrastructural state of some county capitals was not strange,as she told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) in an interview in Monrovia onWednesday that « my expectation was that the people will receive me astheir daughter and also as a government official, I wasn’t expecting myself tomeet anything, because I have heard a lot of Liberians cry about the ruralareas. »
During her visit tothe 13 counties, Wie told LINA that roads leading to major cities around thecountry coupled with the lack of electricity, among other infrastructuralshortfalls, remain a major challenge to these locales.
While decrying thepoor state of major road corridors and lauding the hospitality of Mayors,Superintendents and other local county officials she encountered, the DeputyInternal Affairs Minister sees these inherent challenges as solvable, as evidencedby the visible endeavor of the Ministry of Public Works and developmentpartners to especially relieve travelers of the burdens during this rainyseason by renovating some key roads around the country.
Wie believes thatone way Liberia can achieve its development drive is for unity to prevail amongcitizens and that is why she made it her duty to hold consultative meetingswith local officials and as part of her tour message, urge them to engender »peace and reconciliation » in their respective counties.
« We are donewith elections and campaign is over, now that we have a government, we wanteveryone to work together collectively and put the interest of Liberia first, »Wie indicated, noting, « We all know that the President’s Pro-Poor agenda iswhat we are pushing to the people; so we are praying that we have that unifyingspirit to make sure that peace and unity prevail. »
Wie, who previouslyworked as a social worker when she served as CEO of Helping Impact Liberia, a non-governmentalorganization involved in women empowerment, girls’ education as well ascommunity initiative and development, indicated that her visit to the 13 citieshas given her « a clear picture » that will aid her office and the Ministry ofInternal Affairs as to how to work with the local county governments.
She sees herappointment by President George Manneh Weah as a challenge and an opportunityto serve the country.
« We wantto thank the President for giving us the opportunity to serve our country. Forsome of us we will not take it lightly; as for me I see it as a challenge and Iwill move forward to work along with everybody, especially those in the localgovernment and our citizens, » she noted.
MinisterWie added: « That is why I went there myself to have a face-to-face interactionwith the people and to experience what they are experiencing in terms of theroad, living condition and infrastructural development. »