LIBERIA – Barley days after the news broke out that the Liberian, beginning 2023, it will make an annual budgetary allocation of US$300 for the support of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas(ULAA) has come under sharp criticisms from pundits, including ordinary Liberians.
Making the statement in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at a ULAA fundraiser event, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, says beginning in 2023, the Weah-led administration will allocate through the budget US$300 for ULAA.
In strong contrast to the gov’t allocation is Mr. Anderson D. Miamen. Mr. Miamen is the Executive Direction of CENTAL, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia.
In his Facebook post called “Little Things That Matter,” he said the National Budget is a tool for inclusive and sustainable development. Hence, it should be used to fund smart and strategic programs and activities with direct and positive impacts on the lives of the people.
Miamen added that the budget is not and should not be used as an instrument to fund just anything that comes into the minds of public officials, especially if it does not seek to address burning issues and challenges faced by the people.
“Minister Mcgill’s latest suggestion about funding the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas, through the national budget is grossly ill-advised. There are more pressing and citizen-centered issues and priorities, which the Liberian Government should be focusing on, in the midst of difficult economic conditions and other situations in the Country,” Miamen stressed.
The tough-taking integrity watch Miamen said that in Zota district in Bong County alone, according to reliable sources, there are 8 public schools without Government-paid teachers, indicating “This means that all of the workers/staffs, including Principals and Vice Principals, are volunteering.
He continued: “Besides, public schools across the Country are receiving few packs of chalk and reams of sheet yearly (irregularly supplied, in fact).”
“Additionally, enrollment is dropping in many schools across Liberia due to the registration and other fees charged by schools, despite a purported free and compulsory primary education policy being in place.”
“How can addressing these major challenges not be a priority of the Minister of State and the government, but funding the Union of the Liberian Associations in the Americas?”
The CENTAL boss further said that he hopes McGill’s suggestion is a mere suggestion or statement and not one to be actualized because it will be gross insensitivity to the plights of the people.
“If implemented, this will be one of the biggest mistakes of the Liberian Government. No amount of rhetoric can/will justify this decision, if implemented.
Mr. Miamen then depicted photos of government-run schools that really need government support, saying, “Below are pictures of buildings and classrooms of some public schools recently visited across the Country.