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Thursday, June 20, 2024

OPENING REMARKS BY PRESIDENT JOSEPH NYUMA BOAKAI AT THE FIRST CABINET RETREAT AT EJS MINISTERIAL COMPLEX

Date:

May 23, 2024

Mr. Vice President, Cabinet Members and Officials of Government, The Honorable Superintendent of Montserrado County, Partners,

Members of Civil Society,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to extend my greetings and to welcome each of you to this retreat.

As we gather to convene the first cabinet retreat of this Government, we should be reminded that our sole purpose in government is to serve.

While it is a privilege to serve, the responsibility that comes with service must also, and always, remind us of the crucial duty to perform and deliver on the priorities we have set to improve the livelihood of our people and promote the common good.

The theme of this retreat: “Coordination and Performance: Delivering on National Agenda Priorities,” underpins a pivotal moment of shift, following the first 100 days of office. The agenda that we set for our first three and half months in office was an effort to collectively make bold decisions, take some concrete action steps, and dedicate ourselves to the tasks that will help meet our developmental goals and lead to progress and prosperity.

I would like to take this moment to thank members of the  Cabinet, officials, and staff of the various Ministries, Agencies, and Commissions (MACs) for working hard to substantially deliver on our 100-Day Action Plan, despite the short window and limited funding.

As we reflect on the responsibility entrusted to us by the Liberian people, let us reaffirm our commitment to serve with diligence, integrity, and unwavering dedication.

We came to usher in the transformative change Liberians have long yearned for, and we must continue to demonstrate to the average Liberian that the mission to rescue him or her is no fluke but a deliberate move to set a new path for development; one that will improve livelihoods and bring about much-needed dignity lost over the years.

Our capacity as a government does not lie in how officials wear their titles on their sleeves and exert power. Instead, it is demonstrated in how we selflessly serve as a unit, bearing in mind that the work we do today and the foundation we lay will not just address current needs but guarantee a better future for the next generation.

Expectations of our people are at an all-time high.  To deliver on those hopes, we must do things differently and with a renewed sense of patriotism and determination to deliver on our promises. We must take this moment as talented members of a team to engage in thoughtful, constructive, and open conversation. We should exchange ideas, and plan on how best to address the economic and social challenges confronting our country.

Today, I remind you of the challenge I made to you during your commissioning. It is no longer business as usual. This is a demand for hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment to the development of our beloved country. It is no secret that the fate of a nation lies in the hands of its leaders; and although it is my picture that is plastered in papers when the Government is scolded, I want you to always remember that it is up to us, the officials, to pave the way for a brighter future for our citizens.

We live in challenging times, where the global landscape is constantly evolving, and the demands placed upon us as officials are greater than ever before. We must rise to the occasion and tackle these challenges head-on, with a sense of purpose and determination.

In this globalized world and the age of technological advancement, Liberia must be seen competing; not to be satisfied as a nation at the mercy of others or be relegated to the lowest rungs of the development ladder. We must set high standards for ourselves and advance the cause to change our country for good.

We must be willing to push ourselves beyond our limits, think outside the box, and implement bold and innovative solutions to the problems that plague our society.

We cannot afford to sit back and watch, while other nations soar ahead. It is time to harness our collective talent, intelligence, and resources, and propel our country towards greatness.

Let us not be swayed by greed, corruption, or self-interest, but rather let us be guided by a sense of duty and responsibility to our citizens.

Let us be the catalysts for change, the visionaries who inspire others to follow in our footsteps.

For me and the ARREST Agenda, failure is not an option. So, as a part of the team, you must play your role, live up to the expectations of your job, or step aside.  This train is moving, and moving fast. Either you are on board, or you are left behind.

So, I challenge every one of you, esteemed members of Cabinet and other officials, to work together in harmony and unity, and to strive towards a common goal – the development and prosperity of our country.

Let us not rest until we have unlocked the full potential of our nation; until we have brought about a transformation that will be felt for generations to come.

With a focus on the objectives and outcomes of this retreat, I am confident we will come from this retreat stronger, and more equipped to fulfill our duty to the people we serve.

Together, we can achieve greatness. Together, we can shape the future of our country. Together, we can make a difference. Let us rise to the challenge and work tirelessly towards the development of our nation.

In the next three days, we should challenge ourselves and hold truth to our collective oath to work for the Liberian people by not ending this retreat without the best outcomes for the good of our country.

Let me thank you for your service to the country so far as I look forward to your insightful and hearty deliberations on the issues that will drive inclusive development. Remember to always think Liberia, Love Liberia, and build Liberia.

May God bless the work of our hands and save our country.

Thank you.

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