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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

THIS COUNTRY WILL BE TRANSFORMED – JNB VOWS TO CHANGE LIBERIA, IF…

Date:

Standard Bearer of Unity Party, ex-Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai

By Olando Testimony Zeongar

LIBERIA – Presidential hopeful and Standard Bearer of Unity Party, ex-Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai (JNB), has vowed to transform Liberia, if elected president.

Liberians go to the polls in less than 13 months to elect a president, vice president, and a horde of legislators in the country’s ensuing general and presidential elections.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest republic is ranked among the world’s 10th poorest countries, and is currently experiencing a dwindling economy, with successive regimes being unable to savage the country’s vast natural resources to deliver the basic socio-economic dividends, erect the needed infrastructural development and better the lives of citizens of the West African nation.

But, in a tete-a-tete with journalists including this writer, at his private office in the Rehab Community, on Wednesday, former Vice President Boakai vowed to change all of those around positively and put smiles on the faces of Liberians, if they vote him into office during the October 2023 elections.

He unveiled his catchword AREST (A-agriculture, R-roads, E-education, S-sanitation, T-tourism), with which he says under a Boakai-led government, Liberia would be transformed and developed.

The Unity Party political leader explained that when elected, his administration would firstly undertake a comprehensive agriculture venture largely concentrated on harnessing the expertise of local farmers.

Boakai, who is of the belief that if a nation cannot feed itself it cannot thrive, noted that Liberia has all it takes to feed itself, naming some of which the country has to its advantage as good soil; what he termed as technically sound climate, and vast land area.

He frowned on the idea of Liberia having to perpetually depend on other countries with by far larger populations, to grow enough to feed themselves while at the same time they feed Liberians by exporting their surplus to the country.“Are you going to depend on people to feed you perpetually?” Boakai wondered, adding that India, with a population of over a billion people and Vietnam, produce food for their people and also supply the Liberian market with rice – “yet, we have what it takes but we constantly experience food shortage, especially rice.”

He stated that agriculture is about 70% way of life, and so as president, his administration would invest heavily in agriculture, train more young people in the area of agribusiness and create jobs in the sector as well.

“We will prepare capable young people to compete,” said JNB, who indicated during his reign, he would endeavour to give farmers competitive advantage.

He stated that farmers would be encouraged to do what they know best to do, indicating that everyone would not be constrained to engage into rice-farming.

Boakai, who emphasized the training of young people into agricultural ventures, intoned that farmers would be encouraged to do fish-farming, animal husbandry, as well as the cultivation of pepper, cassava and other food crops.

He disclosed that under a Boakai’s administration, a complete agriculture system would be instituted, and farmers would be educated to being specialized and not having to go through the heavy burden of producing, processing and also being the ones to market their produce.

He stated that the national agriculture system would add value to agriculture, as well as place emphasis on processing and good roads that will create access to farms.

He then explained the R component of his AREST catchword, defining same as roads, good ones at that – without which he said nothing works.

He vowed that within his first 100 days in office as president, all across Liberia, no vehicle would be stuck in mud.

As in time past, Liberia is currently experiencing deplorable road conditions – even though like its predecessor, the George Weah administration is making some strides to mitigate the situation that continues to pose health risk to road users.

But Boakai vowed that he would endeavour to curb this within his first 100 days in office, by firstly reintroducing the system of assigning Resident Engineers to each of Liberia’s 15 political sub-divisions; a government program that in time past ensured maintenance work was periodically undertaken on roads leading to and within each county, but sadly this has been discontinued for over a decade now.

For education, he stated that it is the pivot upon which development thrives, adding that without an educationally trained population, the economy will be in shambles and development will be evasive.

He noted the need for a solid TVET program, stressing that when he ascends to the presidency, his administration would invest heavily in Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) nationwide.

He maintained that more young people would be trained to compete competitively, stating that for development to be a reality in Liberia, Liberians must be educated and acquire basic skills, because according to him, investors would not be expected or allowed to bring in all of the needed expertise when they come to invest in the country.

As for sanitation, the Unity Party standard bearer, who appeared appalled by the mammoth heap of filth engulfing Liberia, stated that “Sanitation is the prerequisite to good health.”

“Sanitation is extremely important, but it has to be enforced,” said JNB, who noted that he would make it a matter of a governance policy that sanitary agents are assigned to inspect homes, public and private facilities in a bid to deter occupants from keeping such areas filthy.

“Sanitary agents used to go around fumigating homes and communities, schools, government and private institutions,” Boakai recalled, promising that as president, this would be reinstituted.

“Look at the filth around here – our problem is sanitation, look around,” JNB said, indicating that since Liberia is not good at curative medicine, but the country can instead invest in prevention, an enterprise he said can be attained through a well implemented national sanitation program.

“You can have your yard cleaned, if the next yard is not clean, you are not safe,” said Boakai, who noted that markets where our foods come from, including hospitals are infested with rodents and cock roaches, situations he said he intends to change through a vigorous enforcement of his administration’s sanitation program  when he comes to power.

Touching on the T component of his catchword, Boakai described tourism as the icing on the cake, disclosing that as president, his government would invest in several parts of Liberia, especially the Lake Piso and other captivating scenery in Grand Cape Mount County, which he says would be used as tourist centers.He’s of the belief that when his administration invests into tourism, it would yield huge dividends as far as revenue generation is concerned, and that same would boom the country’s hospitality industry and create jobs thus, significantly bridging the massive gap of unemployment, especially having a toil on the country’s large youthful population.

“AREST  is central to good agriculture program because agriculture is the way forward; good and accessible roads, sound education, a healthy nation and people and the creation of a vast tourism industry,” the Unity Party political leader emphasized, indicating that these are what will jumpstart the economy and lead the way for development in the country.

“AREST will jumpstart this economy,” Boakai maintained.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Pa Boakai stop dreaming. Within the first 100 days where will u get the engineers to dispatch. And how do u plan to send sanitation inspectors to zinc house to inspect for garbage. And why didn’t u bring bring these good ideas to ma Ellen. Sorry papay we nah have experience with sweet talking politicians. No more

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