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Thursday, April 18, 2024

WHY ISN’T LIBERIA OFFICIALLY ISSUING VISAS ON ARRIVAL AS MILLIONS DISAPPEAR IN INDIVIDUAL’S POCKETS…?

Date:

A Patriot’s Diary

With Ekena Nyankun Juahgbe-Droh Wesley

We unwittingly lament revenue shortfall in just every fiscal year because we plan for shortfall unconsciously. Hiring the right or best minds should always be about tangible results.

When Sierra Leone’s learned Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visited Liberia in 2021 and took time to lecture our senators during the tenure of former Pro-Tempo, Albert Chie regarding that neighboring country’s strategy of revenue-generation through the introduction of issuance of entry visa on arrival in the West African nation, we had anxiously hoped our elected leaders would give meaning to such lofty idea. Surely, Dr. Mohamed Jalloh spoke eloquently cum extemporaneously!

As colourfully intellectual and inspiring as the Sierra Leonean Vice President’s lecture was for the moment, so did it blatantly die a natural death when he concluded. What manner of leaders have we elected? But Sierra Leone’s second most powerful man did not address let alone speak to stones or worthless things. Dr. Jalloh spoke to our leaders “House of Elders.” Hmm! In just name or content of character?

He spoke to Liberia’s so-called leaders of our House of Elders. We can only trumpet the slogan – House of Elders when our leaders wittingly demonstrate wisdom, foresight and hindsight that seek to advance the course of some kind of greater good.

What the hell on earth is responsible for taking the appropriate legislative actions that would allow for a prudent revenue stream when we lawfully approve the issuance of entry visa on arrival? The Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Jalloh’s lecture to our senators will go down in history as one – emphasizing two critical elements; potential increase in the revenue envelope, which the small West African nation badly needs, and the much need promotion of tourism – as a critical revenue earner and source of employment.

Who doesn’t get it? In a show of “political casanova,” senator James Biney of Maryland made rhetorical attempts aimed at giving meaning to the the visiting Sierra Leonean Vice President’s lecture series. It all amounted to a nine day wonder. The purported smart-talking senator of Maryland County just couldn’t prove any more consistency in convincing colleagues that issuing entry visas on arrival would be more beneficial to the country. Are we saying Biney’s colleagues weren’t cheer-leadering when the Sierra Leonean Vice President lectured the Liberian senate? They did like graduating students at a graduation convocation.

How come the brilliant ideas enunciated by the Sierra Leonean Vice President summarily fell on infertile soil if you may? As Sierra Leone’s second most influential political leader spoke in the Chambers of the Senate, he was intermittently interrupted amid applause by our own senators. What manner of senators have we elected to lead this nation? Could they be men and women of vision? Perhaps not! Because of the lack of vision, my people shall perish.

We have chosen the path of corruptly lining the pockets of individual Immigration Officers at our ports of entry without recognizing that our mistaken failure to think out of the box is embarrassingly hurting support to our schools and hospitals that need all the interventions to address the plight of our suffering masses.

We can be of great service to our country in terms of revenue-generation by empowering the Liberia Revenue Authority  (LRA) to lawfully collect levies for visas on arrival to boost government revenue-generation and tourism.

It does not have to take any foreign leader to engage in another round of intellectual discourse after all. We elected our leaders to provide a sense of direction and guidance that will ensure practical implementation of deeds and not mere words.

We must prudently legislate the necessary legislation and let’s get started with collecting lawful revenue through issuance of entry visas. Let us not deny any schools and hospitals in Karnweaken, Mahn, Kinjor, or Kpatawee the opportunity to be fully functional.

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