17 December 2012

Liberia: Cabinet Ministers Holding Secret Meetings to Chop $15 Million

The President of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) has alleged that cabinet Ministers are holding secret meetings on how to chop the US$15M intended for youth development in the country's national budget.

Mr. Mohammed Naser, while speaking during a panel discussion at the just ended Vision 2030 National Conference in Gbarnga, Bong County further alleged that the "secret" meetings are usually held at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

The panel discussion was attended by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, her cabinet ministers and several other government officials among others. Among other things, the National Vision 2030 initiative is primarily aimed at national renewal and the overall process of post-war reconstruction and development of the country.

Speaking further, Mr. Naser said it is unacceptable to discuss the budget intended for youth development in the absence of their representatives. He pointed out that the National Vision 2030 can be achieved if only people have a change of mind by graduating from those things of the past.

"As I speak to you, Ministers are holding secret meetings at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the absence of youth organizations on how to use the money intended for youth development in the national budget. This is unacceptable," the FLY President maintained.

"This is the time that we try to make a change. Speeches made here must be translated into concrete changes. This is the only way we can realize a good vision," the FLY President added. But the FLY President did not disclose the names of the cabinet ministers whom he alleged are holding 'secret' meetings to chop the youth money. So far, there has been no reaction from the cabinet ministers concerning the FLY President's allegation against them.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nasser has underscored the need for the Government of Liberia(GOL) to focus its attention in the area of education in a bid to make the Vision 2030 a reality. "Education is national security issue, and government must do more in this area if the vision is to succeed," said Mr. Nasser.

The FLY President then recommended to the GOL and its partners to make youth issue a pillar in all of the development agendas as a means of achieving the vision. He said government must work with youth groups and student organization in the area of youth development initiative.

He also recommended that youth centers be constructed in every major city and town in order to enhance the learning activities of youth across the country.

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