6 February 2013

Liberia: Liberty Party Dissects Ellen's Annual Address - Pinpoints Lapses

Officially responding to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's state of the nation address delivered Jan 28, the opposition Liberty Party has pin pointed some key issues it said the President failed to address.

Giving the party's response at its headquarters on Old Road under the theme "Option for the Poor," Chairman Fonati Koffa noted that the President's address was spent on a litany of accomplishments, but not way forward in addressing critical problems in the health, educational and oil sectors.

He said in as much the Liberian President highlighted many noteworthy accomplishments, her speech was equally noteworthy for disappointment in crystallizing and articulating the broader National Vision.

"I listened to the President when she spoke of the current education system," the LP Chief continued.

"But where is the road map? Where are the new ideas? We need to create a professional standards and licensing regime and give more incentives for teachers and students to achieve."

The LP Chairman continued by saying, the Liberian heath care system is also need of dire reform. "A Liberian citizen formed in the womb has a poor likelihood of survival within the first few months of dropping its navel string on Liberian soil. At the other end of spectrum, Liberians who cannot afford health care generally seek health care services in Ghana, South Africa or the West."

Unfortunately, he said, what was noticeably absent from the President speech was the oil industry. "Was this an oversight? Given that oil can be a blessing or a curse and sometimes both, government owes it to the people to keep them continuously abreast of progress in the oil sector."

Kofa stated that this omission was the most serious lapse in the Annual Massage, especially since there was no mention of reforming the petroleum law as part of the legislative agenda.

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