14 February 2013

Liberia: Lawmaker Proposes Forum for National Security Briefing

The Chairman of House Committee on National Security, Gbarpolu County district #1 Representative Alfred G. Koiwood, has disclosed plans by the Committee to hold a monthly National Security Briefing Forum (NSBF) in Liberia.

Speaking in Caresburg, Montserrado County when he recently delivered a keynote address at the annual retreat of the Community Watch Forum (CWF), Representative Koiwood said the security briefing forum will serve as a platform on which heads of state security entities will brief House Committees on National Security and Defense on the day-to-day security status of Liberia.

"This strategic plan would create employment opportunities for Liberians to serve as Liaison Officers assigned in every national security institution," The Gbarpolu Lawmaker explained. "The Liaison Officers would provide updates to the National Security Committee on a regular basis pertaining to issue of national security."

According to him, the NSBF is being pursued to assist members of House Committee on National Security ascertain needy information and make informed decisions in the best interest of the nation.

Representative Koiwood further said that the forum will remedy the rough edges of the security sector and promote cordiality between heads of security entities and the Legislature, adding,   "The level of coordination and cooperation between national security institutions and the Legislature must be reinforced and cemented to facilitate information sharing, which is the goal of the strategy."

He stressed the need for all Liberians to contribute towards the safety and stability of Liberia, and indicated that it was the patriotic duty and civic responsibility of all citizens to selflessly, tirelessly and fearlessly work to ensure that their respective communities are free of crimes, violence and drugs abuse.

He argued that it was the nationalistic obligation of Liberians to provide reliable information to enable the Liberian National Police (LNP), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) and Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) and other security apparatuses execute their respective statutory mandates in an effective and proficient manner.

"The government too must play a crucial role in providing an enabling environment for state security agencies and personnel to have the dignity and honor they deserve," Representative Koiwood further asserted. "There is a need to further strengthen inter-agency collaboration among various security apparatuses"

Meanwhile, the Chairman on the House's Committee on National Security has vowed to, in consultation with his fellow committee members, ensure a better living standard for each and every retired para-military and military personnel and as well as pensioned civil servants.

"Accordingly, I will use my lobbying power to make sure that members of the 53rd National Legislature and Executive see reasons to increase pensioners' salary to an additional US$20.00 across the board. This is because our senior citizens who have served various security apparatus and public entities should and must have access to acceptable meals, comfortable dwelling places and appropriate healthcare, while their children attend topnotch schools."

The Community Watch Forum of Liberia is a community based organization that practices community policing. Headed by a national Executive Committee that is supervised by a Chairman and two deputies, it has branches in all the 15 political sub-divisions of the country.

The watch forum was established and launched in November 2004 by the Government of Liberia (GOL) in Paynesville, Montserrado.

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