The National Bureau of Veteran Affairs (NBVA) under the Directorship of Dr. J. Edwin Lloyd, Sr., which in 2010 successfully implemented a Presidential mandate to vet out widows of ex-service men of the defunct Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), has again harvested a 2.8 hectors of rice field aimed at making veterans around the country more self sustaining and useful to society again.
The NBVA Boss said he was very grateful to the Ministry of Agriculture and hope that the demonstrative exercise will be replicated in other parts of the country to afford other veterans to positively contribute .
Dr. Lloyd said it is the hope and aspirations of the Bureau that such project could be renegotiated in the future thereby putting the Bureau back into business.
"Our intension is to bring here veterans who was in the agriculture sector before the war to help buttress the project to enable veterans around the country become more self sustaining as well as earning their own money,"
He called on all Liberians to help the Government of Liberia, headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf forge ahead as Government cannot do it alone and indicated that our international partners can do a whole lot.
"Even local organizations can also help to do what we cannot do by helping to feed our children adequately as well as sending them to school," Dr. Lloyd indicated to a team of journalist in Kpocum ,Grand Bassa County during the harvest of the 2.8 hectors of rice field.
Peter Bonner, Project Planer, thanked residents of the area and pointed out that the soil which is currently been used for the planting of the Narica-19 is well suited for rice harvesting.
He called on the Ministry of Agriculture to urgently step up their assistance to the NBVA Rice Project as a result of a MOU between the MOA and NBVA as workers on the farm are facing serious financial constraint.
Additionally the NBVA recently launched its university and vocational training program to enable veterans around the country gain the requisite skills and challenge require to meet the job market.
According to Aaron Nawo, Public Relation Officer, National Bureau of Veteran Affairs, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance, had initially allocated an amount of US$ 150.000 for the university and skills training exercise, but indicated that due to budgetary constraint currently been face by the Ministry of Finance, NBVA has received the amount of US$ 81.000 to kick off the program.
Nawo than hailed the NBVA under the able leadership of Rev. Dr. J. Edwin Lloyd,sr. for the level of landmark achievement as well as all veterans for being cooperative and intelligent during the vetting process and allowing for the vetting committee to do its job under a good atmosphere.
The university and vocation skills training exercise which was conducted by the vetting committee, Nawo indicated, was successfully completed and will cover several areas to include, Driving, which vetted about one hundred and ten (110) applicants, Computer Science, Nursing, Mid-Wifery, Masonry, Agriculture, General construction, Carpentry, Pastry ,Drafting ,Electricity, among others.
The National Bureau Of veteran Affairs is empowered by an approved July 22, 2008 Act to advocate on behalf of all veterans in the Republic of Liberia to whom the definition of "Veteran" may apply.
The act also authorized and empowered the bureau to take any actions, consistent with the laws of Liberia necessary and proper in the interest of the veterans for the active operations of the bureau.
Nawo explained that since the approved act of July 22,2008 was signed, thereby granting the NBVA the authority to operate in the county, the bureau has and continued to implement several meaningful projects to include, the induction of six(6) counties coordinators in Lofa, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Bong Counties on June 18,2010.
The NBVA successfully ended a three months intensive vetting procession in the county for widows of ex-service men of the defunct Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).The entire vetting process began on December 15, 2010 as a result of a Presidential mandate given to the bureau by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.