Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially dedicated a commercial complex owned by the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), terming it as a classic example of the process of transforming Liberia.
She said completion of the multipurpose building has further demonstrated that Liberians still have a sense of what they want their country to be in the future and will help the government achieve it.
"By the dedication of the building," the Liberian leader said, "it would now fast track the completion of the civil service and pension reforms that will enable government to fulfill its obligations to NASSCORP in order that they expand their activities to other parts of country."
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf spoke Friday, June 6, at the ELWA junction in Paynesville when she officially dedicated a US$11 million commercial complex owned by NASSCORP.
The Liberian leader, particularly expressed delight that the project is owned by Liberia and was built by a Liberian company, ECOCON Incorporated, owned by Henry Q. Taylor demonstrating the realization of the Liberianization policy.
In a demonstration of the satisfactory work done by the company, President Sirleaf informed the company to get ready to take over the renovation of the Executive Mansion. The Executive Mansion has been under renovation since the fourth floor was gutted by fire in July 2006.
President Sirleaf believes that if the Executive Mansion is renovated by a Liberian company, one will see the demonstration of commitment and passion to the country through their work as was done in the construction of the complex.
"There is no way that others can do it for us better than ourselves and we all must have this at the back of our minds," the Liberian President said, amidst huge cheers, adding further: "There are some people who are politically charged, misguided and ill-informed. They will look at this building and say this is nothing. If this is their definition of nothing, then we will continue to do nothing with these kinds of building."
Speaking earlier the NASSCORP Director General Dewitt von Ballmoos described the structure as a long term investment that will help raise revenue for government as negotiations are well advanced for full occupation of the commercial complex by investors. He expressed delight that the US$11million used to construct the building was exclusively raised by the corporation without a loan or borrowing from any commercial bank.
Mr. von Ballmoos, however, thanked the commercial banks for always servicing the benefits of its beneficiaries which he said has further brought confidence between beneficiaries and NASSCORP. He encouraged those he referred to as non-compliant employers to see reason why they should let their employees take advantage of the opportunities offered by NASSCORP.
A member of the House of Representatives Committee on State Enterprise, Public Autonomous Commissions and Agencies, Lofa County Representative Eugene Fallah Kpaka termed the complex as historic and a testimony of where Liberians want to see their country in years to come.
He praised President Sirleaf for creating the enabling environment for her vision to be turned into reality and encouraged other public corporations to copy the example of NASSCORP in their corporate social responsibility to the people of Liberia.
The chairman of the Board of Directors of NASSCORP Miatta Besolow, Chief Executive Officer of ECOCON Incorporated Henry Q. Taylor, and the complex chief architect Sylvanus O'Cornor, among others, who made remarks at the program, highlighted their respective roles played in the construction of the complex and expressed pleasure at the outcome.
The dedication of this complex is in fulfillment of a statutory requirement that the NASSCORP invests 25 percent of its insurable earnings into profitable and realistic ventures. Accordingly, the management in 2007 drafted an investment policy and strategic document, purposely to fast track its investment activities to meet long-term benefit commitments and cater to the socio-economic well-being of the larger Liberian society.
Construction of this US$11 million facility, which is expected to serve as a major commercial center and a tourist attraction began on April 18, 2009, and is the single largest infrastructure investment under the investment portfolio of the corporation. The complex includes an international conference center, shopping malls, office spaces, and banking facilities, among others.
The dedication of the NASSCORP commercial complex was preceded by the dedication of the ELWA junction beautification project under the auspices of the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), adjacent to the complex. President Sirleaf said the ELWA junction beautification project was timely as it serves as the gateway to the nation's capital and commended the PCC for the vision in action.
The Liberian leader then challenged her to see the Duport Road junction as another place that could possibly be beautified and had no doubt in the ability of acting Mayor Cyvette Gibson and her team's ability in executing that project.