Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf & outgoing Swedish Ambassador Lena Nordstrom
More CSCs Ready For Service Delivery- Sirleaf
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, January 10 (LINA) – Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf has revealed that the County Service Centers (CSCs) in Bomi, Gbarpolu, and Grand Cape Mount counties have been completed and are awaiting inauguration.
According to Deputy Minister Sirleaf, the centers are fully furnished and modalities to have them connected to internet services are being worked out.
He also disclosed that the CSCs in Sinoe, Maryland, Grand Kru, and Grand Gedeh Counties have all been completed but not yet furnished due to the bad roads in the southeast of the coutry.
Sirleaf said funding is being solicited through the UN Mission in Liberia's Quick Impact Project to construct additional CSCs in River Gee, Lofa and rural Montserrado County.
Deputy Minister Sirleaf made the disclosure Monday in remarks at the Gowning, Appreciation and Farewell Program held in honor of outgoing Swedish Ambassador Lena Nordstrom.
While serving in the country, Nordstrom was a strong champion of the decentralization program through her country’s financial contribution as well as her insightful contributions.
She assumed duty as Ambassador in October 2015 and in December, Sweden and Liberia signed a US$5 million agreement to provide assistance to the decentralization program of government.
Already, CSCs have been constructed in Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bong and Nimba counties and are functional, rendering services to citizens that include the issuance of driver license, birth and marriage certificates, land deeds and many other vital documents.
Availability of the centers has reduced constraints, and the added cost previously incurred by citizens who travelled to Monrovia to access the services provided at the CSC.
He expressed optimism that the Swedish envoy will continue to serve as Ambassador to Liberia’s decentralization program while in her new assignment
Mr. Sirleaf described Madam Nordstrom as not just Ambassador assigned to Liberia but also to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in particular for which the ministry thought to honor her for her impact on the institution.
“We would have been more pleased were you to remain and participate in the dedication of the completed CSCs, especially the one in Cestos City in River Cess County where you and I broke ground for the construction,” he noted.
He assured Nordstrom of government’s continuous commitment in ensuring that services are brought closer to citizens through decentralization, adding, “The Government of Liberia decentralization program is on an irreversible path.”
UNDP, USAID and other development partners lamented Madam Nordstrom’s departure because of the pivotal role she played during her stay in the country.
They celebrated her instrumentality, cooperation, collaboration, inspiration as well as her technical contribution to the diplomatic community and the decentralization program in particular.
As per tradition, Madam Nordstrom was gowned with an African attire while the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) presented her with two African masks and pleaded for her to remember Liberia and the LRA, in particular.
In remarks, honoree Nordstrom praised the collaboration and cooperation received form Liberians, and challenged them to uphold the decentralization program.
According to her, decentralizing functions is the best way to maintain peace.
She said as a girl from a small town in Sweden, she is aware of the impact of a decentralized government, adding, “People feel secure when they have some level of control especially local authority.”
She said as “the Ambassador for decentralization,” the honoring and gowning ceremony was “a heart-warming farewell staged in a true Liberian style.”