Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr.
In history, there is always a time in the life of a nation when it must move forward with boldness and stamina in transforming its national institutions in order to survive for many more decades or forfeit the opportunity to transform itself by hanging onto outmoded institutions and retrogressive tendencies. The Liberia of today requires the boldness of a leadership that moves into the future with its people in the building of a society based on economic and political inclusion which will be the starting point for the unity that it needs in consolidating the democracy that is being nurtured.
As the nation transitions from one administration to another, there is a need to look at the present world situation and fashion a developmental agenda for the progress of the people. The reality of today’s world is that the nation-state must join the rest of the globalised village in the production of trained manpower for development in a highly technological world. The world of tomorrow will be the digital platform that will usher humanity into a world of robotics and greater scientific inventions far surpassing any imaginable development today. It will be the challenge of nation-states to advance with the scientific and technological transformation or stagnate in backwardness, superstition and poverty.
The Liberian People’s Party understands the challenges that face the nation in the globalised world. It has through many years of struggle developed a keen insight into the challenges that must be confronted and resolved if our country must advance beyond the mere existence of a people trapped in poverty and economic strangulation. It is our understanding of these challenges and our commitment to transform the lives of our people that we have embarked on this journey to reconstruct with all and for all!
Our method of modern engagement for transformation is that the people become the fulcrum of lifting themselves up from poverty. Thus, we intend to focus on twelve (12) core areas for Liberia’s reconstruction and development. There are many other areas but the necessity of the moment demands that we tackle those with immediate urgency in order to carry the people along with us in the historic endeavor of transforming our country and ourselves. These core areas are:
Urban reconstruction and national housing
The Welfare of the Disabled and physically challenged
Sports and youth development
The all round development of a people must go in tandem with the development of the nation in all spheres of reconstruction and development. The transformation of the political and economic superstructures must be based on the strength of the foundation of popular democracy that posits the role of the people as the defining agents in popular power and national transformation. Popular democracy is that model of people’s engagement that makes them the subjects rather than the objects of history. It gives to the people the power of control by subjecting all institutions of state to their domination. Thus, the people must be enlightened and educated for the national task of reconstruction, reconciliation and transformation.
This is the basis of transformation in all developing societies. The enlightenment of the people is paramount for transforming their consciousness in order for them to engage in productive activities. The education of the youth is the foundation for engagement in the scientific and technological world.
*At the elementary level, we will abolish all fees and provide uniforms and books up to the 8th grade.
*There will be a feeding program up to the 10th grade that will be paid for by the State.
*Milk and vitamins will be provided for children in the 1st to 5th grades.
*At the high school level, well equipped laboratories will be provided for the teaching of the sciences.
*Teachers in chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics will be recruited from different countries to assist Liberian teachers.
*High school students will pay minimum for uniforms and books.
*Boarding schools will be established in all the counties to allow for the interchange of students.
*Three local languages will be taught from the 1st to the 12th grades in all schools. Language laboratories will be established to help in the teaching of the local languages.
*Stadia will be constructed in all the counties to allow for inter-school competition.
*High school students will join university students in conducting Adult Literacy programs during vacation periods.
*Two major libraries and four subsidiary libraries will be established in each county with internet access for all students free of charge.
*There will be established five major universities in the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest and the central part of the country.
*Community colleges will be improved and additional funding provided for the recruitment of lecturers with terminal degrees.
*Students in the first two years of higher education will pay only 25% of fees. Students in the final two years will pay only 10% of fees.
*Houses will be constructed and provided for teachers in the rural areas.
*Emphasis will be placed on providing quality education with increased incentives for those in vocational and technical schools.
*The twenty-five top students from the combined universities will be sent abroad for graduate studies upon graduation with the concentration being on the sciences.
*Additional hospitals and clinics will be built across the country and provided with modern equipment.
*There will be emphasis on reducing child mortality and paying attention to maternal mortality.
*Houses will be constructed for doctors and nurses in the counties.
*Ten (10) to fifteen (15) specialists to be brought into the country on two-year basis.
*There will be a clinic with a qualified nurse in each village with a population of 50 persons. The idea is to have a nurse and a clinic every five miles in the rural areas.
*Senior doctors and nurses with over twenty years experience will be paid a minimum of $10,000 (U.S.) per month.
*Provision of transportation for all health workers.
*Free vaccination for all children up to the age of twelve years.
*Free medical treatment for all nursing mothers and citizens 60 years and above.
*Encouragement of mechanized farming where possible to enhance productivity.
*Assistance from government in the form of transportation and distributive facilities to allow farmers to expand cultivation in the provision of food.
*Agricultural science to be taught in all high schools to allow for food production to assist in feeding students in schools.
*Emphasis on the increased cultivation of rice and other food stuff.
*Food security as a priority in agricultural development.
*Security personnel to be provided with low cost houses in barracks across the country.
*Personnel in Immigration, the police, the fire service, the prison service and other major security institutions to have free medical care for themselves and close family members.
*Personnel in the services listed above to have access to higher education in order to enhance their intellectual growth.
*The re-organization of the Legislature to allow civil society to have 40% of the seats in the lower House through representation from professional, working groups, student organizations, farmer unions, market associations, etc.
*The representation of traditional leaders in the Senate with fifteen (15) seats while the civilian senators will have fifteen (15) seats. These changes will be done through referenda.
*The establishment of County Assemblies throughout the country where elected representatives from districts will debate national issues in the local languages and make representation to the national Legislature.
*The establishment of local government structures wherein superintendents and their deputies are elected by members of the County Assemblies subject to recall by two-thirds of the members of the County Assembly.
*Committee of experts to be appointed to undertake a comprehensive review of the tax system and the process of tax collection and make recommendations for effective implementation.
*The establishment of a stock exchange to allow Liberians to buy shares in all listed companies and corporations in the country.
*The buying of 30% shares of all major corporations, banks, Insurance companies, etc. by the government in an economic emergency in the first three years to allow for effective monitoring of profits that could led to increased revenues for the government.
*The introduction of a rigid tax regime to establish a progressive tax policy on real estates, land and profits.
*The reduction of salaries and benefits for all cabinet ministers, Legislators, heads of parastatals and the increase of salaries for civil servants, health workers, teachers and all workers in parastatals.
*Introduction of drastic penalties for corruption in high places with imprisonment and the confiscation of all properties as per the law.
*The taking over of all logging companies by the government and the regulation of the cutting of trees and the introduction of effective reforestation.
*Effective monitoring of the gold and diamond sectors with government participation in all spheres.
*In the first four years, all roads now under construction will be completed and additional road networks constructed.
*Major roads to be built within the first four years will be the VOINJAMA to CESTO CITY highway; the VOINJAMA to FOYA highway; the TUBMANBURG to GBARNGA highway; the ZWEDRU to GREENVILLE highway; the BARCLAYVILLE to FISHTOWN highway; the SANNIQUELLIE to LOGUATO highway; and the ROBERTSPORT to HARPER coastal highway.
URBAN RECONSTRUCTION AND HOUSING
*All slums to be cleared in Monrovia and its environs.
*The city to be expanded towards Po River and towards Harbel with the expanded areas as suburbs.
*All administrative capitals to be planned and built to modern standards.
*New road networks to be constructed in Monrovia by the building of bridges and the construction of overhead passes to ease traffic congestion.
*Thoroughfares to be designated in certain areas of the Capital to allow pedestrians to move freely.
*The creation of parks for recreation and leisure.
*The development of waterway transport to allow for fast movement throughout the city.
*The connection of all the counties by buses and waterway transport.
*The expansion/construction of airstrips across the country.
PROMOTING THE WELFARE OF THE DISABLED/PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED
*The disabled/physically challenged to be given facilities to assist their entry into all public buildings.
*The disabled/physically challenged to be given assistance in education and encouraged to participate in sporting activities.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND SPORTS
*All graduates of higher institutions will be employed for the first two years after school by government to work in the fields of education, health, banking Insurance, etc.
*Special credit facilities will be created for graduates who want to go into business after the first two years of government service.
*The development of soccer, basketball and athletics to the professional level.
*The establishment of five sporting academics across the country.
*The construction of modern camps and the provision of sporting facilities for the national teams in soccer, basketball and athletics.
*The building of motels and hotels along the coast for the encouragement of tourism.
*The highlighting of our cultural heritage by exposition and explanation of our traditional dances, songs and artistic creation to tourists and interested scholars.
THIS IS WHERE WE STAND! THIS IS THE FOUNDATION UPON WHICH WE WANT THE PEOPLE TO EMBRACE US AS WE MOVE TOGETHER IN THE HISTORIC PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION!!