In furtherance of the Unity Party-led government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s commitment to decentralize services, the Government of Liberia and development partners have dedicated two additional County Service Centers (CSCs) with a call for citizens to cherish and take ownership of the facilities.
Addressing the dedicatory ceremony in Harper and Greenville Cities recently, the Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, informed citizens of development partners’ desire to increase support to the development drive of Liberia, but noted that this depends on proper management and usage of existing facilities. “Our partners have helped us with these facilities and are very much willing to do more, but they are looking at us to see how we manage and make use of these ones before adding on to them,” he told the citizens. While in Greenville, Sinoe County, the GC Chairman who is Co-Chair of the Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP), also called on his kinsmen to lobby with their lawmakers, particularly those in the Liberian Senate, for passage of the Land Rights Bill that has already been passed by the lower house awaiting concurrence by the senate. On the passage of the bill; Dr. Sawyer admonished citizens to vote representatives who will support the passage of the bill because they stand to benefit most as the law will give them ownership of their land. The County Service Center (CSC) is a one-stop-shop that offers dozens of services, including the issuance of documentation services relating to certificates, permits and licenses. Already, Government and partners have opened eight County Service Centers in Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bong, Nimba, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Grand Gedeh Counties. Implementation of the Liberia Decentralization Support Program is being carried out by the Liberian Government with funding from the European Union, Swedish Government, USAID, UNMIL and UNDP. The recent dedication of the two additional centers brings to ten the total number of CSCs inaugurated within the space of three years. Receiving the keys to the Greenville facility, Sinoe County Superintendent Prosper K. Brown described the decentralization of services as a life changing moment, and assured that he and citizens of the county will cherish the CSC to the depth of their hearts. Superintendent Brown promised to ensure quality service delivery, the observance of acceptable standards, and that only qualified and reputable persons will be assigned to work at the center. “Despite delays which we did not see as denial, this project leaves an indelible print on the hearts of citizens and so we respect this and will hold it high among priority institutions in the county,” he pledged. Representatives of development partners, including UNMIL, UNDP, Swedish Government, USAID and the European Union Ambassador to Liberia Tiina Intelmann lauded the project. Ambassador Intelmann added her voice to those of previous speakers on the need for proper management and usage of the center. The establishment of the centers saves citizens of all ten counties time and money to obtain services at the center because they will no longer have to travel to Monrovia for the processing of documents and acquisition of the services that are now available in their respective counties. Counties that are yet to benefit from the CSC are Lofa, Grand Kru, River Gee, Montserrado and River Cess Counties.