-Over Delay Of Local Government Bill
By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
The Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) has expressed deep concerned over the prolong delay in the passage of the Local Government Bill by the Liberian Senate.
Harold Aidoo of IREDD
Making the disclosure Thursday, IREDD Executive Director, Harold Aidoo noted that while enormous effort was put in the process leading to the passage of the Bill by the House of Representatives in 2017, the stalemate of the Bill at the Senate is undermining governance reforms process particularly decentralization.
Aidoo indicated that many of the challenges that have engulfed the County Social Development Funds (CSDF) management and implementation are as a result of a highly centralized system of governance.
“The extreme levels of poverty and underdevelopment are all attributed to a centralized form of governance which has excluded the majority of the counties and by extension the population and created an imbalance in social economic and political indicators as far as governance and development is concerned,” Aidoo Stressed.
The IREDD’s boss asserted that his group wishes to remind the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government that no Pro-poor policy would lift Liberians out of poverty and marginalization if the fundamental governance challenge which is the over centralization of development and governance that undermines shared growth and development is not addressed.
“In other words, for the government’s Pro-poor agenda to succeed the very first step should be a decentralization process that is anchored on a Local Government Act. That devolves decision making process from Monrovia to the population at the counties,” he noted.
At the same time, IREDD’s boss says its attention has been drawn to assertions that tend to suggest that the inclusion of the Speaker of the House of Representatives on executive delegation to trips outside of the country has the propensity to undermine the independence of the legislature.
Aidoo stated that as a parliamentary monitoring organization that has monitored the work of the legislature for the past 12-years and still monitoring, IREDD wishes to note and inform the Liberian people that there are no sufficient indicators to suggest the Legislature has gone-to-bed with the executive or in order words has been compromised.
Meanwhile, he disclosed that in the coming weeks, IREDD would be releasing its first quarter (January to April) report on performance of the Legislature. Without delving into the details of that report, available data so far tend to suggest that the 54th legislature has been active in the first quarter of the year.