Vice President Boakai Visits Maryland County - tours Tubman University, the Port of Harper, Grand Cavalla, Pleebo and Harper City

Wednesday, 10th April 2013

Monrovia,Liberia - Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has hailed the people of Maryland County for their  development initiatives  and cooperation and reassured that County that Government will continue to work with them in a bid to achieve the development programs  earmarked under the Unity Party led Government.

He said issues of vocational training, the decentralization program launched by the Government of  Liberia, the reconditioning of the port of Harper and the pavement of the  Harper-Zwedru highway among others are projects that are critical and important to the County of Maryland and the rest of the Southeastern region.
Vice President Boakai was speaking over the weekend in Maryland County when he addressed hundreds of citizens at the City Hall in Harper.

On the issue of the Port he promised to meet with the NPA Authorities in Monrovia, while he reassured the people of Maryland that everything will be done to pave the highway between Harper and Zwedru at the cost of  50 million USD, according to a release from the Office of the Vice President.

He touched on several issues raised by the citizens at the town hall meeting including  banking, saying he will encourage the bank currently operating in the City of Harper to stay in the County. The Vice President commented on the Youth Empowerment  program launched by the Government to provide employment for the youth in the Country and pointed out that as of now, it is the sanitation area, but health, education and other areas will soon be targeted so that youths across the nation can be financially empowered. Currently there are two hundred and seventy youths working in the area of sanitation in Maryland County under the Liberia Youth Empowerment Program, the release went on to say.

Vice President Boakai noted that the town hall meeting in Harper was one of the most friendly gatherings he had hosted in recent times, saying the people were full of praises and appreciation to the Government especially for the road project.

He spoke of microloans for the women saying ‘We have to find ways and means to positively engage women and girls and one way to do it is to get them doing business through the provision of small loans, and urged them to organize themselves into an organization in order to access the loans.

Commenting on the decentralization of the Liberia Business Association, Vice President Boakai said that the current LBA administration has done well to organise chapters in the various counties. He said local businesses should be brought into the picture by purchasing their products that are made locally such as tools. He also spoke  about the need to build the capacity of the law enforcement officers, revamp the Liberia Opportunity Industrization Centers and improve the condition of the J.J. Dossen Hospital, saying, ‘we don’t want you to believe that because we are in Monrovia we donot care, adding, we are  here to get additional understanding of how things are working outside of Monrovia.

At the William V.S.Tubman University, the Vice President met with the administration, faculty and students of the Institution and responded to their concerns  which included among others the issues of Library, Laboratories as well as increment in the budget for the University.The issue of tranportation for students and faculty was raised, shortage of professors and additional  yearly subsidy.The students calleed for the decentralization of scholarships to other parts of the country.

Vice President Boakai later met with authorities of the Cavalla Rubber Corporation following which he assured the management of the CRC that  he will contact the Committee that was set up on the CRC. There are 800 employees currently within the employ of the CRC. They raised security concerns,border disputes between  which they say are crucial to the operations of the Corporation.The Ministries of Agriculture, Lands, Mines and Energy, and the Land Commission are on this Committee. They told the Vice President that a lot of the problems faced by the Corporation emanate from people outside of the area and by those who donot understand that it is the people of the area that will suffer if the corporation close down and not those giving wrong impression from Monrovia or abroad to their kinsmen back home.

In his address at the inauguation of the Faculty Senate over the weekend in Harper, Vice President Boakai said ‘ even in the face of the enormous challenges, the Tubman University has emerged as  strong and vibrant. That must be because you aspire to nothing short of the best, noting, as our nation stuggles to regain its footing in this national reconstruction process, your role in forming and training a new breed of Liberian scientists cannot be over emphasized, the Vice President said.” Dr. Nathaniel Gbassagee was inducted as President of the Faculty Senate, the first Senate in the history of the TU. TU was first known as Maryland Techical College established in 1978.

Vice President Boakai later visited the Port of Harper, the Frendship Monument and the Grand Cavalla where the First Episcopal Church in Liberia was constructed in 1851, the original home of Cuttington University College now in Suakoko, Bong County. Graves of those who died in the process of establishing the Episcopal Mission in Liberia are in the Church yard.
Speaking at the Intercessory service held for the Vice President at Grand Cavalla, the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Tubman University, Dr. Elizabeth Q. Enanoria-Carbajosa said that “we are proud to say that the University is very inspired by the visions of the leadership of the Government and is concious of its roles as a catalyst for development and as an agent for quality and excellent educational experiences.”

The people of Grand Cavalla presented a certificate to the University for 200 acres of land to be used for agricultural programs in the Presence of the Vice President and the Wodoba, the traditional king of the Grand Cavalla.

On the other hand the University  and Grand Cavalla runs an Integrated Village Development which according to Dr. Carbajosa is a holistic people- centered development that provides opportunities for the develepment of the integrity,power,skills, knowledge and experiences of the village. It aims to empower the village to undertake initiatives and address the social,economic,political, cultural and environmental problems and to have greater control over conditions that affect their lives. The Integrated Village Development is a collective and skilled-processed that build the viklkage toward a commongoal-societal transfirmation,  Dr. Carbajosa said.

In Pleebo 20 minutes outside of Harper, Vice Presidenr Boakai held a townhall meeting with citizens there.Statements were made by the Maryland County Youth Association, the Lofa citizens association, Rural Women Structure, The Local Business Association, the Gender Corrdinator, the Council of Chiefs , the Superintendent of the County and Senator H. Dan Morias.

The Vice President who is also deacon in the Baptist Denomination worshipped at the Zion Ebenezer Baptist Church on Maryland Avenue  where he contributed  towards the ongoing construction work at the Church before boarding the helicopter for Monrovia which is 400 miles away from Harper. Vice President Boakai is the First Constitutionally elected Vice President to visit Maryland in 34 years. The last Vice President to visit Maryland was Bennie D. Warner in 1979.

Vice President Boakai visited Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties when he toured the Northern part of the Southeast last year and cut the ribbon to a reconditioned road from Zwedru to River Gbeh. Two weeks ago he was in Grand Bassa County. He also visited Sinoe County last year.  He toured the ports of Greenville, Harper and Buchanan and a couple of weeks ago inspected facilities at the Freeport of Monrovia. This is his second trip outside of Monrovia since his return from India on a weeklong working visit last month.