There are many reasons why LIBERIANS continue to be spectators in their own economy:
Unregulated mining of the natural resources of the country including diamonds,gold, precious stones and other minerals.
Foreigners have taken over the sector and more so the nation cannot boast of any revenue coming from this sector due to high degree of unregulation and corruption that characterise the mining sector.Why should we have budgetary problems to finance key Development programs when the nation is sitting on gold and diamonds.
The Bible says for lack of knowledge my people suffer.
Our situation is just more than lack of knowledge, it is wickedness,unpatriotism and damn right corruption that has characterised this nation for ages.
Until there is a political will to change the situation, the country will not be developed and even if there’s a political will and lacking patriotism we will go no where.
Sometimes I ask the question, why do we hate our country so much?
Everything about Liberia is bad, but everything about other countries is good.
Some Liberians live in other parts of the world where they are law abiding, but by the time the land on Liberian soil,they become so lawless dropping garbage in the streets, driving on the third lane, and bribing to get their way through.They will never dream of breaking a single law in those countries they live in.
We help foreigners break our laws including mining laws and then in return the foreigners give peanuts.
Until the mining sector is tightly regulated there’s nothing this nation will reap from its own resources.
How many iron ore companies have extracted the best ore in the world from LIBERIA, we have seen no Development. The Mines in Bong,Nimba,Mano River have benefitted Liberia little or nothing.
They are extracting ore in the bushes and leaving the environment devastated, no future plans for those areas that are affected by the digging and mining of the ore.
Go to Yekepa it is a shame to see the once booming City lying in ruins, all the houses are damaged and the community is left without a future.
The lack of planning for the future has and will continue to undermine the Development of Liberia.It is like nobody cares, nobody is concern,it is like nobody really think about this country beyond one day, as long as it is okay with family and friends.
With these don’t care attitudes, we will continue to be spectators in our own economy.
The worst about the mining sector is the bad mineral Development agreement laws, that affect the communities, the unenforceable corporate social responsibility clauses enshrined in the agreements and the consequences those clauses have on the people because they don’t mean what they say.
These companies are not empowering liberians,they are not even in the interest of the nation,no one is benefitting, only a handful of people.
So we are spectators in our own economy.
How many of the more than 40 businesses set aside by law for Liberians are in the hands of foreigners, almost all, from ice ,cool aide, bakeries and petty businesses foreigners have taken over the entire commercial sector.
Worst of all, liberians are not protected in their businesses because someone is going to make sure that LIBERIANS donot benefit by importing the same commodities that are being produced in the country thus creating hardship for their compatriots to the extent that they are unable to pay their creditors due to the loss created by the importation of the same goods or commodities by foreigners.
So the Liberianization policy is not working.
We will continue to be spectators in our own economy if the Liberianization policy is working against Liberians.We are our own enemies,we hate each other,so strange!
Corruption is at the center of everything that is happening to our country and to you and me.Every sector is affected as a result of stealing of resources that belong to the people and the nation .
Acquisition of real property using money that belong to key sectors is an age old problem,can this menance be attacked and remedied yes, with the political will and the determination of everyone we can eliminate corruption.
How many of our citizens have died for reasons tied to rampant corruption, misuse of public office etc, hundreds of thousands, yet still the problem lingers on, how many more we think should suffer before we come to our senses.
Until we stop taking what is not ours, until we stop damaging our own country by putting into place mechanisms to safeguard our country and it’s programs, Liberia is going nowhere.
The health system is down, education is struggling, sanitation, Agriculture and social services are virtually non-existent,how do you feel living in a country where life is a hell ?
Corruption is LIBERIA’S problem, selfishness,greed and lack of foresight are in a class all by themselves.
When key sectors are not working, you become spectators in you own economy.
Who are the culprits?
Who is responsible for all these problems?
The culprits are we the Liberians, we are responsible for what is happening to us and the nation
We decide how Liberia should go and in which direction.We steal from ourselves,we allow other people to steal from us and worst of all, we invest in other countries rather than our own.
Lack of investment is a major problem because Investment create jobs for the citizens, how many jobs have we created in the last ten years?
The lack of Jobs have led to the increase in crime and the increase in crime is sending bad signals to would be investors.
By Atty.George K. Saah
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