Monrovia – A local Civil Society Organization, the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) has expressed optimism that the Legislature will shortly pass the local government act that has lingered in the legislature for the past three years.
In an interview with FrontPageAfrica Mr. Herald Aidoo, Executive Director of IREDD said, his optimism is based on the fact that IREDD on the 31st of August 2017 represented a number of Civil Society organizations (CSOs) and facilitated a high-level policy dialogue to meet committee members of the Senate and House of Representatives to inquire about the status of the Local Government Act.
The act is described by many CSOs including IREDD as a revolutionary Bill that seeks to author the foundation and fundamental government architecture of the country.
mong the many things, the act seeks to reduce the number of cities and make government more effective by transferring some of the political and administrative power that is heavily concentrated in Monrovia to the rural counties.
It seeks to establish a legislative assembly, raise local revenue, and levy taxes to enable counties and districts to raise their own revenue for development.
The bill has been at the legislature for more than three years.
“Today, there has been a landmark achievement in that we were able to meet some influential members of the legislature who have assured us that they will be passing the Local Government Act before the end of the year.
“The House has committed that they now have the political will to pass the bill. For us, this will revolutionize powers.”
“The bill increases citizen’s participation in national decision level. This is a very important bill in that citizens will now determine what kind of development they want,” Aidoo said.
According to him, the bill has stayed that long in the legislature because people who have been holding on powers have found it difficult to let go.
“Power is sweet and to take power from people is not easy and it takes a lot of time, convincing and the battle of ideas so this has delayed the passage of the bill.”
This Act affirms the commitment of the Government of Liberia to further the unity of the Republic by providing equal opportunity for all of its citizens to engage in the governance of the state through the devolution of certain administrative, fiscal and political powers and institutions from the national government to local governments.
The Local Government Act of 2015 shall apply to all local government structures as provided for herein, except that this Act shall not be applicable to those functions that are exclusively reserved for the national government, also as provided for herein.
“This Act shall take precedence over any and all other laws now existing or that shall be enacted which are not related to, or enacted as local government laws, and are in conflict or are inconsistent with this Act.”
FrontPageAfrica Newspaper – News