A prominent United Methodist in Liberia, Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh has described as misleading the claims by the Liberian Government that the average Liberian is living a good life. Dr. Tipoteh made the assertion when he addressed the officers and members of the Fiamah Future Intellectual Discourse Center in Monrovia. The two times Presidential candidate in the 2005 and 2011 elections, said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, herself a United Methodist, and her international friends have not been telling the rest the world the reality of the actual living conditions of the Liberian people.
In his Annual Message dubbed “The State of the People Address” and dedicated to World Leader the Late Madiba Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Liberian Leader the Late Michael Kpakala Francis, the Liberian politician said, “the main problem facing the people of Liberia is mass poverty.” “Nearly all Liberians continue to be poor,” Dr. Tipoteh affirmed. “The Annual Progress Report of the Lift Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy says that 64 percent or nearly two out of every three Liberians were very poor in 2006,” the aging Economist added.
He noted that President Sirleaf and the twin global financial institutions; World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) continue to make a big mistake by saying that there is progress In the Liberian economy because of the high growth rate. The President’s 2014 Annual Message reports that the average economic growth rate a year for 2006 to 2013 is 8 percent.
Dr. Tipoteh questioned the truthfulness of these claims when Liberia government main funding partner the World Bank, says that nearly 9 out of 10 Liberians is in need of income- earning work. The number of unemployed Liberians is rising with the years of President Sirleaf tenure, he said.
The astute churchman said, “despite all the about Liberia being founded on a religious foundation, the truth is that the government of Liberia does not value highly what God has given to Liberia.” “the government of Liberia continues to preside over an economy owned by foreigners because the government continues to allow foreigners to take Liberia’s natural resources like iron ore, rubber and logs into their foreign countries without having factories in Liberia to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and ownership for Liberians by producing steel rods, rubber products and furniture in Liberia” he asserted. “There are thousands of foreigners in jobs and doing business that Liberians, especially the youth, can do and should be doing according to the Constitution of Liberia” he pointed out.
The aging economist further stated that the main reason why the Liberian dollar loses value is that the government places much more value on what is foreign than what is Liberian. This longstanding bad situation dominates the economy of Liberia and it is called “economic growth without economic development” or “growth without development” for short.”
As Liberia move towards another Presidential Election, the two times Presidential Candidate is calling on Liberians that there is most urgent need for the emergence of good leadership to establish good governance and end corruption for Liberia to be a better place for all Liberians. “The government has its agents; the Governance Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the General Auditing Commission, but lacks commitment in the public fight against corruption and the establishment of good governance since it came to power” he concluded.
Link to the entire address on West African Writers.