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CDC Veep Justifies 2023 Re-election Bid
…As Weah Dedicates Gbarpolu’s Modern Hospital Today

Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor boasted that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government has achieved more in its first term despite the many challenges being faced.

Madam Howard-Taylor in her assertion bragged about lot being done by the Weah-led government almost in all the sectors of the economy ranging from infrastructures, health, education, energy, and the rule of law among others, something she stressed had not happened for a long time.

However, her remarks came amidst serious criticism from political pundits including some citizens that the Weah led-government has miserably failed to implement all of its promises made to the Liberian people during the 2017 elections.

According to them, Liberia under President George M. Weah has gone from ‘bad to worse’ due to lack of transparency and accountability coupled with rampant corruption and lavish spending by the President and his officials since their ascendency to power.

But justifying as why they should be reelected during the 2023 General Elections on a live Talk Show Program on Spoon TV Network over the weekend, VP Taylor also cautioned Liberians to see the need to reelect the CDC administration as means to consolidate on the gains of their first term and to also deliver more for the betterment of the country.

Commenting on the Health sector, she said, “The health care system is much better than it has been in the past; there are many beautiful hospitals that have been built with training facilities in areas that never had those facilities.”

VP Taylor whose focus was mainly on the construction of new hospitals and other facilities throughout the country as well as the massive investment in training and the employment of more medical professionals noted, “We brought on board many doctors and nurses.”

“We also sent a lot of them across the African spectrum for specialization. I think at the end of this year or beginning of next year, a lot of them will begin to come back. We will have more than 20 specialized doctors that we will send to our new hospitals. We have built more hospitals in recent time,” she said.

VP Taylor mentioned the construction of the new Emirate Hospital in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu, which she described as “modern and state-of-the-art,” adding, “And it is expected to be dedicated by President Weah soon.

On education, she firstly thanked the government for the giant strides made to improve the country’s educational sector by encouraging enrollment of students and removing some of the burdens of the parents and students with respect to paying the WASSCE fees across the board for 12th graders; be it in public or private institutions.

Others were the reduction of registration fees to the barest minimum for other strata of the grade school system, making them affordable for parents and students throughout public schools as well as the tuition waiver for college-going students at the University of Liberia (UL).

She explained further that there has been other unprecedented investments in the sector through the provision of learning materials, equipment, among others in seven counties; talking about a planned donor meeting to source a whopping $1bn to be ploughed in education early next year, which is being spearheaded by the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

“The government has been investing a lot in the educational sector because this is a major priority to develop the human capital of the country, especially the young people. We are taking up the burden and with time, the story will completely change. Right now, in seven counties, as I went around the country, I have seen that schools are being provided the necessary support that they need to enhance the learning process and they are happy,” she explained.

“There is a serious intentional decision of the government and our development partners to remain supportive to this process. Next year we are looking at holding a program where we, along with our partners, will be launching a billion-dollar project to support education,” she said.

For infrastructure, especially road construction, Madam Howard Taylor mentioned that the government has matched its words with action by making road construction and connectivity as a signature sector, thus outlining some ongoing roads in the country such as the Robertsport-Medina Highway, which is expected to boost economic activities and tourism around that corridor; the Ganta-Zwedru Highway as well as the Lofa Road which just got additional funding from the Qatari government.

She did admit that there have been some challenges, but mentioned the ELWA-RIA Highway which has come under serious criticism, but promised that the issues around it have been discussed for possible and quick solutions so that the project will be given the expeditious attention it was expected to have.

VP Taylor also highlighted the government’s achievements in agriculture and its resolve to attain food security for the population but said the challenges remain with processing the products into new ones to ensure value addition.

She added that the sector is one of those being highly supported by donor institutions with equipment and other machinery to boost production, especially rice production, and the acquisition of milling machines to process them will be key to enhancing the contribution of agriculture to the national economy.

VP Taylor also dispelled rumors about a reported rift between her and her boss (President Weah) on policies and other administrative issues, stating that despite the ups and downs, her relationship with her boss remains strong and solid like ever before.

“The relationship with the President is okay. We are working together. We are making the impact that we should and I am grateful to be the first female Vice President of the Republic of Liberia,” she stated.

“If you look at relationships, there are always ups and downs, but our interest remains or looks similar; that is not about my personal interest or the President’s personal interest, but whatever we can do for Liberia and I think that is the relationship I want to talk about,” she added.

“We are strong; we are working, and I am just grateful to have such an opportunity. I have not said this before on the international scene, if I didn’t believe in him, I would have not given up my destiny to support him which I have done,” VP Taylor boasted.

“So, I believe that together, in spite of all of the things that have happened; and I always say President Weah and I have not argued, never raised his voice at me, had never been abusive to me; there was never a time we had difficulty working together,” she explained.

“I am his deputy and my job is to assist him and that is what I have been trying to do to the best of my ability. So, for us as a government, it is our duty to continue working for the people and do less talking because it is the mandate we have from the people, and we are not going to be bothered by opposition propaganda because it is their job to do so,” she maintained.

Meanwhile, President Weah will today, December 28, 2022, dedicate the medical facility in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County.

The Wednesday’s dedication of the Emirates Hospital is consistent with his government’s flagship program, the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) which, amongst other things, makes the expansion and modernization of the country’s health sector a compelling priority.

President Weah according to an Executive Mansion release, vows to make access to the better healthcare facility a priority, especially for those living in rural, hard-to-reach counties.

The Emirates Hospital, as the Bopolu-based referral facility is named, is an outcome of the goodwill gesture and fruit of the bilateral relations between the governments of the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Liberia.

The hospital is also a testament upholding the humanitarian values and vision shared and cherished by the Government of UAE, as it further demonstrates the UAE’s commitment to the people of Liberia.

The Liberian Chief Executive is expected to be joined by government officials, members of the 54th National Legislature and Senior Officials from the United Arab Emirates, at the dedication on Wednesday.

During the dedicatory ceremony, President Weah is also expected to pay tribute to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and to the people of the UAE, for funding the Hospital’s construction.

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