“We Are seeking Support including Funding To Resume Rehabilitation program’

– Says Major Koijee
Monrovia City Major Jefferson. Koijee says at present the MCC is seeking support including funding to resume rehabilitation program for disadvantaged, less- privileged and ‘’at-risk’’ youths within the City call ‘Zogo” who have become a national security threat.

The lives of Liberia’s forgotten child soldiers – known as ‘Zogos’ they are jobless, homeless and addicted to drugs. The Zogos are Liberia’s underclass: jobless, homeless and addicted to drugs

He said this is the result of consuming illegal and harmful substances, and the constant addiction to drugs, for the purpose of reintegrating them into society in order to engender self- esteem and
self- realization for them.

Mayor Koijee made the statement on Sunday February 16, 2020 at the State City Message Delivered on the occasion marking the 44th Celebration of Monrovia held at the Monrovia City Hall in Monrovia.

According to Mayor Koijee the Objective is to give fruitful and productive meaning to the lives of several young people in the City who are feared by many residents across the country due to their actions necessitated by drugs addiction.

He then used the occasion to sympathize with the Government and Peoples of China, as we speak now the death toll from China’s coronavirus epidemic has jumped past 1,600 this morning, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

‘We feel the negative impact this virus is causing not just for the people of China but has now become a global threat which Liberia, specifically our capital MONROVIA is of no exception’ He Noted .See Full statement below

STATE OF THE CITY MESSAGE DELIVERED BY HONORABLE JEFFERSON T. KOIJEE ON THE OCCASION MARKING THE 44th CELEBRATION OF MONROVIA DAY HELD AT THE MONROVIA CITY HALL, SINKOR, TUBMAN BOULEVARD, MONROVIA, LIBERIA,

February 16, 2020

Members of the Monrovia City Council, Officials of the Central Government here present, Local Government Officials, The Traditional Councils, The Religious Council, The dedicated and result-focused staff of the City Government of Monrovia, Civic Society Organizations here present, Members of the Private Sector, Our international development partners arriving, Members of the Fourth Estate, The peace-loving residents of Monrovia,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please join me in a moment of silence for our friends in China and our fallen compatriots.

We sympathize with the Government and Peoples of China, as we speak now the death toll from China’s coronavirus epidemic has jumped past 1,600 this morning, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). We feel the negative impact this virus is causing not just for the people of China but has now become a global threat which Liberia, specifically our capital MONROVIA is of no exception.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am humbled by your presence at the Monrovia City Hall this hour, in honour of our invitation to participate in the 198th anniversary of our historic City, the city of Monrovia named “Monrovia Day”.
Nearly 200 years ago to be specific in 1822, this great city was founded, about 25 years before the independence of the Republic of Liberia.
Monrovia, formerly Christopolis named in honour of former US President James Monroe during whose administration the city was founded, served as a beacon of hope for many oppressed Africans and people of African descent and a ground for the declaration of independence of Africa’s oldest Republic. The significance of Monrovia cannot be overemphasized as it currently hosts the seat of Government along with other key functionaries.

Fellow Residents of Monrovia,

We are cognizant of the economic situations in our Capital with the most recent one being the Petroleum shortage which has partially impeded economic activities in our city. We want to appreciate the Government of Sierra Leone for their noteworthy intervention which is a clear manifestation of our cordial relationship in the Mano River Basin. With the farsightedness of our national government and the corporation of the Sierra Leonean government, there is a little relieved in our capital and we are working with the national government and petroleum businesses to bring this quagmire to an end.

We want to commend the Students community for remaining the most conscious segment of our national building process, the peace-loving people of Liberia for their resilient even in times of difficult and challenging moments, and call on the national government to bring to book all those officials and individuals who continues to bring unexpected embarrassment to our country and government.

We are also glad to note here the patriotic and nationalistic decision taken by the Coalition for Democratic Change, the governing party for calling off their planned retreat which was slated for February 15, 2020, in sympathy with the situation our people are faced with in our capital and country at large.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In line with the theme, STRIVING TO BUILD A SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT MUNICIPALITY, LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND, the crux of the 2019 State of the City Message will anchor on the strides and gains made for the achievements of our strategic objectives as outlined in the Strategic Plan of the City, our activities ongoing, the challenges and constraints we face and the adoption of a way forward in order to mitigate those challenges and constraints for municipal growth and sustainability.

In 2019 we accomplished;
 The formulation of seven (7) administrative policies in manual forms, namely
1. The Amended Human Resource Policy Manual;
2. The Internal Audit Policy Manual;
3. The Financial Management Manual;
4. The Procurement Manual;
5. The Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Manual;
6. The Fleet Management Policy Manual; and
7. The Policy Manual on Scratch Cards, Fuel and Rice Distribution

 With the help of International Financial Reporting Standards, mainly the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), we were able to enhance reforms in Public Financial Management by expanding the Revenue Section for the establishment of the Revenue Department for increased revenue generation through improved service delivery

 We have automated our financial management system through the adoption of SMART ACCOUNT software for easy and timely financial planning, reporting and audits
 We have endeavoured to increase the overall budget of the City by 42%, but yet too inadequate to fund the growing expenditure demand for efficient operations
 We finally retrieve the advertisement services which was outsourced to a private entity outside of due diligence in order to increase revenue generation and help to ensure the best value public money
 We restored the allotment of the GoL- World Bank Counterpart Funding for solid waste management operations within the City and its environs

 We ensured and received the donation of three (3) front-end loaders, six (6) dump trucks, six(6) mini- trucks, three (3) skip trucks, one(1) bulldozer, and six(6) tricycles, three(3) pickups to support Solid Waste Management within the City, and three (3) pickups from the World Bank. The pick-ups are for the use of regional supervisions (North, Central & South) in Solid Waste Management within the City

 With the help of the World Bank and the EU, we constructed fourteen (14) water kiosks for residents in When Town, where the existing landfill is located and in Cheesemanburg where the new landfill is being constructed

 Habitat for Humanity constructed for us one(1) huge RC garbage bin in the Peace Island Community in Congo Town and donated four(4) tricycles for CBEs operations
 Cities Alliance has provided loans and grants in the amount US$500,000 for the empowerment of Community Based Enterprise (CBE) in greater Monrovia, and US$1M for community upgrading projects in greater Monrovia

 We provided a comprehensive insurance policy, covering medical, optical and dental services to all Casual Laborers as part of our adherence to Decent Work and informal sector integration

Staff Capacity Building
➢ Currently, as we speak the Director for Solid Waste, Central Region, Mr. Frederick Cole is currently in Japan for a month Long training in Solid Waste Management.
➢ The City Government of Monrovia substantially funded the travel of the Director for International Affairs to Seoul, South Korea, to participate in World Summit 2019 on Peace, Security and Human Development under the auspices of Universal Peace Federation (UPF), February 7-13, 2019

➢ We also funded the travel of the Director, Youth Affairs and Development Unit to New York, as part of the Liberian delegation to attend the 63rd Session on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) under the coordination of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, March 11-22, 2019.

➢ We also funded the travel of Assistant Director for Solid Waste, Northern Region to Kampala, Uganda for training in Sanitation and Hygiene.

 Further, we funded the travel of the City Planning Director and Mr Titus B. Pakalah, Executive Director, iCare- Liberia to Lome, Togo as a Civic Society Organization (CSO) Representative of the City of Monrovia to attend a Capacity Building workshop for CSOs under the auspices of the Covenant of Mayors Sub-saharan Africa (CoM SSA), March 25-27, 2019

➢ We facilitated training in Access to Energy, Mitigation and Adaptation for more than fifteen (15) senior management personnel under the auspices of the European Union and the Covenant of Mayors Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) in support of the fight against Climate Change

 We provided support for the travel of the Director-General for Operations to the Royal Dutch Kingdom of the Netherlands to attend the course, Local Economic Development (LED 2019) at the Institute for Housing and Urban Management Studies (IHS) the Erasmus University of Rotterdam under the auspices of the Dutch Government

 The City Government of Monrovia provided funding for the travel of Ms Asata Dukuly, Executive Director, Young Environmental Leaders (YEL) to Lome, Togo as a Civic Society Organization (CSO) Representative of the City of Monrovia to attend a Capacity Building workshop for CSOs under the auspices of the Covenant of Mayors Sub-saharan Africa (CoM SSA), March 25-27, 2019

International Municipal Cooperation and Institutional Capacity Building

 The City Government of Monrovia established a Sister City relationship with the City of Qingdao, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding under the coordination of the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia near Beijing, China, April 25-27, 2019

➢ We established an Urban Development Specialist Desk and recruited a consultant to lead the process for the compilation of data and the drafting of a Citizens’ Charter for the City of Monrovia with the goal improve upon the 1973 Act of the Liberian Legislature that transformed Monrovia from a Commonwealth to a Municipality

 The current Mayor of the City Government of Monrovia was elected as an Executive Member of the Global Parliament of Mayors(GPM) in the United Kingdom, a highly prestigious gathering of Mayors in the World

Ongoing Studies/Activities

➢ In strict adherence to measures being taken as it relates to the global health emergency, we have begun sensitizing residents of Monrovia through extensive awareness on the coronavirus, which has killed thousands of people in China and has affected other parts of Asia, Europe, the United States and elsewhere

➢ We are currently reviewing the Municipal Tax Schedule of 2011 (MCC Tariff) and the charges of the City Utility Levy under our new solid waste management program in order to make the taxes and fees more equitable and affordable by our people

➢ Our team of technicians and specialists are working on the restructuring of the Cheesemanburg Landfill Urban Sanitation (CLUS) project in order to capture the current realities for a significant improvement in the collection and disposal of solid waste within the City

 The City Government of Monrovia has commenced the planting of 10,000 trees in support of the City’s climate change mitigation and adaptation measures to help protect the environment and enhance city beautification

 We are exploring diplomatic, humanitarian and other means to acquire Fire Trucks, Ambulances and other emergency equipment to enhance public safety within the City

 At present, we are seeking support including funding to resume our rehabilitation program for disadvantaged, less- privileged and ‘’at-risk’’ youths within the City who have become a national security threat as a result of consuming illegal and harmful substances, and the constant addiction to drugs, for the purpose of reintegrating them into society in order to engender self- esteem and self- realization for them.

➢ We are concluding preparation for a join management operation, comprising the Monrovia City Corporation and private businesses on City Parking services within the Central Monrovia and its environs. This forms part of the outcome of legal action through the Civil Law Court

➢ We are exploring innovative solutions with the private sector through the global value chains for Waste to Energy projects, and recycling with major emphasis on plastic recycling

➢ Working with the private sector and the central government on MSME (Micro Small Medium Enterprise) development for economic growth at the local level

➢ Feasibility is being conducted for the construction of a modern vehicles parking lot in the City’s centre

➢ Construction of a Modern Library for municipal research and development

Challenges and Constraints

 Inadequate funding for Solid Waste Collection and Disposal
 The bad mindset of our people on keeping Monrovia Clean, Green and Safe
 Lack of funding for the hiring of additional topnotch professionals for urban management and development
 Lack of funding for capital investment

Way Forward and Approach to Realization

➢ Institute more reforms in revenue generation for municipal development
➢ Pursue capital investments through Public-Private Community Partnership (PPCP)
➢ Foster engagement with development partners; local and international
 Build Sister City Relationships in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States in support of strengthening municipal cooperation and development

➢ Enhance enforcement of regulatory frameworks
➢ Encourage an unending local participation

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finally, the City Government of Monrovia wishes to reaffirm its commitment to sustaining peace and helping to protect and strengthen democracy in Liberia.

We will continue to work with Integrity, Discipline and Unity for municipal growth and sustainability in the short, medium and long- term.

We wish to extend our appreciation to His Excellency, Dr George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia for his unbending, endless and noteworthy support towards all of the City Government’s initiatives. We acknowledge with thanks the oversight and guidance of the national legislature of the Municipal Sector and the judiciary for its intervention into cases of the City Government brought before it.

To our development partners, the United Nations, the United States, European Union, World Bank, Cities Alliance, UCLG Africa, ICLEI, Global Parliament of Mayors, CoM SSA, Habitat for Humanity and others for your continued support. You remain very crucial to the implementation of the development agenda. We trust that we can continue to make it together.

To the residents of Monrovia, local leaders, youth groups, women groups, the private sector, NGOs, INGOs, and our dedicated and result-focused staff of the City Government of Monrovia, you are the powerhouse of achievements. You have shown and given us your city-centric support, which has tremendously helped bring us thus far.
Keep it up.
Your rewards remain heavenly.

Thank you!

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