Dillon Switches on 440 Volts! -As Senate Summons Education, Commerce Ministers Alongside Port & LPRC MDs
As Liberian households struggle to make ends meet in the wake of the rising economic hardship facing the country, occasioned by a galloping hike in school fees, acute shortage of gasoline products on the market, as well as news of the inability of large vessels to berth at the Freeport of Monrovia, Monsterrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon has spearheaded series of interventions that led to the Liberian Senate citing the Ministers of Education and Commerce, as well as the Managing Directors of the National Port Authority and the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, to separately explain why the citizens are undeservedly undergoing such compounded hardships, The Analyst reports.
In one of his regular social media updates meant to inform his constituents and followers in Liberia and the Diaspora about developments at Capitol Hill, the man whom many have come to refer to as “The Light” last evening disclosed that the Minister of Education, D. Ansu Sonii, will on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 submit finding of a Special Taskforce set up late last year to investigate reasons behind the astronomical hike in tuition and other related school fees across the country.
“This Taskforce was constituted as result of our communication to Plenary regarding said noticeable act on part of schools across the country that has caused an alarming decline in enrollment this academic year because of the economic burden attached thereto,” Senator Dillon said, noting further that the Ministry’s Taskforce has completed its assignment, found some schools wanting of the act and recommended that said schools be made to refund the portion of the unjustifiable hike to parents and/or students.
“Great news to ease the economic burden on our people!!!” an ecstatic Dillon enthused.
Regarding information floating around town that the Freeport of Monrovia is experiencing serious problem berthing large vessels, Senator Dillon said due to his intervention, Plenary has summoned the Managing Director of the National Port Authority to appear this Tuesday to present the current state of affairs of the Port as to why large vessels are not berthing with essential goods at the Freeport of Monrovia.
“This is important because large vessels not berthing at the port could lead to scarcity of basic goods thereby causing high increase in the prices. Who suffers most? Especially our ordinary and already-struggling masses,” Dillon stated.
Rounding up the Senate Summons, the Minister of Commerce and the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company will appear the same Tuesday to explain the cause/s of the shortage of gasoline on the market and measures being taken to resolve this critical issue, Dillon further disclosed, while expressing heartfelt to his colleagues in the Senate for reasoning with his several interventions and joining ranks in the exercise of their overall oversight responsibilities to bring relief to the Liberian people.
Eddie Jarwolo is the Executive Director of NAYMOTE, a civic education think-tank. Eddie says he is highly impressed with regular updates from Senator Dillon. “As a voter in Montserrado County I am impressed and hope to have more updates from our lawmakers relating to oversight, lawmaking and representation,” Jarwolo said.
As for Kokulo Nyanquoi, the hike in tuition and other related fees are due to the lack of resources by government to subsidize 99% of primary, elementary and secondary schools in the country.
“Government last year charged those schools for sitting fees during workshops and/or seminars and at the same time sold curricula to early learning schools. Meanwhile, those schools paid for their annual permits as well as annual registrations and/or renewals of those schools to the Liberia Business Registry. With these, do you think school authorities will not have a hike in fees? The operational activities surrounding these schools is another issue. You have to pay teachers/instructors as per the economic realities as well carry out other operations like printing of tests, stationery, fuel or gas, etc. The government could provide teachers/instructors and other operational materials to help ease those burdens as well as stop charging schools for workshops and selling curricula to schools,” Nyanquoi said.
McCarthy Weh, a legislative staffer, has this to say about Senator Dillon’s updates. “This is what you do when you served both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate thus garnering appropriate experiences as senior staff underpinned by your inbuilt positive attributes and inherent tendency for deliverables!”
For now, Liberians are keenly watching Senator Dillon in shock and awe. To many, he represents a new breed of politicians that are so rare on the Liberian political terrain.
“This Dillon man is too good to be true. I am watching him with eagle eyes,” Matthew Cummings, a resident of Slipway community said.