Showcasing Gains under President Weah -Tweah Says Campaign, Debates Will be Issues-based With Facts

MONROVIA : Finance and Development Planning Minister Sameul D. Tweah, Jr. is leaving no unturned in properly explaining to the Liberian people the massive gains made by the George Weah-led administration since its five and half year’s incumbency, especially in the energy and education sectors. Speaking in Montserrado County’s District #17 on Saturday, August 19, 2023 to a mammoth crowd of partisans, supporters of CDC and other citizens that gathered to listen to President Weah as he solicited their support for his second-term bid, Minister Tweah said the 2023 Presidential and Legislative campaigns and debates from the government’s side will be based purely on issues, facts and numbers, noting that President Weah has accomplished far more deliverables in less than six years in comparison to the Unity Party led government’s 12 years in power.

Beginning his explaining on President Weah’s unprecedented achievements in the energy sector, Tweah contended that, despite the UP government having an undue advantage over the CDC administration in terms of duration in power and opportunities available to both of them, there are records available to prove that the CDC led government has accomplished more tangible deliverables than the former ruling Unity Party.

Unprecedented achievement in the energy sector         

According to Minister Tweah, the Weah government has done far more in providing affordable electricity to the power than any other government, especially the Unity Party-led one that ruled for 12 years.

“What did you do for electricity in the last 12 years and what did we do in 5 and a half years? Show us the data and let people who should be the beneficiaries see. This is not going to be a debate without information.

“They take their 12 years and we take our 6 years of electricity. The cost of electricity is the lowest since the end of the war under President George Weah. Under the Unity Party, you were paying $90 per month for a few light bulbs, fan, ice box, but under George Weah you paid like $35 – $40 per month. So, who made them happy? Of course, it is George Weah”, Tweah said.

He said due to the protracted civil war, the entire electricity infrastructure was destroyed and the President has been making serious interventions to restore the infrastructure needed to generate and distribute more electricity in the country, and the dividends are evident.

Localizing the debate so that the message could resonate with the people, Tweah told the people of District 17 that relevant to their community, President Weah has instructed him to make prompt payment to the contractor who has won the bid to put in place infrastructure such as transformers, light poles and meters so that the entire district will begin to receive uninterrupted power supply like other communities in the country.

“As we speak, based on the instruction of the President, on Monday, the contractor will be paid; the check is already at the Central Bank of Liberia. So, you can see the President is not joking with electricity for his people. And I can tell you, before the election, you will have uninterrupted electricity in your district because you deserve it and your President cares for you”, he said amid cheers from the people.

Tweah said since 2018, President Weah had committed a lot of resources to tackle the myriad of problems that have affected the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) which has in no small way hampered the availability of electricity in the country.

“So, let me also say to you that next week or in the next two weeks, 100,000 meters are coming to Liberia. This is the largest stock of meters since the end of the war, which will mean more household connections. So, if the election is about who is doing what for the people of Liberia, we are happy; we welcome that because President George Weah has done more for the Liberian people.

Providing clarity on the Power Export statement           

Minister Tweah also used the occasion to address the controversies about Liberia exporting power when electricity still remains a challenge to larger parts of the country. He maintained that some people, because of politics, decided to distort what he said and ran with a negative impression to score cheap political capital.

He said overtime, due to the raining season, power generated from the hydro plant has increased, and when added to the one generated from the CLSG line from Cote d’Ivoire, have been enough; but because Liberia does not have the enabling infrastructure to redistribute the excess power to consumers in the country, it was thoughtful enough that the excess be exported to ready consumers, noting that the CLSG was in the position to purchase from the government through LEC.

Tweah told the audience that this was a wise business decision by the government as the transaction has enabled the government to generate about USD500k from the exercise to offset some of the debts owed to CLSG by swapping the debt for the power sold to CLSG.

“We take current from CLSG and we owe them some money which we pay over time. From this transaction we are talking about, they subtract from the one we owe. So, about $500k we are not going to pay them because we exchanged it for the power. This is the first President under whose administration it is happening. We generated power and exported it. So, Mr. President, for electricity, you are the darkness medicine”, he said.

Education sector gains

Minister Tweah, who said because of time factor he could not go into other sectors, averred that it was however important to look at the education sector where the President did extremely well to scrap the system where a lot of teachers worked for the past 12 years under the UP government but were never paid by the government.

“We will talk about free education and other things. Mr. President, I talked about the health workers, but one of the things you were able to solve is the issue of teachers. There was something called volunteer teachers under the UP government. There were about 2,000 volunteer teachers in this country.

“Volunteer teachers under the UP government were not on payroll for 12 years. Mr. President, you have placed 2,850 on payroll since 2020. And you want to know how much he has paid the teachers since 2020? He has given them USD28m in their pockets.

“Another vulnerable group was called supplementary teachers. There were $3,500 supplementary teachers. You know how much they were making? They were making $50. This President has increased the salary of those supplementary teachers to $150. Thanks Mr. President, we will continue to spread the facts about development under your administration.

“When the issue is about electricity, about roads, and about education and these are what we want to discuss in the election, then we want the debate because in just 6 years, we have matchless records to show against their 12 years”, Tweah concluded.

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