BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – The coordinator of the Grand Bassa County Service Center, Mac Willie, says the service center contributed over L$40 million (US$250,000) in government revenues in 2018.
He said the amount was raised from fees charged for the variety of services offered by different government agencies stationed at the center.
The county service center is a one-stop-shop opened on June 30, 2015, in Grand Bassa under a decentralization program that aimed to offer government services to rural dwellers. Grand Bassa’s was the first center opened by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but there are now service centers in all counties. Donors such as the United Nations Development Programme, the European Union, the United States, UNMIL, and the Swedish government funded the centers to ensure that citizens no longer need to travel to Monrovia to access essential basic government services.
“The county service center for the year under review 2018, raised the total of L$8 million and US$236,279,” Willie said.
He said the Ministry of Transport generated the highest amount, accounting for 86 percent of all fees paid. The Transport Ministry generated the amount from registering cars, bicycles, tricycles, and issuing drivers’ licenses.
“People are making use of the ministry’s service,” Willie said.
He named the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as having collected the second highest fees, with L$1,754,375 and US$33,650 collected. The Commerce Ministry conducts business registration and import and export permit declarations.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, which issues traditional marriage certificates and also certifies alternative medicine practitioners, was third in line with L$2,097,850 and US$3,250.
There are over government agencies offering services at the Grand Bassa County Service Center. They include the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Liberia Revenue Authority, the Liberia Institute for Statistical and Geo-Information Services, and the Center for National Documents and Records Agency.
Among the services offered are birth registrations, adjudication of labor cases, issuance of work permits, issuance of contractor’s license and permit, registration of new educational facilities, and deed and lease agreements registration.
Despite the success in raising revenues for the government, Willie said the center faces some hurdles including that 12 staff were not on the government’s payroll.
He also called for vehicles to allow the team to carry out outreach in the various districts of the county. Willie said the only motorbike provided to the county service center cannot take the team into the field to conduct outreach, which could allow the center to generate even more revenues.
Featured photo by Sampson David