Public Investment must benefit ordinary Liberians, Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods, II has stressed, indicating that the national budget will be meaningless if public expenditures fail to create wealth for ordinary citizens and positively transform their lives.
He made these comments when students of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) visited his office Friday, on a field trip to acquaint themselves with activities of the Ministry.
During the meeting, Minister Woods highlighted the significance of developing the skills of young people to increase youth employment in both the private and public sectors of the country.
Minister Woods further stated that the first term of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration focused directly on lifting Liberia. This second term, as illustrated in post election achievements, is focusing on lifting Liberians, he noted. He disclosed plans by the Ministry of Public Works to commit itself to this objective.
Minister Woods added that the Ministry will provide details to the public on how it will collaborate with other government agencies to review labor standards and preference for employment to Liberians, review standards for building materials, link job creation to skills development and training, insist on the participation of Liberian contractors, work with professional bodies to create trade association, link universities and other skill institutions to the construction industry by insisting on practical work with internship and on-the-job training in the infrastructure sector.
"The infrastructure sector attracts huge investments and we must ensure that it positively impact the lives of our people," Minister Woods maintained.
He praised the students for the courage to add value to their lives by pursuing their education. "By this, you can be assured of a future of hope, promise and nobility," he added.
He concluded his interaction with the students by encouraging them to aspire to great ideals and a dream to become Minister of Public Works someday something which prompted huge applause.
Speaking on behalf of the students, the representative of the students and President of the senior class thanked Minister Woods for his wisdom in motivating them. He said as students, their focus now is to achieve the relevant skills in meeting future challenges. "We are going through the theoretical and practical skills in school but we will be glad if the Ministry continues to push forward with the internship program," he said .