Experience Crisis Hits Health Ministry Nominee
Senators serving on the Committee on Health last Thursday expressed fear about the Deputy Minister of Administration-designate, Ministry of Health, based observation that she lacks the experience to serve the office.
President George Manneh Weah nominated Norwu Gaba Howard, the Deputy Minister-designate for Administration at the Ministry of Health, to help execute his pro-poor governance agenda for the first six years of his presidential tenure.
“There are greater challenges in the sector and our fear is you have no experience with the Liberian health sector,” Senator J. Gbleh-Bo Brown of Maryland County said.
“There are health workers who are not on payroll. We have been trying but it’s still a challenge. We think and advise that it will be your major challenge,” Senator Brown said.
“I can’t see your paper credential and say we shouldn’t vote for you but it worries me that what you do in the United States must be brought to bed here,” Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman said.
“This department you will be heading is a very crucial department. I say it as former Minister. If this department remains ineffective, the health system will not function,” Senator Peter Coleman of Grand Kru County, Health Committee chairman, said.
“You will be charged to deliver the gasoline and salaries at various health centers around the country. So if your department is not functional, the Ministry will not work,” Senator Coleman mentioned.
Senator Coleman told the nominee that she would be occupying a position that requires her to execute difficult duties and responsibilities associated with the department.
However, the presidential nominee told members of the Senate Committee that she would rely on the experience of long serving employees at the Health Ministry to execute her task.
Members of the committee, meanwhile, reverted to committee room to make a decision that would be transmitted to President Weah for appointment and commissioning. Writes: Titus E. Dessie