Investing for Future Welfare and Sustainability

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Sustainable Tourism

Speech Delivered by Dewitt Vonballmoos Director General, National Social Security & Welfare Corporation, at the Dedication of NASSCORP House ELWA Junction, Paynesville, Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia, June 6, 2014

Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Republic of Liberia
Mr. President Pro-Tempore and Members of the Senate,
Mr. Speaker and Membrs of the House, Members of the Cabinet,
Madam Chairman and Members, Board of Directors, NASSCORP,
Former Director General’s NASSCORP, The entire NASSCORP family,
Management and Staff
Members of Civil Society, the Clergy, the Fourth Estate, Distinguished
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Greetings and a hearty welcome to all of you as we perform a ceremony of remarkable joy for the wonderful work of art, beauty, strength, stately character and endurance we have before us today.

The dedication of this office complex is a significant event in the history of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation because it fulfills an impressive goal, accomplishes a promising dream, and perhaps represents the most important physical achievement of the corporation since its establishment in 1975.

But before going an further, Madam President, permit me to thank you, on my own behalf and that of my family for my preferment as head of this important institution at a critical juncture in our national development initiatives. With all my heart, I shall endeavor to live up to the confidence you have reposed in me. The challenge was yours to offer and mine to accept and fulfill.

This project, this building and this landmark structure, which I would like to refer to as “The Liberian Dream,” manifests our desire as a Public Corporation, to put money, derived from the contribution made by the workforce of the Republic, into investments for their future welfare, for the sustainability of the Corporation, for the development of areas in which our investments are located, and for the benefit of the country and its people as a whole.

Madam President and Distinguished Guests, the occasion is also a demonstration of what firm determination, proper planning and uninterrupted commitment have meant for our desire to transform contributions into investment. As you have always admonished, Madam President, we have remained focused during every phase of developing this facility and not falling prey to the many distractions and detractors. That is how we were able to achieve our goal.

Our journey toward this end, which began in 2009, has been challenging, but rewarding and indeed meaningful- from the purchasing of the land, complying with PPCC requirements, securing consultands and awarding the contract, to the “laying of the foundation. We proceeded with caution, professionalism and consistency to ensure that all of the requirements for building this magnificent structure were followed.

Madam President, Ladied and Gentlemen: We have assembled here today, cognizant of the strides this administration has made and continues to make to transform our once war-torn country into an inverted pyramid of progress and development. This monumental structure, with all its brilliance, elegance and promise, is a testimony of what we as Liberians can achieve if we dedicate ourselves to the virtues of hard work, honesty, integrity and national pride.

Without doubt, Madam President, our success as an institution and the development of this venture, would not have been possible without your support and the cooperation of your administration, we well as the oversight NASSCORP continues to receive from the oversight committees on Social Security of the Houses of Representatives and the Senate.

This edifice is symbolic not only because of the potential to generate revenue, not because of its attractiveness and picturesque appearance from any sections of Paynesville; not only because it transforms the landscape of the city; not because of its magnificence or its towering façade over other businesses in the area, but because it signals another achievement in the reconstruction and development of the nation as envisioned by our dynamic leader, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and shows that the economy is definitely in recovery.

Permit me at thei point, Madame President, Ladies and Gentlemen, to pay special tribute to our former, dynamic Director General, the Honorable Francis M. Carbah, during whose administration of the Corporation, and in the consultation with his Executive Staff and Board of Directors, this dream was conceived and partially implemented. He deserves our admiration for his vision and foresight, Mr. Carbah, we at NASSCORP thanks you for your immeasurable contribution to the rebuilding of NASSCORP. Today, Sir, our dream is being dedicated. Thank you!

At the inception of the project the circular section was the original plan for the building but as the acquisition of additional land became possible and the prospects for greater and prudent utilization were anticipated, the need for expansion became more evident.

Today we are dedicating a 66, 000-square-foot facility with commercial space containing large sections that can be converted into any requirement of clients. Unlike other public buildings, we can boast of more than 100 parking spaces for clients and people coming to do business here.

It is also worthy to note that from our own resources we were able to raise the 11 plus million dollars needed for the construction of the building and were not obliged, in any way, to secure or solicit loans from any lending institution or any other private entity. However, we would like to thank all of our bankers for continuing to service our over 7000 beneficiaries and numerous employers throughout the country; LBDI, FIBank, Eco, ID, GT and the UBA.

It might please you to know, Madam President, Official of government, invited guests, and all those present, that this structure was conceived, designed and constructed entirely by Liberians, from the drawing boards to the placing of ever brick; from installing the roof, to the laying of every tile; from the placing of every fixture to putting in every window; from the running of every pipe, to the painting of every wall and the drilling of every nail into this building. This is an example of the genius of the Liberian worker and their consultants.

We want to especially express our appreciation and gratitude to our leading architect and contractor, Mr. Sylvanus O’Connor of AEP (Architect), Mr. Henry Q. Taylor of ECOCON (Contractor), and their team of workers. Our gratitude and appreciation also go to all those who contributed in one way or the other to this magnificent and lofty example of Liberian craftsmanship.

I am proud to inform you today that this building, one of our many commercial properties, with others in Buchanan, Voinjama and Kakata, all of which was acquired and built between 2007 and now,was financed exclusively through the contributions we have received from the compliant workforce of the Republic , employers and employees. To the compliant workforce, we extend our gratitude and encourage you to continue. The sustainability of the program is furthered strengthened.

We applaud all of our contributors, we well as agencies and organizations that have been consistent in paying benefits for those insured with the system, our local banking institutions, the keepers of our purse , for the cooperation they continue to afford us. As I speak to you today we are in negotiation for full occupancy of this building and the prospects and encouraging.

Consistent with our investment objectives, as is required by the ACT establishing the NASSCORP, we are proud to state that we are in the process of planning and building and medical Diagnostic Center for the service of the Liberian people. Having such a facility would prevent our people from traveling to foreign countries to diagnose diseases of afflictions that are common in our country. Plans are also under way to construct a new headquarter for the national Social Security and Welfare Corporation on one of the properties we have acquired in the city.

As I conclude these remarks, I must thank my Deputy, Mr. Nya Twayen and the senior management of NASSCORP. Also, my thanks and appreciation goes to the staff of NASSCORP for their hard work in getting us to where we all are today. To the Board of Directors, we thank you for your continuous guidance and determination to make NASSCORP a first class Pension Fund. I must also thank you for the cordial working relationship between the Board and the Management. We would also like to thank the City of Paynesville for welcoming NASSCORP into their community. We will continue to be good corporate citizens and work along with the city in their developmental programs. To our consultants and all those who form part of our Social Security Network, for their continued support and diligent service to ensure the success of the Corporation, we say a big thank ‘you. We are moving ahead with determination to ensure that we meet one of the five pillars’ “Poverty Alleviation” that those registered under our program, through such investments, will not live in abject poverty when they tretire from years of service to their country.

May God bless the works of our hands, allow for sustained peace and development of our country, and bring prosperity to our nation.

I Thanks you.

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