Politics

GW gives Weah benefits of doubts

Global environmental watchdog, Global Witness appears to have given President George Weah the benefits of the doubts following his pronouncement over the weekend to prosecute former government officials fund culpable of receiving brides to award oil Block 13, to Exxon Mobile in 2013.


In March, Global Witness published report Catch Me if You Can, describing how the sales of the oil block was tainted by corruption. The 2013 approval of the deal, according to GW findings, was marked by $200,000 worth of “bonus” payments by the state oil agency.

Weah told a gathering of government officials and partners in the port city of Buchanan last week that his administration is ready to act on the Global Witness report, which alleges corruption into the purchase of the oil Block.

Last week, the committee established by the President to look into the Global Witness report presented its findings to Mr. Weah, though details of the findings are still closed to the President’s chest, but he said on Thursday that those former government officials found culpable will be dealt with under the law.

“Well, we’ve got findings after three weeks and we have the information and the government will sit together and we will make determination. Those that are culpable will be dealt with under the law,” Mr. Weah said.

GW in a statement issued Tuesday May 22, 2018 said it welcomes last week’s commitment by President Weah to hold accountable anyone found to have broken the law during the 2013 approval of the sale of oil Block 13 to Exxon.

“It is promising to hear that President Weah is taking the investigation into the 2013 Exxon deal seriously,” said Jonathan Gant, Senior Campaigner at Global Witness, “We urge him to ensure those who broke the law are held to account, whether they are government officials or company representatives.”

A copy of the Committee’s report has not yet been made public, and it is unclear what steps the government will take to act on its recommendations. Global Witness calls on the government to publish the Committee’s report and ensure a thorough, fair investigation into those involved in the 2013 Exxon deal.

-Othello B. Garblah

JFK a national nightmare

The President’s Delivery Unit (PDU) Coordinator Michael P. Korkpor says the story of state - run John F. Kennedy (JFK) Memorial Hospital is a national nightmare, but reports more than 60 percent completion of renovation works exclusively on the Emergency Center and another area.


“And we all know the story of JFK: It’s a national nightmare. The Minister of Finance was able to allocate the total of $500,000.00 to do some work at JFK,” Mr. Korkpor said during a presentation at the just ended Cabinet Retreat in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

Mr. Korkpor recalls that one of the first assessments that President George Manneh Weah made upon taking office this year was to walk through the facilities of the JFK, after which Finance Minister Samuel Tweah was able to allocate some $500,000.00 to do some works at the hospital.

He says the renovation work at JFK focus exclusively on the Emergency Center and another area for patients care, adding that the works are more than 60 percent completed.

According to him, while the money may not be enough to do a complete overhaul at JFK, the renovation works are however ongoing currently in addition to what PREVAIL is doing to construct the center that will house both MRI and CT Scan.

Additionally, he says the JFK has decided to do some works on operating facilities … to ensure that the place is efficient, up to date and the medical condition is enhanced.

Mr. Korkpor notes that they want to change the roof and there are so many interventions that are being made to upgrade the sanitation system there, do some painting, put some light in the place and upgrade the general condition of the hospital.

According to the PDU Coordinator, the wants to construct an oxygen plant so that the hospital can provide oxygen not only at JFK, but also at other hospitals.

He says a site has already been identified for that purpose and two machines that have been sitting there unused have been identified by Dr. Jerry Browne.

Mr. Korkpor had earlier named 14 key priorities identified by the PDU for the first 150 days.

They include payment of West African Senior Certificate Examination (WASCE) fees, credit line for the private sector, installation of 736 street lights in strategic parts of Monrovia and surroundings, digitization of state - run University of Liberia (UL) student registration and government - run John F. Kennedy (JFK) Hospital equipment and facility upgrading.

Others include laying the first brick for the 14 Military Hospital, RAP for Sanniquellie to Loguatuo Road project and First Lady Clar Weah’s humanitarian outreach project, among others.

Earlier introducing the PDU Coordinator, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Mr. Nathaniel McGill said President Weah did not intend to achieve everything at the same time, but intends to put premium on certain key areas so as to make progress. He says some contribution was therefore made to the JFK, and the understanding is that some progress has been made.

By Winston W. Parley

Wheelbarrow operator kills Hijacker in Paynesville

Inhabitants of the Parker Paint Community in Paynesville woke up over the weekend to news surrounding the alleged killing of a notorious hijacker identified as Sackey Nelson by a wheelbarrow operator to be identified.


Witnesses spoken to on the scene where the remains of the victim commonly known as “Body Man” was have said that the deceased was responsible for most of the night - time hijacking of victims’ handbags, cell phones and valuables in the area. Witnesses Mohammed Sesay, Sidikee Mah and Louis Stewart say Body Man allegedly hijacked the unidentified wheelbarrow operator when he met his demise.

They say the wheelbarrow operator was returning home from Redlight where he usually go to transport people’s loads when a scuffle ensued between he and the hijacker.

According to the witnesses’ account, the wheelbarrow operator overpowered Body Man after stabbing him with the deceased’s own knife. They further narrate that a day before Body Man was killed, he was being hunted by some people whose uncle from Guinea had been hijacked and robbed of all of his belongings including a suitcase in the same Redlight.

They say Body Man transferred his criminal activities in the Parker Paint surroundings, attacking and robbing people with impunity. His corpse has been buried by some community people due to his overstay in the area to avoid pollution.

By Emmanuel Mondaye--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Sinoe Lawmaker opposes foreigners owning properties

He told journalists Capitol Hill Monday, 21 May that if “we” give the rights to foreigners or Non-Negro-decent to own properties here amidst poverty, they will buy all the lands.


He says foreigners will even purchase Liberia in a day time, and two or three generations from now, all Liberians will have no space to own anything here. He raises fears that majority of Liberians are poor and do not have the capacity to financially compete with foreigners, thus pledging not to give support to Non- Negros owning land here.

According to Rep. Duncan, government should think about empowering its people so that there can be Liberian millionaires competing with foreign millionaires. He said if there is competition between Liberians and outside forces, then such request can be greeted with opened arms.

But he believes that it is too hasty to have a law in Liberia that grants the right to foreigners or Non-Negros- decent to own lands. President Weah in his first annual address to the Legislature criticized the constitutional limitation [Article 22 (a) ] on land ownership as impeding and stunting Liberia’s growth and development.

Mr. Weah believes that no foreign investor will be willing to make significant direct investments here if they cannot own property. He argued that Liberians are freed to purchase property in any part of the world as non-citizens, but he found that the Liberian Constitution and laws will not allow similar privilege to be accorded to the citizens of other nations.

But Rep. Duncan believes that it is rational to pass the aspect of the law that has to do with the dual citizenship, because there are lot of brains, doctors, lawyers, computer scientists who are Liberians who traveled and took other citizenships due to the war here. “This is good, the dual-citizenship can be tolerated by our people. These people need to come back home and invest,” he says.

By Bridgett Milton--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Liberian technology firm targets urgent needs

A modern technology firm known as Alniaboh Liberia Inc (ALI) is now in Liberia to address the urgent need for professional business management services for small to medium-sized businesses and organizations.


ALI is a 100% Liberian-owned firm founded here and headed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Daniel Blamoh Nah. Nah says his company is in the country to help proliferate electronic accounting for small to medium - sized businesses and organizations in Liberia.

By so doing, he says the company trains entrepreneurs, auditors, accountants, finance officers, financial experts and senior business students from different corporations, organizations and institutions.

Accounting software such as QuickBooks, SAP, Basic & amp; Advance excel, powerpoint, SPSS and Access are some of the areas training are provided in. The firm says it has training sessions for the public and customized training classes for individuals and organizations at their convenience.

The company’s CEO says his business is duly registered with relevant agencies of government in Liberia to provide technology and business process outsourcing services, business solutions, accounting and tax services.

The firm is located on the 1st floor of Sekou House, adjacent BMC Store on Capitol Bye - pass. Nah returned from the United States of America late in 2017, and he says he is back home to help increase the knowledge of entrepreneurs and business students in their respective fields of studies.

He adds that his institution is opened to all interested students or persons that are willing to advance in the business field. “After I completed my study in the USA, I decided to come back home and help to train our brothers and sisters who are specialized in project management and the business field,” he says.

The firm is said to currently be assisting several small-to-medium sized businesses and individual clients with accounting, taxes and business solution needs. It is said to be providing training in areas including QuickBooks, SAP, Peachtree, Oracle, SPSS, Basic & amp; Advance Excel, and Access. Other training areas include Project Management, M & amp, Procurement & amp; Logistic Management, HR Management, Proposal writing and IFRS.

 

Sen. Morias initiates feeder roads

Maryland County Senator Dan Morias, embarks on construction of fielder roads in Easy Town Community, Harper District#1, and Monolu road in District#3, respectively to ease movement of goods and services.


According to Senator Morias, the Easy Town road will connect East Town to Wahodo Town, and Hoffman Station to ease traveling difficulty faced by residents in these communities.

He says the project came as a result of request made by residents, and as their lawmaker, he could not turn down what matters most to them.The Morias, who was seen operating the D6 yellow machine himself recently, did not give cost of the project, but maintains that what is most important is to see his people’s interest met.

He names Manolu road, Gbon Bridge, and Andersonville Bridge as several other projects in the county initiated by his office. Speaking in an interview with this paper in Harper City, the chairman of Easy Town Zone#3, Mleh Woart, lauds Senator Morias for the initiatives and call on other Marylanders to emulate similar gesture.

He says on several occasions, the community leadership has written letters to officials of government and other prominent citizens to help their community connect to Hoffman Station, but all efforts fell on unfertile soil as their request was not addressed until recently when they engaged Senator Morias.

He adds that the senator accepted their proposal and promised to start and complete their roads within the soonest possible time. Mr. Woart also discloses that Senator Morias has presented 10 begs of cement for the construction of a culvert to control the flow of water in the area. “I am speechless to see our senator coming to our aid within no time after we approached him about our roads”, he expresses.

By George K. Momo/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Sen. Grupee wants community college in Tappita

Nimba County Senator Thomas S. Grupee wants the Nimba County Community College extended to Tappita, Lower Nimba County. He says this would reduce the influx of students at the College in Sanniquellie, Nimba County.


Senator Grupee notes that Tappita, Lower Nimba has more high school graduates, who are desirous of enrolling at the Community College, but are unable to do so due to distance constraint.

He says if the college extended to that part of Nimba, students in Tappita, including surrounding towns and villages would enroll for higher education.Sen. Grupee spoke in Tappita over the weekend during the first annual convention and dedicatory ceremony organized by the Tappita District Development Association or TADDA.
During the ceremony, he donated 100,000 Liberian dollars to the Association and calls on its members to continuously promote peace and unity, while pledging his full support to its activities.

“Your mission and vision is in the interest of the citizens of Tappita, Lower Nimba County and it needs the involvement of all citizens”, he underscores.The board chairman for TADDA branch based in the United States, Sam G. Kpahn, and the executive director for TADDA, Madam Joanne Toweh, says the Association’s primary aim is to help their kinsmen in Liberia, mainly Tappita District.

They say TADDA is involved in constructing elementary schools in several parts of the district, including donation of computers, scholarships, hospital beds to various clinics in the district and renovation of the Tappita Memorial High School, among others.

Meanwhile, TADDA has dedicated a youth center in the district with facilities such as computer laboratory, conference hall, and offices and research room, among others at an estimated cost of US$75,000.00

By Thomas Domah/Nimba

Lawmaker alarms illegal mining in Gbarpolu

Gbarpolu County district #2 Representative Kaino Wesso alarms over influx of illegal miners in his county. Speaking to reporters at the Capitol on Monday, 21 May Rep. Wesso specifically points to the presence of Ghanaians and other nationals, who he says have invaded the county.


He says as a result of illegal mining, citizens of Gbarpolu are not benefiting proceeds from the mining and natural resources there. He says as direct representative of the people, he has reported the matter to the Minister of Mines and Energy, the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) and other revenant authorities for possible redress.
Rep. Wesso clarifies that he is not against mining activities in the county, but it should be done legally, wherein citizens would benefit directly.

He notes that it is surprising that the miners are involved in high grade mining with heavy machine without going through the rightful channel with government, so the country losses.

According to him, in some places in Gbarpolu County, the people lack safe drinking water, adding, they drink from the same creek they wash and fish from, which is not safe for drinking.

By Bridgett Milton-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Sen. Morias initiates fielder roads

Maryland County Senator Dan Morias, embarks on construction of fielder roads in Easy Town Community, Harper District#1, and Monolu road in District#3, respectively to ease movement of goods and services.


According to Senator Morias, the Easy Town road will connect East Town to Wahodo Town, and Hoffman Station to ease traveling difficulty faced by residents in these communities.

He says the project came as a result of request made by residents, and as their lawmaker, he could not turn down what matters most to them.The Morias, who was seen operating the D6 yellow machine himself recently, did not give cost of the project, but maintains that what is most important is to see his people’s interest met.

He names Manolu road, Gbon Bridge, and Andersonville Bridge as several other projects in the county initiated by his office. Speaking in an interview with this paper in Harper City, the chairman of Easy Town Zone#3, Mleh Woart, lauds Senator Morias for the initiatives and call on other Marylanders to emulate similar gesture.

He says on several occasions, the community leadership has written letters to officials of government and other prominent citizens to help their community connect to Hoffman Station, but all efforts fell on unfertile soil as their request was not addressed until recently when they engaged Senator Morias.

He adds that the senator accepted their proposal and promised to start and complete their roads within the soonest possible time. Mr. Woart also discloses that Senator Morias has presented 10 begs of cement for the construction of a culvert to control the flow of water in the area. “I am speechless to see our senator coming to our aid within no time after we approached him about our roads”, he expresses.

By George K. Momo/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne

GEF boss lauds Sime Darby

The Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of Global Environmental Facility, (Gef) Noako Ishii, lauds Malaysian oil palm giant, Sime Darby Plantation Liberia for its operations in the country.


According to her, she is impressed about the operations of the company. “I am deeply impressed about the company trying to do the right things within a relatively short period amidst the many constraints faced by the company,” Madam Ishii says during a day’s visit at the plantation last week.

She was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of Conversation International M. Sanjayan, and some representatives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

She had gone to see in person, the operations of the company and how her organization can partner with SDPL in realizing its objectives in Liberia. “Because we have heard a lot about the workings of the company, we thought it wise to come and see what the company is actually doing here in the country. Because you know they always say that seeing is believing, so we thought to come and get first-hand information,” Madam Ishii says.

According to her, it is a good learning opportunity that would enable her think about her group. Sime Darby Cooperate Communication Manager, Toushi Itoka briefed the delegation of the overall operations of SDPL.

She explains the company has a land bank of over a million hectors and operates in 17 countries around the world, including Liberia. The company in 2009 signed sixty-three years (63yrs) concession agreement with the Government of Liberia to develop over 220,000 hectors of land within four counties here: Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Bong, respectively. Currently, it focuses on two counties; Grand Cape Mount and Bomi counties.

Noako Ishii, Gef CEO-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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