Disagreement! -Over Nuquay’s Confirmation

By Abraham Morris-231886294820- abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

Margibi County Senator, Oscar Cooper, has strongly dissented with his colleagues on the confirmation of former Margibi County’s District #5 Representative and Speaker of the 53rd Legislature, James Emmanuel Nuquay.

The former Margibi County lawmaker and Vice Standard Bearer of the former ruling Unity Party in the 2017 General and Presidential Elections, was recently appointed as Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) by President George Manneh Weah.

Senator Cooper, who is also member of the Committee on Transport, announced to the Senate Plenary, a minority report against the Committee’s confirmation of the former House Speaker in line with the Senate Standing Rule 48 Section 2.

A minority report is a report that requires or gives right to a member of any committees of the Senate, to write a disagreement or dissenting view of any report of that Committee.

According to Senator Cooper’s Communication to Plenary, former Speaker Nuquay is not qualified for the job, citing Section 203 (1) and (2) of the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) Act which states that: “The Director General shall be appointed with regards to being properly qualified and experienced in civil aviation for the efficient discharge of the powers and duties vested in and imposed by the Act.”

The Act further states that: “At the time of the nomination, the Director General shall have at least ten years management or similar technical experience in a field directly related to aviation.”

“For this reason, I am filing this minority report because we would be in violation of the Act that created the LCAA. On the ruling of the Pro Tempore that I said Article 48 instead of Rule 48, I differ. Section two requires me, as Senator, to submit a minority report. Rule 48 did not express that I must quote the rules. Therefore, I did announce to the Senate when majority report was read that I intend to file a minority report. Therefore my minority report must be heard in accordance with the Standing Rule 48 Section 2,” Senator Cooper in his communication averred.

Sen. Cooper was quick to note that he is not against Nuquay’s appointment, especially the appointee being his kinsmen. But he urged the legal counsel of the President to advise the President adequately and find another position for former Speaker Nuquay so as not to violate the law creating the LCAA.

Meanwhile, the Plenary of the Senate, in keeping with legislative practice, noted the Senator’s communication, since it does not require debate.

Fire Rages

By: Mafanta Kromah

fire disasters are raging across Monrovia and its environments, thus requiring the urgency in addressing the situation.

With less than a week after fire disaster claimed five lives in Congo Town, some business people and residents on Randall Street in central Monrovia fell victim to a fire disaster on Tuesday.

The fire gutted the Power Tech Building, destroying businesses and homes within the building.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire started at 8:00am, the power house of electrical appliances warehouse between the Randall and Mechlin Streets.

Speaking with this paper, the Managing Director of Power Tech, Eli Nassim Ghandour described the incident as disaster, indicating there has been lot of losses but they cannot be exact as to how much they lost in the incident.

He said that until everything is put in order they cannot ascertain the cost of the materials and goods destroyed by the fire because the fire was too strong and very hard to handle.

He however praised the Liberia Fire Service Agency, the Liberia National Police, the neighbors and other agencies that came to the rescue when they were called.

Speaking further, Janet Tulay, a maid in one of the residential buildings noted that she was working in the house when she saw a wire drop on the zinc of their warehouse and later saw that there was fire in the building.

She said it was when she went to her boss lady to tell her about the fire which she said was around 8:00am, she said all they did was leave the building and everything else in the fire except the passports of her employers.

Firefighters on the scene refused to talk to the media on the basis that they are not in the position to say anything until the situation is put under control and their investigation as to what caused the incident.

Meanwhile, the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia Jewel Howard Taylor has consoled victims of the incident.

She also thanked and appreciated the firefighters and neighbors for assisting to put the fire under control.

 

 

 

‘All Homes To Be Numbered’ -Postal Affairs Minister-Designate

The Minister for Posts & Telecommunication, Cllr. Cooper Kruah, has promised to assign numbers to all homes and offices to ensure effective mail delivery system in the country.

During his confirmation hearing at the Capitol Building Tuesday, he informed the hearing committee that his administration will ensure that all homes will be numbered so that there will be an efficient delivery system to enhance credibility for the ministry.

Cllr. Kruah further told the Senate committee on Post and Telecommunication that the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication have a serious challenge.

He promised that when he is confirmed he will reopen the eleven post offices and extend it across the country and make sure that the ministry is active because every sector in the Government is important.

Cllr. Kruah said that he and his team intend to put programs in to place that will allow the Ministry to be ahead of DHL and Fed-ex. He mentioned that they are looking at other possibilities to bring in mobile money and that also intends to take the lock box out of Monrovia.

During the hearing, Cllr. Kruah informed the hearing committee that, he has had more than 27 years of legal practice and he is serving as managing partners at the Heneries Law Firm.

He accepted the job offerred by the president because it is time to ‘give hack’ to his country. He said during his tenure he will do all he can to revamp the postal sector to reach international standard.

Cllr. Edward Goba  who is also his deputy for administration designate said he will work along with the minister to ensure that the Ministry Personnel and staff are properly catered to and make sure that those who reach their retirement age be retired to reduce the long list of unable workers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salary, Benefit Cuts Hit NTA

By: Abraham Morris-231886294820- abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

President George Weah’s pronouncement during his annual address at the Legislature to waive 25% of his salaries and benefits seems to be sweeping across some government functionaries.

Though critics suggest going through legislative process, what is being dubbed as Weah’s evolution reportedly took place at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) with the new managing director waiving certain percentage of salaries and benefits.

And National Transit Authority (NTA) new Managing Director and two principal deputies have joined the salary and benefit cuts. They have announced to waive their salaries and benefits by 25% and 10% respectively.

Speaking to reporters in Monrovia on Tuesday, the NTA Managing Director, Mr. Herbie McCauley, said the action by him and other senior staff is in identification with the President’s Pro-Poor agenda that seeks to alleviate the suffering of the common people. According to McCauley, those that brought the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Government to being are the common people of Liberia; thereby requiring the need as leaders to make some sacrifice on their behalf.

He said percentages waived will go towards increasing the salaries of low level employees whose salaries are US$135.00 to at least US$200.00

He further revealed to cut his gasoline from 350 gallons to 200 monthly, while his two deputies, the Comptroller and Corporate Affairs Managers, have also agreed to reduce their gasoline from 250 gallons to 200 gallons and 175 gallons to 150 gallons monthly respectly.

According to him, the deductions will save the amount of US$21,600.00 annually; while the gasoline deducted will amount to 3,300 gallons and at the rate of US$3.3 per gallon, the total amount save per annum will amount to US$10,890.00.

He said the total amount US$32,490.00 will be saved and channeled to increasing the salaries of staff that are making below the amount of US$200 per month.

“It is the objective of the new management, in line with President Weah’s agenda to help upgrade the salaries of employees and thus help improve the lives of our people,” he noted.

President Weah, during his first State of the Nation address to the Legislature on January 29, 2018, promised to cut his salary by 25%.

In furtherance, the Liberian leader urged members of the Legislature, as well as cabinet members and other appointees of Government to follow suit.

 

 

 

 

 

Electricity For Caldwell -LEC Discloses

The Management of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has disclosed plans to electrify Caldwell Township.

LEC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. John Ashley, made the disclosure on Monday, February 19, 2018, when he met with a delegation representing aggrieved residents of Caldwell. The residents were protesting due to the lack of electricity in the township.

Ashley however said that materials for connection of customers in Caldwell were due in the country within five (5) weeks, and clarified that the commencement of the project was already planned and did not come about as a result of the protest. The implementation of the project, he said, was already in the pipeline subject to the contractor’s timeline.

“The World Bank funded Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project-Additional Financing (LACEEP-AF) is financing the connection of Caldwell and several other communities to the national electricity grid. This project is expected to connect of over 33,000 households and businesses,” the LEC boss said.

The residents on early Monday protested by blocking the Caldwell main corridor, citing insecurity and hardship they are faced with due to the lack of electricity in the area.

They expressed frustration that Caldwell is the main corridor that leads to the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power plant, but a single home has not been connected to LEC’s distribution network.

They appealed to the corporation to connect Caldwell to the network assuring management that residents in Caldwell are capable of paying electricity bills. If connected, they promised to ensure that electricity theft is combated in the area.

Ashley then tanked the delegation for agreeing to dialogue and assured them of the LEC’s commitment to increase access to electricity throughout the country.

He, however, noted that electricity theft continues to drastically affect the corporation’s revenue generation.

“Because of power theft the LEC is heavily dependent on donors, who decide on when and where we can expand our service” CEO Ashley said.

 

 

 

 

 

Dual Currency Creates Major Backwardness -Businessman Claims

By: Teacee Gbeway

A Liberian businessman, Abel Fahnbulleh,   has expressed interest to work with the administration of President George M. Weah,  but observed that dual currency is a major backwardness to the growth and development of Liberia.

According to him, the use of dual currency is a major reason for the backwardness of the nation and if something must be done, the country should learn from all developing nations, giving the ECOWAS sub-region as an example of rapid development.

Speaking at a press conference held in Fiamah Sinkor, on February 20, 2018, Fahnbulleh said the continual use of the American Dollars (USD) for transactions will one day plunge the nation into what he turned as chaos, revealing that the introduction of coins into the system will help build a better economy.

He noted that all business interests of businesspeople; especially money changers are purely to destroy the nation with the currency because of the American dollar, indicating that if things must turn around for the betterment of citizens, the government must stop the registration of money exchanges around the streets of Monrovia where money exchangers with bags on their backs and on motorcycles undermines the nation’s economy.

Describing the dual currency as total backwardness, the Liberian businessman further noted that the transaction of business with the American dollars for the payment of house rents for example  should not be encouraged by the government,  wondering, ‘what if the person doesn’t  have USD ,what becomes of him or her?”

Fahnbulleh also indicated: “Many  things suppose to be addressed properly by succeeding governments but have failed, thus making Liberia, the oldest republic in Africa still crawling like baby and this is the reason why I am poised to come out with this proposal that will help Liberia takes its proper place in ECOWA sub-region, making life meaningful for its citizens.”

He used the press conference to caution President George M. Weah to take note of many people that are coming to sit with him; claiming, “They are wolves in sheep clothing.”

Three Liberian Kids Awarded United World College Scholarship

The SOS Children’s Villages Liberia program hall on Friday evening was a scene of jubilation and aspiration from some Liberian kids. The vicinity hosted six top candidates who made it to the final stage of the UWC Essay competition.

The UWC is United World College, a global education movement that makes education a force to unite peoples, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. UMC has seventeen schools and colleges on four continents; majority of which focuses exclusively on sixteen to nineteen year-old age group.

In Liberia, the organization is headed by former youth of SOS Children’s Villages Liberia, Saye-Maye Cole, a patriot and an alumnus of UWC. Saye has developed from an orphan into an ambassador of change, making extraordinary efforts to give back to his country through educating young people.

Speaking at the ceremony, SOS Children’s Villages Liberia, National Director Augustine Allieu extolled the six Liberian kids in the final stage for their hard work and dedication. He noted that education is not just about memorizing and passing exams, but the ability to search for the right thing at the right place.

Mr. Allieu who served as the Guest Speaker said Education strengthens analytical skills and intelligence quotient. “Not a single person should tell you academic education is not important,” he added, quoting former South African Leader ― Nelson Mandela that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

He urged the students to develop the spirit of patriotism, volunteerism, community service and respect for other cultures amongst others. He noted that an educated person or scholar is one who respects cultural diversity and gives back to their nation.  He thanked the former SOS youth Mr. Cole for creating the platform for Liberian children to excel.

The six students who made it to the final doing the ceremony read their essays, after which the final nomination of the three-best essays was done.

Among them are: 16-year-old Nelly E. Wendu of SOS Hermann Gmeiner International in Matadi, Oumaru V. Kamara of Monrovia College and Cherish A. Vankan of Levi C. Williams were the three nominees who booked their tickets abroad to study in either of these Asian countries China, Japan, Thailand among others.

Cole extended thanks to the SOS Family and expressed profound gratitude to them for accommodating him as one of their sons. “It is my own way of giving back to society,” he concluded.

 

Massive ‘Looting’ At Public Works

By Abraham Morris-231886294820-abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

The Liberian Senate has launched a probe into an allegation that former Public Works Minister, William Gyude Moore, reportedly took for private use, several equipment and 10 tractors belonging to the Ministry of Public Works.

Admitting to the claim, Deputy Public Works Minister-designate for Technical Services, Claude Langley, alluded to the Senators’ claim, but rather indicated that he was not in the know how those equipment belonging to the ministry, landed on the private farm of former Minister Moore in Maryland.

According to him, his department should have been in charge of all equipment of the ministry, but the past administration of former Minister Moore transferred such power to the former Deputy Minister for Administration, Roland Giddings, who is said to be the best friend of Moore.

Deputy Minister Langley intoned that instead of the ministry’s equipment being under his supervision, the then Deputy Minister for Administration transferred the equipment under the motor pool or mobile department, thus he cannot account for any of the ministry’s equipment or state as to how it got in Maryland County.

However, Public Works Minister, Mobutu Nyepan, has vowed to launch an immediate investigation into the matter so as to ascertain the veracity to which the equipment landed in Maryland, especially on the private property of former Minister Moore.

The Senate Committee on Public Works also urged the public works team to audit all contracts awarded under the outgoing administrations as to ascertain how far these contracts are performing, how they were awarded and those that are completed.

The then Public Works Minister has been accused  by several Liberian construction companies of depriving them through competitive bidding process and single-handedly awarding roads and other infrastructural projects to Lebanese or foreign construction in wanton disregard to the 25 percent policy of the Small Medium Enterprise Liberianization Policy.

On February 6, 2018, about 37 engineers (both employees & contractors), wrote the Plenary of the House of Representatives through the office of Speaker Bhofal Chambers, complaining of low, unfair distribution of salaries and general allowances for engineers and other employees at the Ministry of Public Works.

The engineers in their letter to the Lower House noted that their primary responsibility is to monitor and supervise all national infrastructure projects implemented by Government and her partners.

But under such assignment, they worked many hours under rain, Sun, sometimes in difficult, challenging and dangerous environments; despite these conditions, their remunerations for services rendered are the least pay scale at the ministry, especially under the leadership of then Minister Moore.

According to them, currently engineers at Bachelor Degree level with more than five years of work experience are receiving  general allowances in the range of US$225.00 to US$450.00, while other at Master level with more than five years  of work experience are receiving allowances ranging from US$700.00 to US$1,150.00

At the same time, the engineers noted that there are other engineers in similar categories as they, reportedly received higher salaries; some over US$3,000.00

Several Senators on the Committee expressed their outer disappointment in the then Minister of Public Works for his lackadaisical posture and unfilled promises made during his regime in tackling the challenging and demanding infrastructural needs of the country.

Claims & Counterclaims Mar Johnsonville Land Crisis

By: Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

Barely four days following claims of hooliganism attributed to a record number of inhabitants of Johnsonville over land crisis between former Finance Minister David Farhat, Sr. and residents of the Intestate Estate of Josahia A. Mayongar, as published in the In Profile Daily last Friday, February 16, 2018 the accused have made counterclaims in rebuttal.

On Monday, February 19, 2018,  John B. Haynes( Administrator) and James B. Twegbeh, Jr ( Secretary General), entered the offices of the In Profile Daily and denied claims levied against those labeled in last Friday publication, even though they revealed what they said orchestrated a standoff in the township recently.

According to them, the February 9 &14, 2018 incidents in the township were orchestrated by the judgment rendered by Paynesville Stipendiary Magistrate James A. Cooper, by throwing out a case they filed against Mr. Farhart and six others accused over the same land crisis.

Haynes and Twegbeh, displaying photos of destroyed cassava path, house pillars and a wounded person, claimed that loyalists of Mr. Farhat were the ones who carried out a raid against them.

They argued that the land which Mr. Farhat claims to be his is portion of the Intestate Estate of Josahia A. Mayongar, owned 1869 when William D. Coleman was President of Liberia.

The land in question, both men disclosed, is 350 acres, of which they claimed Mr. Farhat occupies 25 acres reportedly bought from Mr. Freddie Taylor, then Township Commissioner of Johnsonville.

“We are dealing with the Public Sale Deed; while Mr. Farhat is dealing with Warranty Deed. Freddie Taylor does not have land in Lower Johnsonville to give 25 acres to Mr. Farhat,” Haynes argued.

Apart from the photos displayed, Haynes and Twegbeh also displayed photo copies of court documents bearing the Paynesville Magisterial Court name, indicating writs of arrest which bear the names of Mr. Farhat, Tonia Carver, Anthony Carver, Abraham Carver, Martha Carver, among others as defendants for Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief.

They also exhibited Summary Proceeding document from the identical magisterial court for the August Term A.D. 2017 which bears the same defendants’ names for Criminal Mischief and Criminal Trespass.

This paper also gathered that when Judge Cooper threw the case out and Mr. Farhat and others were released, the Attorney-At-Law, Bob B. Laywhyee, Sr. representing the interest of the Intestate Estate of Josahia Mayongar  filed a complaint at the Criminal Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice and Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie called for a conference but Judge Cooper reportedly failed to attend.

Meanwhile, Hayes and Twegbeh told the In Profile Daily that Judge Cooper has called for rehearing of the case, but they have insisted that unless those released are re-arrested, they will not go for rehearing of the case.

 

Orange Launches Major New Promotion Giveaway “This Is My Time” -Customers to win thousands of US dollars in prizes

With only a few weeks since it completed its last giveaway called the “Christmas starts in October” campaign, the Management of Orange Liberia has already announced the launch of another major campaign. The new campaign was unveiled on Wednesday afternoon during a special press conference led by the Media Relations Manager for Orange Liberia Ms. Noosevett Weah.

Ms. Weah outlined that the new campaign is called the “this is my time” or “da ma tan” and is launched in partnership with Harbel supermarkets and Data Link. It is expected that hundreds of Liberians from across the country will win prizes ranging from 24 pressure cookers, 24 air conditions, 12 pressing irons, 90 daily cash prizes of US$300, 90 daily US$50 Harbel supermarkets vouchers, 12 refrigerators, 24 flat screen televisions, 6 generators, 12 motorbikes, 6 kekehs,  and 3 brand new Renault Duster vehicles. She announced the promotion was officially launched and admonished customers to begin texting so that they would have a chance to be one of the lucky winners.  “If you were not one of the Christmas in October winners, this is your time to win a prize from Orange.  Signup and begin participating for your chance to win,” said Ms. Weah.

“This is my time” is an SMS based quizzing game, which is being implemented in partnership with Orange and Datalink/Harbel Supermarket in a bid to bring joy to hundreds of Liberians across the country.   Ms. Weah outlined that in order to enter the promotion, Orange customers simply needed to text their first name to 334 to enter.   She emphasized that once the customer had entered, they would start to receive questions and each question answered correctly would take them one step closer to being eligible for the entering the draw to win a prize.   “The questions are very, very simple.  When the customer answers correctly an answer, he gets 20 points, and when the answer is wrong, he gets 10 points. The customers who get the most points enter daily, weekly and monthly draws to win.”  She went on to point out that each text message cost only ten US cents or ten Liberia dollars.  “Imagine that for just a few cents, customers will be walking away with prizes that are worth thousands of dollars.  Only Orange is able to give this much back to its customers.” said Ms. Weah.

The Chiefs Sales & Distribution Officer for Orange Liberia Mr. Isaac Muthama elaborated that winners would come from across the country.    “We want our subscribers to know that no matter where they are in Liberia, we will make sure they get their prizes.   If they win the cash prize, we will send it immediately by Orange Money.  If they win any of the other prize,  we ensure that it gets to them rapidly,” said Mr. Muthama.    He went on to point out  that Orange, Harbel Supermarkets and Data Link would give away US$300 to a new winner every day for three months as well as one brand new Renault Duster and two kekeh bikes every month for three months. He concluded: “It is a pleasure to be a part of this journey as Orange puts smiles on the faces and joy in the hearts of so many Liberians.”

Also speaking at the press conference was a representative of Data Link/Harbel Supermarket Madam Allison Morgan who expressed her company’s excitement about both the partnership with Orange and the “da ma tan” promotion.     “I invite Liberians from all walks of life to be a part of this very attractive campaign and start texting to win now.”

Hundreds of thousands of Orange subscribers are expected to participate in the promotion.