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Gov’t Commits To Mechanize Financing … For Agriculture Sector

By: Teacee Gbeway

 

Vice President Joseph Boakai has disclosed government’s commitment to ensure that the country’s agriculture sector is designed to provide innovative financing mechanism.

The Liberian Vice President made the disclosure Tuesday, when he served as Keynote Speaker at the opening of a two-day the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Food Enterprise Development (FED) Agric-business Expo held at the Monrovia City Hall.

He said the government’s intervention will include small and medium size enterprise (SMEs), agricultural financing mechanism such as incentive-based risk-sharing facilities for agricultural lending and social bond.

The program, according to the Unity Party (UP) Standard Bearer also disclosed that the innovative financing will also cover catalytic financing facilities, agriculture-relevant e-wallet, and digital financing mechanisms.

Vice President Boakai committed that the government is working closely with the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to design and set up the ” Liberia Incentive Based Risk Sharing Agriculture Lending” (LIRSAL) based on going best practices in Nigeria and other African countries with support from AFDB and AGRA.

He said reducing post harvest losses, strengthening value addition, establishing structured markets and marketing systems can all contribute to sustainable food security.

The Keynote speaker emphasized that the estimated rate of post harvest losses in Liberia is approximately 35 to 40 percent, stressing that the losses are caused by improper processing, poor storage practices and transport constraints, which is one way to attain food security and reduce the rate of post harvest.

He lamented that the government is encouraging stronger framework for collaboration and agreed scorecard for mutual accountability to judge the results of the implementation of huge investments in various programs and projects both by government and development partners and NGOs.

Vice President further emphasized that both the government and development partners should be held accountable for huge sums of funds spent in the agriculture sector, as well as other sectors, for economic growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods of citizens.

“We are impressed that this is taking place with some of the best minds that understand the Liberia agriculture sector. I am confident that the topic will be probed with the rigor and intelligence that it demands” he noted.

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Man Commits Suicide …Eyewitness Alleged “Unbearable” Economic Situation

By: Mafanta Kromah

 

A man only identified as Boakai has reportedly committed suicide on Warren Street due to the difficulties experienced during  past months and that his shattered life has become unbearable, said eyewitness on the crime scene.

The late Boakai, according to eyewitnesses, the deceased was a car loader on Broad Street until his death.

A close associate of Boakai, only identified as Joe, who is also a car loader was quoted as saying that “He and I had breakfast this morning and he told me that he’s tired with life and cannot continue anymore.”

He revealed that murmurs from the late Boakai during the last two months hinted that his father haven’t send him anything since then, but said he persuaded the deceased not to worry because they can bear whatever difficulties they faced.

Also speaking about the deceased, another colleague, John Paye, revealed that the late Boakai and other friends were  close associates and they bought “cigarette and grass” to smoke.

He divulged that the late Boakai committed suicide out of frustration and also attributed his demise to protracted chest problem he suffered, eulogizing that his deceased colleague was courteous to people in the area and had lived in his “shanty hole” for more than six years and that his action was allegedly due to the obstruction in his life.

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Calm Returns To Cocopa

By: Gborontaye Gboron

 

Calm has returned to the Cocopa Rubber Plantations in Gbannah Clan, Nimba County following demonstration by workers at the plantations in demand of salaries owned them by the plantation’s management.

On Monday September 12, 2016, workers of the COCOPA plantation blocked the main highway between Nimba County and the southeastern region.

Speaking on behalf of the Workers’ Union, the Vice President Alphanso Luogon called on the management to settle the arrears of the balance 679 workers to enable them register their children to school.

He said the management paid 425 workers and resettled their families in other parts, while the remaining 679 are unpaid.

The Vice president issued a three-day ultimatum to settle the arrears to avoid further demonstration that will impede the normal flow of traffic.

Since early 2016, tension has continued to mount between the management and the workers union over the delay in receiving salaries and other incentives.

The workers Union President Sarpah Mahn alleged the management owned over 625 workers resettlement packages as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between workers and the management.

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House To Reprimand Rep. Kollie

By Abraham Morris-231886294820-abrahammorrisabrahammorris@gmail.com

 

The Plenary of the House of Representatives, through a motion filed by Representative Moses Acarous Gray, has agreed to reprimand the Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Ways Means, Finance, Budget and Development Planning, Representative Moses Kollie, for his failure to present the House’ quarterly financial report.

The decision by the Plenary of the House of Representatives was triggered by a communication to that body from Representative Worlea Saywah Dunah, outlining several violations   of their rules.

According to communication, the persistent violations by the Chairman of the Ways Means, Finance, Budget and Development Planning to provide quarterly financial report to that body, contravenes Rule 57.4 (b&h) of their standing rules.

Rule 57.4 b states that “All matter relating to the finances of the House, preparation of the House’s budget and custody and disbursement of the House’s funds subject to the approval of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker; must present to the House written financial report every three months.”

“Honorable Presiding and Distinguish Colleagues, consistent with Rule 57.4 (h) it is mandatory that the Chairman of the Ways Means, Finance, Budget and Development Planning provide written financial report quarterly; unfortunately for the fiscal year 2015-16, that Committee failed to produce a single report as per its mandate. This action has incapacitated us, their peers from what the status of the finances is for the entire year,” the communication stated.

Accordingly, the communication further noted that the committee’s failure to provide copies of the budget raises accountability issues as it appears to be a deliberate action by the Committee leadership to keep the Plenary in the dark of their finances.

Therefore, Dunah’s communication indicated that Plenary should note in addition that the same Committee Leadership’s failure to process the national budget within statutory time, compelled them to extend session and also setup a technical committee under Plenary to expedite the Liberian people’s business, it (Ways Means, Finance, Budget and Development Planning Committee) has exhibited total disregard for the principles of accountability and transparency as per their rules.

In view of the foregoing, Dunah in his communication recommended that Plenary sets up a select committee to work with the Finance Department to prepare and present to members consistent with Rule 57.4 (h) the four quarterly reports for fiscal year 2015-16 along with all attachment.

He also recommended that Plenary further directs the preparation of their budget review and passage along with the national budget. And that Plenary reprimand the leadership of the Committee on Ways Means, Finance, Budget and Development Planning for these very grave failures to perform its statutory duties, a decision that was overwhelmingly endorsed by that body.

Deliberating on the issue, Bong County Representative, Lester Paye, called on his colleagues to ensure the Committee provides the report rather than calling for the leadership of the Committee to be reprimanded.

But Nimba County Representative Prince Tokpa urged the Presiding to take seize of the matter for decision so as to carry on the Liberian people’s mandate and foster unity in that body.

Commenting on the mater, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, noted that the Technical Committee was only set up to fast-track the delayed budget, but since Representative Kollie has dragged the Plenary to Court, the communication has to be deliberated fully.

Also speaking, the Chairman on Ways Means, Finance, Budget and Development Planning, Representative Kollie welcomed the request by his colleague and further reminded Plenary that he has always and consistently presented these reports in Executive Session.

He, however, promised to provide the report as request by his colleagues.

Meanwhile, Representative Kollie is calling on the Plenary of the House of Representatives to institute an audit of the legislature in the next two weeks so as to inform the Liberian people of their dealings.

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Post- presidency: Ellen’s Wish (Part III)

“President Sirleaf knows what she wants. Over the years, there have been constant allegations that she has influence at the Capitol Building. The very Tyler that is crying foul today knows what they’ve done when he was favored.”

After 12 years of rule, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to live a private life; she will be the second former living President of Liberia whose liberty will be intact, unlike former President Charles G. Taylor.

Taylor, though a former living Liberian President, is serving a 50-yr jail sentence in Great Britain following his conviction by a Special Court in The Hague, Netherlands, for crimes he reportedly committed in neighboring Sierra Leone during its brutal civil war.

In Liberia’s pre elections’ year, the struggle to identify the successor of President Sirleaf is intensifying and the ruling Unity Party has already identified Vice President Joseph N. Boakai to succeed  Madam Sirleaf in 2017.

The tiny West African country is experiencing about 23 registered political parties to contest the presidential and legislative elections, which President Sirleaf as incumbent will remain pretty seated to watch while VP Boakai wrestles with opposition contenders.

However, with almost one year to the impending elections, a major power interplay has painstakingly been witnessed for months in the country with accusing fingers pointed at Madam  Sirleaf from critics’ circle; especially as leadership tussle erupted at the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill.

The finger-pointing at the President stemmed from a Global Witness report of corruption linking former and present officials of the UP-led government; dated since 2010, of which US$950,000 reportedly exchanged hands as bribe for concession deal to alter already legislated law under the Public Procurement and Concession Commission(PPCC) Act.

The Executive under the superb mandate of President Sirleaf swiftly constituted a probe committee headed by Cllr. Fonati Koffa (Minister of State without Portfolio) to investigate those implicated in the GW report, a move embraced by certain segment of the society while opposing segment criticized it, claiming that the attempt was a witch hunt.

Recused House Speaker Alex Tyler, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman, former NIC Chairman Dr. Richard Tolbert, former Lofa Senator Sumo Kupee, Bomi Senator Morris Saytumah, NSA Director Fumba  Sirleaf, and others were captured in the GW report. Among the accused, Tyler and Sherman became the center of attraction when they resisted appearing before the Koffa-led probe committee, insisting that only a court they would appeal before, something that came to past and the accused were indicated and are undergoing court proceeding for economic sabotage, criminal facilitations, among other multiple charges.

The scenario later developed another scene at the Lower House when a group of lawmakers anti to Tyler called on him to recuse himself from presiding at Plenary until he is cleared of the charges levied against him at Criminal Court “C”  at the Temple of Justice.

As the recusal demand persisted, Tyler openly accused President Sirleaf of being the mastermind of his removal scheme, but the Executive Mansion debunked the accusation.

“ President Sirleaf knows what she wants. Over the years, there have been constant allegations that she has influence at the Capitol Building. The very Tyler that is crying foul today knows what they’ve done when he was favored,” a former lawmaker who preferred anonymity told In Profile Daily recently when Tyler finally recused himself from presiding at the Lower House.

In the wake of public focus at the National Legislature especially with the delay experienced over the passage of the current fiscal budget due to leadership crisis at the House of Representatives, the former lawmaker surmised that President Sirleaf appears to have the influence even while living a private life to have a stake in the state of affairs, particularly so if another UP-led government is elected in 2017, an observation other Liberians think is unlikely to happen; writes Lewis K. Glay 0886469835/lglay.inprofile@gmail.com

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