US$20M Loan for Gbarnga-Salayea Road Project Under Scrutiny

first_imgThe Plenary of the House of Representatives has mandated the Committees on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary to review a US$20 million Loan Agreement signed between Liberia and the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).The committees are expected to advise the House’s plenary in two weeks, whether or not the Loan Agreement should be ratified.The committees were set-up owing to a communication from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf requesting the House to ratify the Loan Agreement.The purpose of the loan is to generate finance for the rehabilitation of the Gbarnga-Salayea Road Project. This loan is critical and aims to develop an existing gravel road of approximately 81km in length, with a width of 7.5m, connecting Bong and Lofa counties, as well as improving accessibility and reducing traveling costs for residents of the affected counties and those commuting in and through the counties.The Government of Liberia will pay interest at the rate of one percent per annum on the principle amount of the loan withdrawn and outstanding. Interest and other charges shall be paid semi-annually, the letter said.The term of the loan is thirty years, including a ten-year grace period. Government will repay the principal amount of the loan in accordance with Amortization Schedule set forth in Schedule #3 of the agreement.The President added: “Hon. Speaker, this agreement is in support of the government’s overall development agenda, and I trust that the Legislature will ratify it.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘No Expatriate to Be in Boakai Gov’t’

first_imgA reliable source in the UP standard bearer’s office has indicated that one of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai’s first priorities if elected in October will be to ensure that anyone who wants to serve in his government will have to relocate their family to Liberia, if he or she resides outside the country.At a political event recently organized by the ‘Friends of Augustine Ngafuan’ (FAN) in Monrovia, the VP said that his officials will be compelled to seek medical attention at home and their children will have to attend local schools.Additionally, when he became Unity Party’s standard bearer at its convention in Gbarnga, Bong County mid-last year, Vice President Boakai said he would make changes in the governance structure of the country.“This in essence means we have to provide the quality that everyone can use as a government. We have to ensure that the country’s services and infrastructure will have to be standardized and equipped for our people. If you cannot ensure these then you cannot serve our people,” the source in the VP’s office said.The source said that the VP plans to address several issues pertinent to the growth and development of the country, with the twin issues of outdated hospitals and a messy school system being two of the many issues he intends to straighten out if he is elected. The country’s health system, dilapidated prior to the Ebola outbreak, still lies in ruins. The school system, on the other hand, continues to be termed ‘a mess’ with students performing below expectations, though the government recently contracted a portion out to private companies through a partnership deal.Capital flight is an issue that many believe continues to undermine the economy of the country as millions of dollars are taken out of a country that already has a high impoverished population.A top executive of FAN, who recently endorsed the presidential bid of the VP, said the group’s decision to join forces with the VP is based upon his commitment to address some of these bottlenecks.Other issues such as the huge salaries of government officials and the purchase of expensive vehicles, according to FAN chairman Ernest Garnark Smith Jr., will also be addressed by the Boakai administration.He told this reporter in a conversation that, “We need money to develop our country and we can’t afford to see a few people enjoy state resources while the majority live in abject poverty. Addressing these national imbalances is why we joined the Boakai movement because we believe he has the passion and willpower to address these things that are serving as impediments to our growth as a country.“We must use our resources to develop our country and not to continue to enrich other countries that are highly developed already. Our officials’ children and families are living luxurious lives in those countries with our meager resources, and yet we expect for Liberia to develop? You must be joking. We don’t need expatriate officials anymore in this country.”Expatriate Liberian and other officials have overwhelmed the government and this is serving as a huge handicap to the country, many critics have said.These are measures that would gain the overwhelming endorsement of the Liberian people, and if well-articulated by the VP during this campaigning period, would lure thousands of Liberians to his camp—eventually landing him the presidency, according to Unity Party insiders.The soft spoken but sagely VP, many are predicting, will loosen his wings and make some hard decisions when he gets into the driver’s seat.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) VP Boakai – Advertisement –last_img read more

First Lady warns Guyanese of scholarship scams

first_imgIn light of increased reports that Guyanese have been receiving telephone calls and text messages with requests for payment in exchange for scholarships, First Lady Sandra Granger wishes to reiterate that her Office does not offer scholarships and would not request cash from private citizens.Addressing the issue during an interview on Thursday, the First Lady urged citizens to remain vigilant for anyone using her office or her name to approach people with the proposition of down payments for scholarships.“Several statements were issued by my Office and Ministry of the Presidency, on social media and in the local media advising people that my Office has absolutely no access to scholarships. All scholarships offered by the Government are offered through the Department of Public Service… If you are informed that you are to get a scholarship, check it out, call and find out…,” the First Lady said.She further lamented the fact that individuals were taking advantage of citizens’ vulnerabilities.“These crooks are taking advantage of the naivety and the sensitivities of the people they are approaching… It is really a scam of the worst order, because people are taking advantage of other people’s vulnerabilities… These people are going from one extreme to the next to make easy money out of vulnerable people.”In April, a fraudster, Muhammad Ali, was arrested and placed before the court for impersonating the First Lady and tricking citizens into transferring money to him.The trickster managed to obtain 12 pennyweights of gold, worth $139,000 and $30,000 in GTT and Digicel phone cards, while pretending that he was in the position to grant scholarships to a young woman. Ali has since been prosecuted and jailed.last_img read more

Pork-knocker arraigned for murder of brother-in-law

first_imgAnthony King, a 25-year-old pork-knocker who is accused of beheading his sister’s reputed husband in the wee hours of Monday last at Grove, East Bank Demerara, (EBD) was on Friday arraigned before Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman for the heinous crime.He was not required to plead to the indictable charge, which detailed that he murdered 39-year-old Justin Peterkin of Paradise, East Coast Demerara on November 5, 2018 at Lot 1323 Block Y, Grove, EBD. He was subsequentlyMurder accused: Anthony Kingremanded to prison until November 23, 2018.This horrific incident reportedly occurred at about 08:20h on the day in question. A neighbour, Daniel Boutrim, has recalled going outside of his house and seeing the suspect holding a hammer in his hands. After returning inside his house, Boutrim recalled, he heard a “knocking” sound, and shortly after returning outside, he saw the late Peterkin’s motionless body on the ground. The suspect was reportedly hovering over the body, using a knife and hammer to sever its head.After committing the act, the suspect reportedly left the yard and proceeded towards the street with the two weapons in his hands. The Police were contacted, and immediately took King into custody.last_img read more

Kalmar “krushes” competition at Tournament of Hope

first_imgThe total donations weren’t fully tallied up by the end of Sunday, but Alexander says whatever was made will be added to what was raised last year. She hopes that the fund will eventually help several cancer patients. The tournament is held annually in Lafleur’s memory, and for the past two years has been in support of a travel fund for families dealing with cancer. “This is our second year putting money into a pot for that [travel fund],” says his wife Velma Alexander. “When Al was sick, he found it was very hard to get any funding to help you out and being up in the north, nothing is here. You’re headed for Edmonton or Vancouver or Calgary.” 23 teams competed, which is the largest turnout so far. Alexander explains that the tournament was switched to the red eye format for exactly that reason: to let as many teams as possible play. – Advertisement -“When we first started it out it was just a regular tournament, and we could only take 14 to 16 teams at a time, and the last year Al was alive in 2008 we had to turn teams away, and that’s when we decided we should go red eye.” However, Allen passed away in 2009, so the format didn’t change until 2010. The registration fee was also kept low – $350 – to encourage participation in the charity event. Advertisementlast_img read more

Road Closures this Weekend

first_imgThe City of Fort St. John gives notice that there will be the following road closures for events on the weekend on August 29th/30th:96th Avenue from the North Peace Arena to 96th Street will be closed from 9:00am on Friday, August 28th to Saturday, August 29th at 5:00pm for the Oilman’s 50th Celebration. In addition, a temporary closure for a parade as part of the celebration will be held on Saturday, August 29th starting at 11:00am down 100th Avenue to 100th Street and south on 100th Street to the Alaska Highway.Also, please be advised there will be limited parking for the North Peace Arena and Leisure Pool from Friday, August 28th to Sunday, August 30th.- Advertisement -102nd Street from the Legion back alley to 105th Avenue will be closed on Saturday, August 29th to accommodate the Legion Summer Festival.The City of Fort St. John appreciates the public’s cooperation.last_img read more

Anderson’s day is the lone bright spot

first_imgThe Indians won two of three against the Angels in an April series that was moved from Cleveland to Milwaukee because of snow. The Angels won two of three in a series at Anaheim in early May. The Angels have outscored the Indians this season, 24-19. “They’re a good team and they’re running out some good pitching out there in the starting rotation and the back end, too,” said Anderson, who otherwise downplayed this weekend’s series between two of the AL’s top teams. “It’s not really a surprise that they’re doing well. “We’re not thinking too far down the line, just more this weekend.” The Angels will prefer to forget about Wednesday. A misstep on the way to what looks like their third division title in the past four seasons can be forgiven. With the Seattle Mariners cooling off of late, the Angels had not lost ground in the division in 10 days. The defeat cut the Angels’ lead in the AL West to seven games (pending Seattle’s game at New York). The lead had been as low as one game on Sept. 25 after a defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays. Angels starter Joe Saunders (7-3) came out firing against the A’s, retiring the first eight batters with relative ease and only giving up his first hit to No. 9 hitter Donnie Murphy when right fielder Reggie Willits could not make the catch on a sinking line drive. The A’s were only getting started, and so was Murphy, who ended the day with a career-high three hits, including a home run in the seventh inning. Mark Ellis hurt Saunders the most, though, with a three-run homer in the fourth inning to erase the Angels’ early 2-0 lead. Saunders was removed after Murphy led off the seventh with his home run. “It was a struggle with my command today,” Saunders said. “Ellis hurt me on a so-so pitch and Murphy hit me on a bad pitch too so what are you going to do? It’s never not worrisome especially knowing that every game still counts and we have to still take care of business.” The home run for Ellis was his 17th, setting an A’s single-season record for a second baseman. “Yeah and two off me,” Saunders said. “The more I face him I’ll figure him out a little bit. He’s obviously figured me out. It’s a work in progress.” The Angels started fast with back-to-back singles from Willits and Orlando Cabrera in the first inning against A’s starter Joe Blanton (12-9). Vladimir Guerrero struck out, but Anderson continued his hot hitting with an easy single to right field to score Willits. Maicer Izturis drove in the only other Angels run on a sacrifice fly. Only Wally Joyner in 1986 and Fred Lynn in 1984 had delivered RBIs in 10 consecutive games while wearing an Angels uniform. Anderson has 27 RBIs in his last 15 games. ETC.: The long road to recovery finally had its reward Wednesday when Mike Napoli made his first appearance in a game since July 27. Napoli was a ninth-inning catching replacement for Ryan Budde, who was making his fifth career start. A strained right hamstring, suffered while sliding into second base, was only supposed to keep Napoli out of action for two weeks. doug.padilla@sgvn.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BASEBALL: Outfielder ties RBI mark, but Saunders, Angels fall to A’s. By Doug Padilla STAFF WRITER On a history-making day at Angel Stadium, there was still little to cheer about for the sun-baked home crowd. Garret Anderson tied the franchise record with an RBI in 10 consecutive games after a first inning single and then … nothing. There was hardly a reason to be delighted after that as the Oakland Athletics avoided a sweep with a 6-2 victory. The Angels are now 3-3 on the homestand with a major test still to come. Today should give more answers when it comes to the Angels’ playoff chances as the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians will be in town to start a four-game series. The two teams are potential first-round playoff opponents, though if the season ended today, the Angels would be matched up against the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. Cleveland will send former Angel Paul Byrd – a 14-game winner – to the mound in the opener to face Angels 15-game winner Kelvim Escobar. “They have been on the brink for a while,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of the Indians. “This year they have broken through to show their potential. They are a tough club and we’ve had our hands full with them this year.” last_img read more

Premature taxation

first_imgIN the philosophy of the city’s elected officials, there’s never a bad time to come up with a new way to squeeze money out of Angelenos. There are rate hikes and various fee increases to pay for the job of a barely maintained city. And when the city’s leaders are feeling especially confident, there’s the parcel-tax hike. The Los Angeles City Council must be feeling pretty confident at the moment about getting voters’ support, since it so generously and recently agreed to give council members another term of office – though perhaps induced by a little misdirection from the council’s spinmeisters. And that’s not a thing to waste. The collective whim of the voters can change faster than you can say “macaca.” Enter the gang-tax proposal, a $40-a-year (on average) charge on property owners to raise $30 million a year to pay for gang-suppression efforts. If this were a surefire solution to the violence and toll illegal gangs have on the city, it would be the bargain of the century. Who wouldn’t pay $40 to wipe the street gangs out of existence and see the young men and women chewed up by gangs go on to fruitful lives and careers? But this isn’t a surefire thing; the council doesn’t even have a plan for the money, just a conviction that they will need it. But, in fact, the city doesn’t even know what gang resources it already has, as the city controller has only just begun an audit of existing gang-prevention programs, as encouraged by the council members themselves. The council clearly wants to milk all the voter good will it can by passing a tax on the cause of the moment. But it’s way too soon to start raising money the city may not even need. There’s a very good chance that in the millions of dollars the city already spends on gang-prevention programs it doesn’t know it has, that one or two or 30 of them are being wasted. There is no good reason to rush this parcel tax to the ballot other than to satisfy City Hall’s revenue lust to waste on pet projects and aid to political supporters. The City Council ought to put aside this parcel tax until the city controller’s audit is passed and there’s a concrete plan of action for the revenues. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Bournemouth handed major boost ahead of Premier League debut

first_imgCallum Wilson has committed his future to Bournemouth by signing a new four-year contract.The striker was in fine form for the Cherries last season, his 20 goals proving key to their Championship title-winning success.Wilson, who moved to the Goldsands from Coventry City last summer, duly attracted interest from rival clubs, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa among a host of sides linked with moves.But the 23-year-old has handed Eddie Howe a boost by agreeing to extend his deal with the Premier League new boys.“I signed thinking we would get to the Premier League in the next few years and we did it in the first season,” Wilson told Cherries Player.“There’s no reason, at this moment in time, why anyone would want to leave because we are in the Premier League and have a great manager, who is young and wants to be successful.“We have a great squad here, so we have all the key components to be successful in the Premier League and hopefully we can achieve that.“Playing in the Premier League is all I have ever dreamed of. You want to be on Match of the Day and play against the players you idolise. I’m more than happy here.” 1 Callum Wilson last_img read more


first_imgJUNIOR Minister Joe McHugh has welcomed the release of a list of towns and villages (attached) which will get high speed broadband by the end of 2016.However people living in the countryside will still struggle with shockingly bad connections for many more years to come.Commenting on recent developments, Minister of State, Joe McHugh TD, confirmed: “I welcome the commitments by Eircom, ESB and Vodafone that they will provide almost 70% of addresses in Ireland with high-speed e-fibre broadband by the end of 2016. “The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is working with Local Authorities to drive the commercial rollout of high speed broadband to an increased number of homes and businesses, where over 1million homes in Ireland are already benefitting from improvements.“This Government is committed to a programme of activities which will help facilitate these developments, including addressing geographical and infrastructure challenges, most notably in rural areas, upgrading both business and consumer access and ultimately maximising the use of State assets where possible. These goals will ultimately result in 1.6million of the 2.3million addresses in Ireland having high-speed broadband by end of 2016, whereby an additional 66 towns across Donegal will benefit by 2017.“The focus of these developments is to ensure we are not limited by speed or location and the projects will involve moving from copper lines to fibre cables. Placing fibre at the core of this strategy means that a solution will be delivered that will meet the needs not just for today’s generation but it will deliver infrastructure capable of serving demand for decades to come.“The ability to encourage businesses to set up in rural towns and villages is heavily dependent on access to fast-speed, high quality broadband, and we need to ensure that the emphasis is placed on rural areas. Telecommunications companies are now shifting from cities and towns in urban areas to further afield across the country and this will have a very positive knock on effect on local communities. Not only will it offer younger generations the very real and attractive opportunity to stay in their communities and work, it will also help encourage young families from urban areas to move away from over-crowded services and a more expensive standard of living. This will lead to positive developments such as increases in school numbers, post offices, local services etc.”  REVEALED: THE TOWNS AND VILLAGES GETTING FAST BROADBAND was last modified: November 10th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more