Your Service to Your Country Is Invaluable

first_imgSince 1957, February 11 each year is celebrated as Armed Forces of Liberia’s Day, set aside by an act of the Legislature to be celebrated as a national holiday. But for Montserrado Electoral District #2 Lawmaker, the AFL deserves being celebrated everyday of the year, even if such celebration means just a line in every day’s prayer.Representative Sekou S. Kanneh made the assertion over the weekend in Monrovia in a brief chat with journalists. The chat was meant to express his appreciation for the appointment and taking over of Liberia’s first post-conflict citizen-Chief of Staff for the AFL; describing the move by the Liberian government as a single most significant strive in recent times towards empowering Liberians to take over their own governance.Brigadier General Daniel Dee Ziankhan was appointed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and took over the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as Chief of Staff from Nigerian Army Major General Suraj A. Abdurrahman, who served that post since June, 2007.According to Rep. Kanneh, the appointment of a Liberian- Army Chief of Staff will serve as a serious motivator to AFL soldiers’ current state of mind in the defense of their country and people. “Now, the soldiers see a friend, a brother and a comrade whom they’ve known and trained with during the years. The soldiers know him and believe in him. That is what is most needed in any organization. This is a plus for all men and women in arms,” the Honorable Lawmaker said.“Although I couldn’t make it at the official celebrations, seeing the soldiers do what they did, no one has to guess it. Liberia truly now has an army it can rely on. They are discipline, they are trained and they are our own; and that is what we as Liberians need to understand and accept most: ‘that the army is what we’ve got and that it is what we must build to be what it ought to be; to be that force for good; to be that force that dares to defend,” the Montserrado Lawmaker emphasized as he watched local television stations relay AFL soldiers parade the streets of Monrovia.“All that I can say to these men and women in arms is that their service to their country is invaluable. Nothing is compared to their service. We love them and we appreciate them,” the lawmaker ended.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GOL May Lose Revenues

first_imgThe government of Liberia’s (GOL) revenue intake from cross-border trade with neighboring Guinea may dwindle in the second quarter, the Daily Observer’s business desk has observed.The looming revenue loss, according to our reporter, is directly linked to the reported slowdown of cross-border trade between Liberia and Guinea, as a result of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in neighboring Guinea.A resident of the border town of Ganta, Nimba County, yesterday told our business desk that the number of trucks from Guinea has dwindled. According to this woman, who lives right at the Ganta-Guinea border point, there are a limited number of trucks coming in from Guinea.Though the Liberian government has not ordered its border closed with Guinea, this woman anonymously told our reporter that a slowdown is also on the Liberian side of the border, as exporters have slowed their activities in the town.“Some of the traders have said that they are halting trade with Guinea with or without any government directive,” she said. The government of Liberia has not spoken on the latest news, but GOL insiders hinted to our reporter yesterday, that the situation has claimed the attention of the Ministry of Finance.The Ebola virus has killed over 80 people in Guinea with reports of a few deaths in Liberia and Sierra Leone, international media said. Cross-border traders have said that they fear the incurable Ebola virus. “I have suspended my cross-border trade business with my Guinean partner because of the virus,” a local importer said on condition of anonymity.The self-imposed slowdown in cross border trade between Liberia and Guinea is not only at the Ganta point; it is also in Lofa County and parts of Bong County. It is not clear to what extent revenue lose would affect GOL’s operations as the government remains tight-lipped.      Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

NOCAL Fights Back, Brags of Many Successes

first_imgThe National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has for the first time responded to its former boss Christopher Neyor’s assertion that the sector was being mismanaged under the current leadership.Neyor had claimed that several initiatives instituted under his administration as NOCAL CEO/president, including foreign scholarships for Liberian students, particularly in the energy sector, were being used by the current leadership to exploit the huge crowd that always floods in to have a share of the program.In an apparent response yesterday in Monrovia, NOCAL dismissed assertions of Mr. Neyor, stressing that there has been “impressive improvement” in every department of the company.Addressing a news conference, NOCAL president Dr. Randolph A. W. K. McClain noted that the present NOCAL management has achieved more in terms of accomplishments in the sector than at any other time in the recent past.Relative to transparency and accountability in the sector, NOCAL believes that despite its imperfection, the board and management have continued to be as transparent as possible in their financial and other dealings.Dr. McClain: “In this regard, NOCAL has for the past two consecutive years published its budget on its website (www.nocal.com.lr), and in the local media. And like all other government institutions, NOCAL is subject to audit by the General Auditing Commission (GAC).NOCAL’s Scholarship program is certainly one of the entity’s flagship projects. In the past, only modest attempts were made in this direction. Since then, especially under the current NOCAL leadership, the scholarship program has been expanded exponentially, and has become much better structured than before.NOCAL has not only significantly increased the number of scholarship beneficiaries, but has now established clear cut and appropriate criteria for granting scholarships. (These criteria are often published in the media for the benefit of the public).Also, beneficiaries or deserving students now come from all over the country and not just from a limited geographical area or a specific community.Indeed, from a small number of four (4) students granted NOCAL scholarship to study abroad between 2010/2011 and with 15 beneficiaries in 2011/2012, the present NOCAL leadership is proud to state that in 2012/2013, a total of 20 students benefitted from the scholarship scheme. And for the current 2013/2014 period, the entity is processing 33 beneficiaries who are slated to attend various graduate schools overseas for academic year 2013/2014. Thus from an expenditure of US$300,000 in 2010/2011, NOCAL is poised to spend over US$3 million on scholarship in 2013/2014 — constituting a hundred percent increment over the amount spent on such overseas scholarship grantees in previously.Again, unlike in the past when the scholarship program was randomly implemented, it is now focused and tailored to the needs of the Petroleum industry, especially in regard to specialization—with students studying for post graduate degrees in oil and gas related disciplines.Meanwhile, NOCAL is concurrently supporting 1,513 scholarship beneficiaries locally—attending various institutions in the country and studying in various disciplines relevant to the development not only of the oil and gas industry, but also of the country as a whole.At the Local level, NOCAL-sponsored students can be found at various institutions of learning, including the University of Liberia; Cuttington University; African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZU); United Methodist University (UMU); African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU); Stella Maris Polytechnic; Smythe Institute of Management  & Technology; Lofa, Grand Bassa and Leigh-Sherman Community Colleges.”On the issue of vocational education, NOCAL brags of instituting a critical and pivotal system to build the capacity of street boys and girls with vocational training.NOCAL can now boast of nearly 1,150 vocational students benefitting from the entity’s vocational scholarship program at various institutions across the country, Dr. McClain indicated.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more