D Field residents being neglected

first_imgDear Editor,I am a native citizen of Guyana. I took the option to seek a happy and comfortable abode in my country. I am part of the electorate. I pay all relevant taxes and abide by the laws of Guyana to the best of my ability.My country allows me the privilege of making contributions to its development in many ways. One of those civic ways is identifying areas that can benefit from social, security, environmental and infrastructural improvement.A few months ago, I identified some problems in the South Turkeyen area. Almost immediately, to the credit of the Guyana Police Force, one of the issues relating to traffic chaos at the junction of upper Dennis Street, D Field South Turkeyen and UG access road was addressed. Since then, traffic ranks have maintained an active presence and the previously prevalent traffic lawlessness there has been almost eliminated.However, the issues of absent road lighting from that junction going South along D Field access road, untrimmed road parapets, and now emerging potholes continues to be a haunt. Apparently, when street lighting was installed in the Pattensen/South Turkeyen Area there was inequitable distribution. My conclusion is drawn from observations that some sections of the community have concentration of street lighting that can only be compared to a floodlit arena while other sections remain in the dark. Compounding that malady is the general attitude that no one seems to be accountable nor interested in the state of affairs there. This is reminiscent of unchecked contractual works under the past Administration, much to the disadvantage and disgust of citizens. I wrote the Public Infrastructure Ministry but there has been no forthcoming response nor action from that end. I also spoke to two City Councillors on separate occasions, one of whom promised to raise the matter at Council meeting. I do not know if the matter was ever raised, but there has been no remedial action over the past three months to suggest that City Hall is in the loop.Recently, a young cyclist was struck by a car on the D Field road after he swerved from a new pothole. Fortunately, he sustained no injuries and apologised to the petrified car driver while frantically gathering himself from the fall. He lamented that his swerving was a belated reflex action, consequent to darkness of the road which severely limited his range of vision. There are several other experiences along that stretch of roadway, including some criminal activity. Reptiles have also joined in the action. One night I cited a huge caiman slowing gliding across that D Field road, from one parallel canal to the next. The reflection of the moonlight in its eyes alerted me to its movement. Only God knows what would have happened if a pedestrian had intersected its path at that time.When, as a citizen of this country, you see and address certain things yet nothing is done to correct them, it only creates apathy, disenchantment, and a sense of betrayal.I trust that the authorities will remember that that section of the city is still a part of their responsibility to serve.Regards,Orette Cuttinglast_img read more

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Hold both the Government and the Opposition accountable

first_imgDear Editor,I would like to take this opportunity to ask the media to be impartial and hold both the Government and the political Opposition accountable.While a free press is important to our fledgling democracy, they also need to be impartial in the discharge of their duties and be nonaligned.Governments, be it the People’s Progressive Party or the People’s National Congress, are known for spending Guyanese monies without providing a reasonably good service. They are quick to flash a big budget without resolving Guyana’s many problems. Hence, they need to be held accountable.Focus on the issues as you keep up the good work Stabroek News, Kaieteur News and Guyana Times.And, expect as you become/remain nonaligned for all sides to want to attack you with fallacious claims that you are supporting the other side.Yours faithfully,Sean Orilast_img read more

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A plethora of poor decisions

first_imgDear Editor,It is argued that analogy is the “core of cognition” (Hofstadter in Gentner et al 2001). It is with that in mind that I write to express my concern about the reasoning evidenced in Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman’s “When someone, standing with a piece of wood in hand, shouts out that the mangoes growing in your back yard are not yours, you don’t stand around waiting to see what happens next, or for a lash, you start preparing to pick those mangoes as quickly as possible.” This was proffered in defence of claims of malfeasance, corruption and incompetence in the APNU/AFC Administration’s rushing to first oil production in 2020.An analysis of this analogy reveals much to explain the contiguous follies of the Granger Administration. The rational response to a threat claim on your mangoes is to establish that the mango tree is indeed in your yard, to call on law enforcement to protect you from the threat of a lash from said wood and seek all legal means to protect your fruit. To hurriedly prepare for the harvest of the mangoes in your own backyard like a thief is irrational; it is indicative of an unsure mind; of a criminal mindset; of an unwillingness to work within a legal framework to solve problems. To see that the boy picking the mangoes for APNU/AFC is getting the majority of the mangoes does not require knowledge of “half” math, it is plain to see that they have been outsmarted.The plethora of poor decisions that have followed from this irrational response to a perceived threat has cost our nation billions in future revenues. To further offer haste to establish claim as a valid excuse for gross incompetence in the handling of vital negotiations is illogical and expedient. The APNU/AFC have given away the majority of fruits of the nation in return for nebulous gains in time.The other important point to note is that now that yard may be handed over via elections to new managers, will there be a grab by Trotman et al for mangoes? The caretaker function is implied to protect the fruits of the nation from men with long bags. The thinking on display through Trotman’s analogy speaks to the danger to national assets during this short period before General and Regional Elections. The public service must be ever vigilant to protect our fruits from those looking to leave office with full bags. Let them know if they steal in haste they will repent in long leisure while incarcerated.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

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Why APNU/AFC’s term in office has been an abysmal failure

first_imgDear Editor,By any major measure, APNU has been a failure. Here are a few instances:1. Drained disposable income of the populace by extracting a 50 per cent increase in taxation over the 2015 to 2018 period. The implementation of over 200 tax measures has seen annual tax revenue at $200 billion in 2018, vs $135 billion in 2014, a whopping 65 billion increase on the backs of the populace. Small wonder the average man is feeling the squeeze.2. Stifled and scared-away investment. With almost four years since the coalition came to power, not a single major private or public investment project has materialised. Instead, the APNU is simply reaping the benefits of investment projects and financing arranged by the PPP Government. From Exxon to the Cheddi Jagan airport, to the new gold mines, manganese mines, bauxite mines – all of these were arranged by the PPP. All new investment has stalled due to the bureaucracy and ineptitude of this APNU/AFC Government. Had APNU not scuttled the Amaila Falls project, a total of US$850 million would have been invested in Guyana and 165 Megawatts of power would have been available this year into the grid at 10 cents per kilowatts. Instead, the country faces blackouts. Nationalisation of the Berbice Bridge is yet another example and, of course, the derailing of the speciality hospital by awarding the contract to a client of an AFC Government Minister.3. Abandoned, ignored of reneged on every major promise made in the APNU/AFC manifesto. Instead of inclusionary policies, measures to improve prosperity, good governance, improving accountability and transparency and zero corruption, the APNU/AFC has ignored each of these. Their performance has been the exact opposite. No wonder the populace is fed-up.4. Draining of foreign reserves and gold reserves by over US$400 million and incurring an overdraft with the Central Bank (illegal) of over US$250 million. As if increased taxation was not enough.5. The populace has lost confidence. Just look at the Local Government Elections (LGE) results. A whopping landslide win for PPP with 61 per cent of the votes vs 34 per cent for APNU and 4 per cent for the AFC.6. Loss of no-confidence vote in Parliament following Charrandas Singh voting with the Opposition in protest of closing the sugar estates and ignoring the plight of the sugar workers.The evidence of the abysmal failure of APNU/AFC is clear. The Parliament and the public have lost confidence in the APNU/AFC coalition Government. Elections must be held in accordance with the Constitution. Elections must be held now.Sincerely,A Grantlast_img read more

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Lindener pleads guilty to possession of unlicensed firearms, ammunition

first_imgJunior Melville, 29, of Silvertown, Wismar, Linden, was remanded to prison on Wednesday by Magistrate Clive Nurse after pleading guilty to having unlicensed firearms and ammunition in his possession.The court heard that Melville was intercepted at a Police road block on August 1, 2015 at Old England (Upper Demerara-Berbice), where it was discovered that he had a quantity of cash and 2 unlicensed firearms, a .38 and a .32 revolver and ammunition.He was subsequently arrested after being told of the offences.Melville who had initially pleaded not guilty, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to all three charges and was remanded to prison.The matter was adjourned to April 19.last_img

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West Bank man on $150,000 bail for chopping friend

first_imgA Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara man was on Tuesday granted 0,000 bail after he was slapped with an unlawful wounding charge.Jeffrey Bacchus, 53, pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.It is alleged that on April 16 at Georgetown, Bacchus unlawfully wounded Steve Singh with intent to cause him actual bodily harm.The Court was told that the 23-year-old Virtual Complainant (VC) was severely chopped to his left side, including his left leg. He is currently a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital.According to the prosecution’s case on April 16, the defendant, who resides at Lot 420 Parfaite Harmonie, was standing at Riverview Landing when he was approached by Singh.An argument allegedly ensued between the two and Singh left for his home to get a cutlass. When Singh returned with the cutlass, a scuffle started and Singh dropped his cutlass giving Bacchus the chance to pick it up. He then fired several chops at Singh as he ran away.The VC was subsequently taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was admitted, and Bacchus was arrested.Defence Attorney Euclin Gomes, in a bail application, argued that the prosecution failed to give proper details of the incident to the Court.The prosecution, however, objected to bail, on the basis of the seriousness of the offence, adding that the two persons involved in the case were known to each other and granting the defendant bail would put the victim at risk of more harm. The prosecution’s objection was overruled and Bacchus was placed on 0,000 bail. The case will continue on May 19.last_img read more

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UNMEER Says No New Cases in Nine Counties

first_imgAn official report from the United Nations Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has disclosed that over the past 21 days, nine counties, mostly in Southeastern Liberia, have reported no new Ebola cases.Hans Rosling said Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, Maryland, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Bassa, and River Cess counties, have reported no confirmed cases of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) for more than 21 days, while Lofa County in northern Liberia has reported zero cases in more than 40 days.Speaking at the Information Ministry’s daily Ebola briefing last Monday, Mr. Rosling expressed the hope that the situation would remain under control and that there would not be a rebirth of the disease in those counties, especially Lofa, the former epicenter of the deadly Ebola virus disease.Lofa is one of several Liberian counties bordering Guinea, from which the first outbreak was transmitted. He explained that Foya in Lofa County registered Liberia’s first case of Ebola in early March 2014, with the disease subsequently spreading rapidly to other parts of the country.He has, however, cautioned residents of those counties to remain assertive in protecting their communities and families by adhering to the preventive measures outlined by the Ministry of Health and its partners, including reporting all sick cases, doing away with bathing of dead bodies and shaking of hands.At the same time, according to Rosling, six counties- Cape Mount, Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Margibi and Sinoe, have reported over 70 Ebola cases in the last three weeks but he maintained that UMEER was determined to ensure that Ebola is eradicated from Liberia.It may be recalled that in early November, the World Health Organization (WHO) assigned doctor to Lofa, Clement Peter, declared the Foya Emergency Treatment Unit (ETU) free of Ebola after it did not report cases of the disease in more than three weeks.“The World Health Organization (WHO) will declare a country Ebola-free if no new Ebola case is reported in 42 days. Liberia is fighting the virus and hopes that the country will be declared Ebola-free soon.”Also speaking, the Head of the Incident Management Team andAssistant Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, revealed that the government has sent a six-man technical team to Grand Cape Mount County to beef up the strength of the local Ebola Taskforce in eradicating the virus.Minister Nyenswah said the government’s decision to dispatch the team was due to the constant outbreak of new Ebola cases in the area and the need to curb the virus.He said it is regrettable that while many counties are reporting zero cases, Cape Mount is still reporting fresh Ebola cases daily.Minister Nyenswah further disclosed that the six-person team will work with the County Health Team and local and international partners in fighting the further spread of the virus in the county.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Chinese Firm Accused of Tax Evasion

first_imgThe Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has launched an investigation against a Chinese firm for alleged tax fraud. Shanxi Construction Engineering (Group) Corporation, the Chinese Company renovating and extending the Monrovia Vocational Training Center MVTC), has been accused by LRA of allegedly using duty free privileges to evade taxes. Yesterday the LRA disclosed that it had caught Shanxi Group transporting two duty free containers cleared on Monday to a privately owned Chinese firm on 15th Street, Sinkor.According to the LRA, the firm to which the containers were transported is owned by a Chinese businesswoman, name withheld.On September 25, Youth and Sports Minister Len Eugene Nagbe wrote the LRA requesting duty free privileges in favor of Shanxi Construction Engineering (Group) Corporation to enable the company to clear two containers holding tiles, window profile and metal for windows, tires, soybean milk machines, locks, slippers, clothes, vacuum cleaners and tools.According to Minister Nagbe, the two containers were for the final phase of the renovation work on the MVTC. The LRA granted Minister Nagbe’s request for duty free privilege, but later observed that the containers were being taken to a different destination.Shanxi Construction Engineering (Group) Corporation officials were not available to comment on the allegation and the Chinese businesswoman in question refused for journalists to photograph her. The containers were cleared by Morris Clearing on Monday, BIVAC’s container release form indicated. LRA Communications officer Trokon Tarr told our reporter that the LRA has begun investigating Shanxi Group for tax evasion.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Parents urged to Take Child Education Seriously

first_imgMadam Ellen Olunfe Pratt, Deputy Minister for Industry and Inspector General at the Ministry of Commence, has advised parents to take their children’s education seriously, “because they are the future leaders of the country.”Minister Pratt who spoke on the topic “Importance of Education in Global Competition,” at the closing program of Aware International School, said parents have a critical role in the education of their kids.“An excellent education is every child’s right; and while our nation has gone through a difficulty period of civil war, we have much further to go to ensure that every child has equal opportunity to learn and to compete with other kids,” she said.“We have to make it our responsibility to provide children access to affordable, quality education that would make them competitive globally.”According to her, Aware International School (AIS) is among several institutions that are providing quality education to children in the country.For her part, school principal, Mrs. Beena Gopinathan said if Liberian children are to compete with their international counterparts, their learning environment should be conducive for learning.“Our school will continue to meet the challenges ahead; we will emphasize on aligning expected outcomes and promote student development, creativity and critical thinking capacities,” she said.Giving an overview of the school, she said, her institution started with a small number of students and with resilience has been able to accomplish the school’s objective of enriching the lives its students.“The previous year especially, with the Ebola crisis literally paralyzing the country, we had the most challenging period. However, we overcame it, and have emerged much stronger.“We always strive to play a leading role, not only in the personality development of our children, but also the development of the country,” Mrs. Gopinathan assured.She said her school has made strides because of the “various co-curricular activities like contests and cultural programs.”“This has been possible because of our arts festival, which was conducted in December last year, that exposed our students’ talents,” she said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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PRESIDENT SIRLEAF APPOINTS NEW FINANCE MINISTER AND NEW CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR – …

first_imgLiberia has a new Finance Minister, in the person of Boima Kamara, and a new Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Milton Weeks.The President chose both of these two topmost officials from the same institution, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). Mr. Kamara was Deputy Governor of the CBL and Mr. Weeks was a CBL Governor.Observers see three significant indications in these two appointments: first, that the President has chosen exceptionally well in filling them, which means that she is very serious about finishing well. She has two years to the end of her second term as President of Liberia. Her 12-year tenure ends in January 2018. Second, she recognizes the importance of the two institutions having an excellent relationship, in order to maintain the economic stability Liberia has enjoyed in spite of Ebola. Since Amara Konneh’s appointment as Finance Minister in early 2012, there has been a decisive disconnect between him and former Central Bank Governor J. Mills Jones—the two just never got along.Thirdly, choosing the new Finance Minister and the CBL Governor from the same institution, CBL, is a positive reflection on former CBL Governor J. Mills Jones. This may not have happened had he not run a highly productive and successful CBL during his 10-year tenure. The President has also appointed two new members of the CBL Board: Kollie Tamba, a CBL retiree and husband of the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority, Elfrieda Tamba.; and Mrs. Elsie Dossen Badio. New Finance Minister Boima KamaraIn choosing Boima Kamara to head the Finance Ministry, President Sirleaf has brought to her administration another young Liberian brain trust. Born on May 9, 1974 in Monrovia to Mr. John Kamara David and Ms. Yatta Moore, Boima hails from Gballasuah, a Gola village in the Suehn District of Bomi County. He is a product of St. Patrick’s High School, Monrovia, where he graduated first of his class, the valedictorian. He then entered the University of Liberia where he did the same thing, graduating summa cum laude (highest honors) in 2001.He was then recruited to join the staff of the Central Bank of Liberia, where he served first as an Analyst in the Research Department, later as Assistant Director, then as Director of Research and Policy. The CBL sent Mr. Kollie to the University of Ghana at Legon, where he took the Master of Philosophy degree in Economics (MPhil) in 2007.He was later appointed CBL Deputy Governor for Economic Policy. A staunch member of the Philadelphia Central Church in Congotown, Mr. Kollie is married with four children. New CBL Governor Milton WeeksThe new Central Bank Governor is Milton Alvin Weeks, 54, who brings to the table a wealth of experience in the field of banking. Born in Monrovia on March 8, 1974 to University of Liberia President Rocheforte L. Weeks and his wife Euphemia Weeks, Milton is a product of Monrovia‘s College of West Africa (CWA) (1978). Milton matriculated to George Mason University in Virginia, USA and later transferred to Syracuse University in New York State, where he took a degree in Finance. In naming Milton Weeks, who had served for about two years as a Governor on the CBL Board, President Sirleaf has appointed a brilliant and seasoned international banker to head the Central Bank. There are not many who know that at 25 Milton Weeks served as Treasurer of City Bank of Monrovia, Liberia, then Liberia’s oldest and leading bank.Between 1984 and 87 he was Assistant Manager of Citibank Liberia. From 1987 to 1990 he was Assistant Manager of Citibank of Zambia; and from 1992-94 General Manager of Meridian Bank Liberia, following which he joined the FCIB as Vice President and CEO. He later served as Senior ExecutiveManager of Meridien Bank, Zambia. From 1996 to 97, he was Project Consultant of CIBank (in Information) in Malawi and from 1997-1998 as Director, also in Malawi. He rose to the rank of Managing Director at the same Malawian bank (LCIP). Mr. Weeks was later appointed Managing Director of Stanbic Bank in Nigeria. He was responsible for the overall management and operations of the bank, including corporate and investment banking, SME Banking, private banking, treasury; equities trading and banking operations. Mr. Weeks managed the bank from a small corporate banking operation into what became the largest single investment in Africa of the Standard Bank Group of South Africa.Following his retirement from Standard Bank, Milton Weeks returned home to open his own management consulting firm, DEVIN Corporation, a Liberian-based strategic consulting and investment advisory services company, which he served as Managing Director. As Head of Devin, Milton Weeks served from 2008 to 2014 as Principal Consultant and Advisor to the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA). He also oversaw the functions of the LBA, Mr. Weeks is Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Fellow of the Institute of Credit and Risk Management of Nigeria and Fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria.Fraternally, Milton Weeks is former President of the Rotary Club of Monrovia and Assistant District Governor, Rotary International, District 9101.Mr. Weeks hails from the eminent Weeks family of Crozierville, Montserrado County, and is a member of the Township’s Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church. Acting Finance Minister James KollieAnnouncing these new appointments in government, the Executive Mansion also indicated that Mr. James Kollie, who recently served as Acting Minister of Finance, is slated for another position. The Daily Observer has reliably learnt that James Kollie is slated to become the new Maritime Commissioner, succeeding Binyan Kesselly, who recently resigned after eight years of service. Other AppointmentsOther appointments by the President over the weekend are Attorney Oretha Snyder Davis and Independent National Commission on Human Rights Attorney Oretha Snyder Davis and Attorney James Torh as Commissioners of the Independent National Human Rights Commission. Mr. Torh is reappointed. The President also made two new appointments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are the Rev. Jervis Witherspoon, Chief of Protocol, replacing Mr. Charles Allen, who goes into Diplomatic Service, and Mr. Emmanuel Munyeneh , Assistant Minister for International Cooperation. At the General Auditing Commission, President Sirleaf has appointed Adam Sheriff as Deputy Auditor General for Quality Assurance.Madam Sara K. Kullie has also been appointed Mayor of Voinjama, capital of Lofa County. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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