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Sam CollinsThe spokesman for the Liberia National Police (LNP), Sam Collins, has described reports of well poisoning in communities across the country as “false, misleading and lacking in substance”.Speaking Wednesday to the Daily Observer on Center Street, the police spokesman said, the LNP was running out of patience with people demonstrating and throwing stones at LNP officers.According to him, the police officers were open to the public providing evidence of individuals engaged in poisoning wells to destroy peaceful citizens’ lives.He condemned the action by residents of communities who were using stones to solve the problem and called on them to desist from throwing stones as a way of engaging the police and alleged criminals.According to the LNP spokesman, the angry mobs that attacked the officers of the LNP on Center Street destroyed the windshield of an LNP vehicle and stoned some of the officers that were assigned to put the situation under control.“LNP would like to challenge anyone in this community and other parts of Liberia to provide evidence of anyone putting poison into wells. Since we received this rumor, we have gathered no evidence from the public, community or individuals but the public continues to provide false information.”“Our officers came to put the situation under control but were attacked by the same people in the community who run to the police for safety,” Mr. Collins alleged.He claimed that the well in question is currently being used by residents of the community, which he described as a clear indication of the “false and misleading information” coming from the public.He said people were endangering the lives of others by spreading false information and rumors that have the propensity to create additional stress and confusion for the nation already plagued with the Ebola epidemic. According to Mr. Collins, it is time for communities to focus on preventing the deadly Ebola virus in the country and taking the necessary protective measures in order to save lives.“Instead of endangering other people through rumors and false information, I want to advise those involved to be careful of how they carry out these violent acts in peaceful communities.He disclosed that the LNP was doing a water test in the Schieffelin community where a sample of the water will be taken to the University of Liberia campus for the testing. The public will be provided with the results. But he insisted that LNP has not seen any substance in the allegations as insinuated by the public.Those in custody of the police were only being protected by the LNP, as communities were determined to mob them. Only one person so far was undergoing police investigation, he said.The Observer, however, obtained photos of the alleged perpetrator arrested in Schieffelin, the dead dog on which the poison was allegedly tested and the paraphernalia he is said to have used.On Tuesday, August 5th, the Observer reported another story in which community residents said that around 4 a.m. Monday morning, they saw two armed men approach their well. The men allegedly made a small opening in the side of the well covering and used a syringe to insert a substance into the well.Apparently, across the country, the modus operandi is uniformed — the use of syringes and chemicals.The State broadcaster, ELBC, which originally broadcast the story about the alleged well poisoning in Schieffelin, and then backed away from it, reported at 7 p.m. this evening (Thursday, August 7, 2014) that several investigations were ongoing in Ganta relating to alleged well poisoning.Upon being accosted by the community, the Schieffelin poisoner reportedly confessed at the scene that at least 250 men had been trained and dispersed across the country.It is unlikely that communities across the country would simultaneously make up “false and misleading” stories about people poisoning wells.It is also unclear, however, with the increasing number of reports and some evidence available, what interest police would have in covering up the story.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lewis G. Brown, says the Government of Liberia will not hesitate to drastically punish any Liberian caught in connection with the crisis in La Côte d’Ivoire.In a strongly-worded statement during the Ministry’s regular Thursday press briefing, Minister Brown announced that the Government of Liberia remains committed to the cordial relations between and among countries surrounding Liberia, and will do nothing to undermine those relations.“We realize that there is no abundance of work here, but one can find different things to do besides being a mercenary to fight in another country and disturb their peace. If anyone is caught, this government is going to very serious action against that person,” Minister Brown said.According to the government’s spokesman, the border between Liberia and The Ivory Coast is well-secured through efforts by the Defense Ministry and other security apparatuses including the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN).He said it is monitored to the extent that no group of people will use the territorial confines of Liberia to enter The Ivory Coast to destabilize the government of that country.He repeatedly said that it is time that, if anyone has a relative planning to take part or is a part of the crisis in The Ivory Coast to advise the person to leave because if any Liberian is caught, such person will not receive any mercy from the Government of Liberia.Minister Brown also disclosed that government has launched a full investigation in allegations of forced repatriation of Ivorian refugees in Liberia, back to The Ivory Coast.He declared that Liberia respects every international treaty and is cognizant of the safety and human right of refugees. This government will not be inhumane to forcibly repatriate refugees whose home country is in conflict.In her comment following Minister Brown’s statement, US Ambassador Deborah Malac noted that they are anxiously waiting to hear from the Liberian Government’s results from the investigation related to the forceful repatriation of Ivorian refugees.The instability in La Côte d’Ivoire started in September, 2002, when former military leader Robert Gaui was murdered in Abidjan.Following the killing of Gen. Guei, a rebel group attacked Boakai in the north followed by another attack in Danane, on November 28, of the same year.During the Danane attack, many fighters from Liberia were crossing over to The Ivory Coast fighting alongside rebels to overthrow the government of former indicted President, Laurent Gbagbo, who is currently at The Hague to face war crime charges and crimes against humanity.In 2010, after The Ivory Coast’s disputed election that brought President Alassane Ouattara to power, the civil crisis exacerbated and law and order broke down completely.With the intervention of French forces, President Gbagbo was arrested in 2011 and sent to The Hague to answer to war crimes.Amid the drama, mercenary activities with featured a Liberian connection have often been reported.To iron out the differences between the two countries, Presidents Outtara and Johnson Sirleaf last year held a palava hut discussion in Grand Gedeh County to build confidence and commit to resisting either territory being used by one group to destabilize the other.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Liberian farmers harvesting riceBecause of the outbreak of Ebola, which has affected every sector of the Liberian economy, the World Bank has disclosed a recovery plan for the nation’s agriculture sector.Dr. Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President, made the disclosure Tuesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during a one-day visit with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and government officials.“We don’t need to wait until the Ebola epidemic is completely eradicated to start working on an economic plan. We will help farmers to recover from the Ebola crisis so that Liberia will not go through food shortage.”Access to quality health care delivery and improving selected infrastructures are also critical areas that the World Bank economic recovery plan seeks to consider.Though Liberia is striving to recover from 14 years of civil crisis, which left every sector, including its agriculture sector completely destroyed, the Ebola crisis is reported to have carried the sector to “square one,” where farmers were forced to abandon farms and fled to other parts of Liberia because of fear to not contract the virus.The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that food is increasingly getting short in the country. Fields in some regions have been abandoned because of the people working on those fields believe that the virus is being spread by them. They also believe that the disease can be spread through their irrigated water.With the recent pronouncement made by the World Bank Group President to assist the country’s agriculture sector, Liberian farmers have begun expressing gratitude to the Bank.They are of the conviction that such intervention will bring a great relief to them, especially those in Ebola-affected communities.While this seems a good announcement, farmers have complained about the “limited allotment” in the national budget for agriculture. It is something they want their government to consider, if the country will become food self-sufficient.Liberia’s agriculture budget is at 2.4 percent with most funding from external sources. When African leaders met in Maputo 10 years ago, they came up with a declaration known as the Maputo Declaration. It calls for African nations to set aside at least 10 percent of their national budget for agriculture, annually.“The government needs to put more money in to agriculture to improve food security and reduce poverty in the lives of subsistence farmers. We are so thankful to the international community for its continuous assistance toward food security,” said Nathaniel Kpaka, a local farmer in Foya District, Lofa County.Lofa is one of the counties seriously hit by the Ebola virus. It is hope that with some level of improvement in the reduction of the virus, farmers are demonstrating courage in returning homes to engage in various agricultural projects.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,A rather unusual event took place on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 – one that raised several questions in my mind.I am referring to the “Guyana’s New Maritime Landscape, preparing for the future” conference, which was hosted by the Hughes, Fields and Stoby law firm and Cerulean Master Card under the rubric of the Guyana Maritime Administration at the Marriott Hotel.The invitation which was dispatched to many people by Nigel Hughes on behalf of Hughes Fields and Stoby advised that:“Guyana’s national efforts to prepare for the advent of the commercial production of oil have necessitated a revisit of our existing legal and regulatory framework for several industries and particularly for the maritime industry.“The current legal and regulatory maritime framework is inadequate for the development of the oil and gas industry which is upon us.“In order to meet this challenge, the Maritime Authority of Guyana (MARAD) has determined that it will host a conference on the 27th March 2019 at the Marriot where it hopes to benefit from the contributions of the stakeholders in the maritime industry as it sets about the task of crafting draft laws and regulations for the new maritime regime….“The conference will address four themes namely: Legal and institutional considerations to enhance governance of Guyana’s maritime industry, Industry best practices among the oil majors for self-regulation, Lessons learnt and new rules and regulations for enforcement.”One should remember that in September 2018, the same firm at the launching of its office in Houston, Texas, said: “Long before a potential investor even arrives in Guyana, the law offices of Hughes, Fields and Stoby will now be on hand in Houston, Texas, to guide clients through what could be a complex process of establishing business relationships in Guyana…From legal representation right through to assistance with the appropriate business protocols and linkage to a network of officials in the public and Private Sector, a client’s every need is attended to in ensuring the doors to doing business in Guyana are easily and readily open.”So the first set of questions relate to the organisation and funding of the conference.Why was the Guyana Maritime Administration not taking the lead in inviting people, even on their website there is no information about the conference nor its agenda, just the announcement?Why was Hughes, Fields and Stoby the “producer of the event” as stated on the flyer?Who was paying for the conference and the presenters – Regional Adviser, Caribbean, Colin Young; International Maritime Organisation, Vivian Rambarath-Parasram; Programme Leader, Maritime Studies of University of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Eric Smith; Professor of Practice at the AB Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, Eric Smith; Thomas Steigerwald, Maritime consultant and Retired Rear Admiral, United States Coast Guard, James Olson? Did the other companies named in the conference document – Guyana Shore Base Inc, Global Maritime Consultants Group, and GAICO contribute to the funding? Who paid Hughes Fields and Stoby to produce this Maritime conference? Certainly, l do not think MARAD could have had the money to do so. The second set of questions relate to policy-making.“The Vision” in the conference brochure is written by CA Nigel Hughes as Managing Partner of Hughes Fields and Stoby. The fact that the vision had no vision is not surprising, but here is the vision being propagated by a gentleman who is representing the interests of the oil investors, and whose wife is a Minister. A conflict of interest situation which was exposed over six months ago but which the Government has ignored.One wonders whether the Government has relinquished or parcelled out policy-making of our national concerns and interests to Nigel Hughes, Managing Partner of a company that is facilitating and benefiting financially from the oil interests.Who is representing Guyana’s interests? Or will we be seeing a repetition of the 2016 secret agreement?Why was the Foreign Affairs Ministry not present as there are Maritime issues with regards to our international treaty obligations as well as specific concerns with regards to our maritime boundaries and the oil sector?Furthermore, why was the selection of the local panellists restricted to their affiliation to only two law firms and one political party?Why were local companies which are involved in the maritime industry and other stakeholders in this sector not included as panellists? One wonders after examining this line-up at the conference if the draft local content policy touted by the Government is just another window dressing.Finally, has the discussion on the future of oil and the maritime industries now being hijacked to special interests and not national interests?Sincerely,Darion Comacho
Dear Editor,The exposure of the grab for lands identified for important national projects has shown to the Guyanese people the true nature of this regime. It is a cabal that is intent on using the State apparatus to enrich itself.This latest act is a continuation of their behaviour. It is a pattern that has emerged. Recall that among their very first acts were to raise the salary of the Cabinet members and to give themselves almost unlimited allowances, travelling, housing, etc.In the process, they have practically abandoned accountability and transparency. Bribery and corruption became the order of the day.Shamelessly, the Ministry of the Presidency seems to be taking the lead as the most corrupt in the raping of this nation’s assets.Lands that have long been identified to do important projects, lands that should be kept by the State for allocation to projects that would benefit the country are now handed out to Government functionaries. It is clear that the intention is to make huge killings by selling back those parcels of land to Government or to oil companies for hundreds of millions of dollars.The get rich quick syndrome is on full display.What are these lands? These are lands where shore facilities are to be built to service the emerging oil sector. They are strategic lands for the building of deep water harbours or at areas where bridges could be built and where roads and highways are proposed to be constructed.The one-acre plots handed out in Mocha are lands through which the road connecting the East Coast highway to the East Bank highway is to be built. It means that in a short while these pieces of land would become extremely valuable and no doubt could be used to speculate for big bucks. Or, indeed, the Government will have to buy it to facilitate the road.This is shameless corruption. Worse, it has now reached the highest office in our country. After all, it is the President who has the responsibility for lands here.The lands spoken about are not all the deals that are going down. The PNC/APNU/AFC vultures are also preying on poor people’s lands.Small miners are being pushed out to make way for the new PNC elite. The Toroparo syndicate is a group of small miners hoping to make a living mining gold. They were working the lands before it became a closed area and were promised it when the area was opened.They are now saying that the lands were taken away from them and given to Mr Sorato Phillips. This is the same man of the Parking Meter fiasco.The response from the regime and its sympathisers was predictable. As usual, they are trying to make this a race issue.Lincoln Lewis, the head of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, in a letter in the Stabroek News on June 30, 2019, twisted the story to claim that the Leader of the Opposition was accusing the Lands and Surveys Commission of “….favouring the African community…”. Other PNC propagandists and supporters are saying the same things.That is total distortion with intent to mislead the people. What is being shown clearly is that the corrupt Government is giving themselves huge tracks of lands to enrich themselves at the expense of all the people of Guyana. Black, Indian, Amerindian, Portuguese, Chinese and Mixed.However, it is a blatant and racist attack, including on Black people. They want African Guyanese to come to the defence of this vulgar rape of our country’s resources. They hope that the African Guyanese masses would defend this heist by the elite once hey frame it as racist.Lewis and Ceres and those others have kept quiet when this PNC-led APNU/AFC regime took away lands from small Black farmers on the West Coast of Berbice. Those lands were given to some sixty African Guyanese farmers by the PPP/Civic Government.The PNC big wigs in the area were seizing it for themselves. President Granger had actually cancelled the leases. The people living there have been there for generations. Now they had to take the matter to court to defend their homes. It was Anil Nandlall who took their case to court and had that repossession reversed.Mr Lewis et al are not interested in those poor Black farmers. None of them went to their defence. That is not the class of Black people that they are interested in.Indeed, Mr Lewis himself had created much nervousness in the village of Kingelly, West Coast Berbice, when he claimed the whole village, where mainly African Guyanese reside, as his, by inheritance. Those African Guyanese, working people of Kingelly, had to take the matter to court and are being represented by the PPP lawyer, Anil Nandlall.Obviously, this labour leader has no interest in poor people, whether they are Black, Brown or White, he too is part of the elite.Look at what PPP/C Member of Parliament, Mr Harry Gill, disclosed on the repossessing of lands from small cash crop farmers at Bath, West Coast Berbice, and giving it to friends of the regime, including the PNC/APNU parliamentarian for the area.What the Leader of the Opposition exposed last Thursday is only the tip of the icebergExtremely serious and very worrying as well is the allocation of lands to persons at the Elections Commission and SARA. The apologists for the corrupt regime have not raised an eyebrow to what appears to be an attempt to bribe public officials in strategic positions.The time and quantity of lands allocated to the Chief Elections Officer and the Deputy Head of the illegal SARA are bound to raise suspicions as to the real intent of the PNC-led regime. Are they hoping that Mr Lowenfield will do favours for them at the Commission? Are they rewarding Hetemyer for the harassment of PPP/C officials?These are the types of behaviour that have damaged the moral health of our country in the past.It is such behaviour in the previous PNC regime that entrenched corruption that Minister Hughes spoke about and has made it so difficult to root out.Here we are, once again, on the same road, but Ms Hughes is now deafeningly silent.The PNC has succeeded in the past in filling the African Guyanese masses with a fear of change.The old PNC had plugged the line of “coolie domination”. This is the same message being plugged by today’s PNC, the APNU. They have not changed.They want African Guyanese to defend the regime and protect it while it continues to pauperise the masses including the working-class Afro-Guyanese. In the meantime, the elite enriches itself by plundering the resources of the state.The difference today is that the African Guyanese working people have experienced governance under the PPP/C and the more conscious of them have recognised that the PPP/C Government dealt an even hand. It did not discriminate, contrary to the discredited propaganda of the APNU/AFC elite.Clearly, racism is the last refuge of these PNC/APNU/AFC scoundrels.Yours respectfully,Donald Ramotar,Former President
Dear Editor,GECOM’s consideration of the use of selected data from the ‘truncated unverified’ House to House (H2H) Registration is unacceptable. Aside from the legally binding obligations related to the update of the list using the Claims and Objections approach, many other strong justifications are evident. These points to the continuous frivolous approach and excuses to effect delays by the abusive Granger-led fallen APNU/AFC Government.It is widely known that Government Commissioners at GECOM have continued to press for the use of the data, although it is obvious that they have a clear awareness of the surreptitious initiation and biased conduct of the H2H. The GECOM Secretariat has acquiesced and as required, moved to test the new list against the National Register of Registrants (NRR). The cross-matching of the bio-data from persons GECOM claims to have registered during this highly prejudicial exercise realised shocking and appalling results. Sixty thousand questionable names did not match providing reasons for limitless questions.The new Chairperson, Justice retired Claudette Singh needs to have hands of steel as she moves to steady a seriously troubled GECOM towards the delivery of demanded free and fair elections. She has to deal with the inherited consequences of the unauthorised ‘back-dated order’ of the clearly unfit former Chairman Patterson, to conduct the H2H Registration, which Keith Lowenfield recklessly imposed on our people.We now witness the unnecessary accommodation at meetings of the Commission addressing issues of a list riddled with factual inaccuracies including persons who could not have been found at stated addresses, and persons at those addresses who are unaware of the identities of some of these persons, misspelling of names and erroneous biographic data.GECOM reported that they registered some three hundred and seventy thousand persons before the Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh halted the unacceptable H2H. This was to give way for the legitimate Claims and Objections in lieu of the necessity for expedience, given the fact that the No-Confidence Motion was ruled as properly passed by the Caribbean Court of Justice and that the Constitution had to be upheld. As required, GECOM extracted the Preliminary Voters’ List from the National Register of Registrants and after careful scrutiny by the PNC and PPP scrutineers, it was expected that GECOM would have already put out the Revised List of Electors.When will we have the RLE? The big anomaly is that with the data from the “truncated” H2H, sixty thousand “hits” exist that are considered as duplicates and this is indeed very serious. GECOM informed the public that GEMALTO, the International Digital Security Company, revealed that 60,000 forms did not, “attract the hit”; this means that that they were new names not the on the National Register of Registrants Database, (NRRDB).Subsequently, GECOM is trying to inform the public that they found seventeen thousand (17,000) names that were not accepted to be on the database. GECOM is not trustworthy and this nation must not accept GECOM’s findings. Further, GECOM is trying to hoodwink the nation by telling our people that twenty-three thousand names were persons under 18, while the remaining twenty thousand (20,000) would be checked.This is a serious matter and no sample survey must be tolerated as every name has to be properly verified to the satisfaction of all parties. We are now hearing that GECOM does not want to be a part of the rechecking of the 20,000 apparent new names, which justifies the suspicion of significant malfeasance. This is nonsense and with all the untrustworthy people who did that unverified H2H, it is time for GECOM to put aside the truncated H2H Registration data and move the process with what we have.On another front, the Guyana Court of Appeal commenced the hearing of the appeal filed by the Attorney General against Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George’s decision in the H2H Registration in the legal challenge filed by Christopher Ram. In this regard, the Chief Justice essentially ruled among others that GECOM could not remove persons properly registered which could not be ‘willy-nilly,’ outside the proper constitutionally abridged procedures under Section 159.As expected, the Attorney General was at his best in proffering irrelevant, erroneous and frivolous arguments to the Court. Among the arguments put forward, were the following:1. That GECOM, the Government and the international community are anxiously awaiting the ruling of the Court in this matter because it is this ruling, which will direct GECOM to resume the H2H Registration exercise and to order GECOM to use the data generated from the completed exercise to prepare the Official List of Electors (OLE) for the next elections;2. That the Court must take into account “that the whole world knows that the current list being used by GECOM is bloated”;3. That the current list being used by GECOM excludes tens of thousands of young people, who were registered for the first time under the House-to-House registration exercise, which was aborted and tens of thousands more are to be registered;4. That the ruling of the Chief Justice (ag) permits overseas voting, which was abolished in Guyana.While not being a legal luminary, it is quite simple for the ordinary mind to recognise that it is GECOM that aborted the H2H Registration exercise and not Chief Justice (ag) George. Additionally, that the compilation of the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE), the Revised List of Electors (RLE) and the Official List of Electors (OLE) is not a function of the Court. One can, therefore, clearly rationalise the preposterously imbued nature of this appeal, which seeks to reverse everything that GECOM has done thus far to advance the electoral process; and runs counter to the President’s Proclamation that elections will be held on March 2, 2020.It was noteworthy that the Appeal Court agreed and upheld the arguments of Mr Nandlall against the frivolity that the PNC continues to advance and direct at a high cost to taxpayers through all of the agents. It is expected that the appeal is now confined to whether the Chief Justice (ag) was wrong in her pronouncement that names should not be removed from the NRR, except in accordance with the Constitution.Cognisance has to be taken of the overwhelming cost taxpayers bare at the imposition of a desperate time-wasting agenda, which is now turning out to be a recipe for widespread civil unrest.Sincerely,Neil Kumar
…plans in place for entire rehab – MayorBY RAMONA LUTHIFuture plans to rehabilitate City Hall may be as costly; in excess of $200 million according to Mayor, Patricia Chase Green in an interview on Wednesday.According to the Mayor, there are plans to be implemented with respect to the entire rehabilitation of the building. Chase Green said though support was offered from the European Union, it was announced in a meeting prior to this interview that the tenders which the Mayor and City Council would have sent to them proved to be inadequate, and so a retendering was required.“We were offered some assistance from the European Union and they would have said to us in a recent meeting that the tenders that were sent in did not meet the requirements for the European Union and so they have to do a retendering,” she asserted.The Mayor highlighted that there were discussions with the World Monument Funding Agency, Guyana Heritage Society and the National Trust, which also gave assurances of their support after a review of the building, indicating that repairs should be conducted in the near future. She pointed out that presently, the wait is on for a thorough report from the organisations along with recommendations on each phase of the restoration process, after which the rehabilitation works will commence.“I would have also received a visit from the World Monument Funding Agency, the Heritage Society and the National Trust. They have also pledged some support. They visited the building and they said to us that the structure needs some repairs and we should do it as early as possible so I’m awaiting the report from the World Monument Fund, and the Heritage Society, National Trust to be forwarded to me and they would also recommend the phases in which the restorations would be made” said the Mayor.Though she pointed out that there was no fixed estimate for the overall cost of the restoration of the City Hall, Mayor Chase Green said it was an approximation of over $200 million, since it was a matter of good quality and adequate quantity.“It will be in excess of, I would want to say, two to three hundred million dollars because if you’re talking about restoration and not simply repair, you have to look at the cast iron work they would have to do for it. To have it replaced, and that would cost money. You have to look at the boards that you’re going to replace, the designs of the board and the quality of the boards you buying. So that will have a cost,” the Mayor stated.
resident David Granger on Monday shelved assertions made by critics that his Government has gone back on their promise to generate employment, especially for youths. He stated that the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development Initiative (SLED) is proof that they are doing something good.President David Granger speaking with a Region Three entrepreneur about his products on display on MondayThe President insisted that the Administration has re-embarked on a strategy to prepare youths for the world of work, highlighting the SLED initiative emphasises the Government’s policy by encouraging entrepreneurship, particularly for the youths.“It contradicts the criticisms that this Administration has no plan for the unemployed and the underemployed,” he said, while delivering his key note address at the award ceremony for trainees of the SLED initiative at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre. President Granger stated that the SLED initiative re-enforces the Administration’s efforts to harness economic development in communities.Of recent, the Government, which was put into office via a pro-youth platform with promises of employment of thousands, has come under heavy criticism about its 180 degree turn from its 2015 election manifesto promise.President Granger himself had announced that creating jobs for people was not the Government’s business, a line which was echoed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan.“Job seekers should go to the small business place and start a business instead of looking for a job,” Jordan was quoted as saying.However, the Government took a sudden turn on Monday when Granger declared that if employment; the principal means for people to escape from poverty; is unavailable, then the youths will tumble. “This Administration is committed to generating employment. The pre-independence Administration decried a legacy of youth unemployment,” he noted, stating that there were many attempts by that Government to train young people for the world of work.He stated that since its election into office, the Administration has funded several youth development projects aimed at generating employment through entre The Administration, he said, in order to reduce unemployment, also launched the billion dollar youth employment programme in the hinterlands, which saw 2000 young people in 106 communities being able to access knowledge and grants for entrepreneurship.He added that their aim is to establish a youth enterprise network in every town, not only in Linden.“SLED, the HEYS and the LEN are all part of this administration’s grand strategy to employ young people,” he said, noting that the strategy stands on a bipod of education and entrepreneurship.He stated that the Government is cognisant that education unlocks opportunities for young people and that employers would often complain that young applicants do no posses the skills to fill vacancies. Therefore, he indicated that it is vital to improve education and training for those who did not do well in their examinations.He stated that the Central Recruitment and Man Power Agency, which is part of Ministry of Social Protection, registered 3430 job seekers in 2015 and placement was found for 89 per cent of them.“The State will do all things necessary to find employment for the youths, public service together with the private sector and foreign companies must combine their energies to generate more employment,” he added.On the other end, Member of Parliament, Irfaan Ali, has stated that based on the Government’s previous stance that they are not accountable for generating employment, it is absolutely clear that they “have no intention of fulfilling its promise to the youth by providing them with better paying jobs that would offer the kind of satisfaction our ministers enjoy from the 50 per cent increase in salary. Instead the coalition government seems to be more interested in deluding the youths again by parroting ‘entrepreneurship’ as the panacea for youth unemployment.”He said, while one cannot dispute that entrepreneurship may help in reducing unemployment in Guyana, it should be noted that the government is simply loud on the rhetoric but silent with on offering fiscal and other measures to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses.SLED works by distributing interest-free cash grants to registered groups and associations, needing the economic boost to improve their economic enterprises. SLED also works with non-profit organisations, like the Canadian funded Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), to provide training and capacity building to beneficiaries of the grants.
The much-awaited appearance of Minister of Youth and Sports, Eugene Lenn Nagbe before the Senate plenary to face contempt hearing scheduled for yesterday, was placed on hold until his return to the country next Tuesday.According to a communication addressed to the Secretary of the Senate, J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, Deputy Minister for Sports Henry Yonton, said Minister Nagbe is currently out of the country attending official duty. “He is therefore unable to appear before the Senate on March 5, as requested ….” Deputy Minister Yonton’s letter further informed the Senate that his boss will return to the country on Tuesday, March 10.“The Ministry of Youth of Sports (would) like to inform members of the Liberian Senate that as soon as the Minister returns to the country next week, he will certainly appear before the Senate plenary.”A motion to receive and make notation of the Ministry’s communication was proffered by Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, one of the 13 Senators that voted to defeat Bong County Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor’s motion for reconsideration. During its 15th day sitting last Thursday, 13 Senators voted to defeat a motion earlier proffered by Senator Taylor against the Senate decision to cite Minister Nagbe to appear before that body to show cause why he should not be held in contempt.The Bong lawmaker had argued in her letter of motion for reconsideration that the oversight committee of the Senate responsible for that ministry must be allowed to function, and that the plenary should be the last stop for action where the committee fails to resolve issues.The Senate is citing Minister Nagbe, based on a report submitted to the plenary by an Ad Hoc Sports Committee accusing the Minister of refusing to cooperate with the Committee to probe a complaint by River Cess Senator Francis Saturday Paye, over report that MYS was contemplating hosting the annual National Sports Meet.The five-member committee headed by former soccer icon George Manneh Weah, among other things, informed the plenary that Minister Nagbe, a former Secretary General of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change’s (CDC) refusal to attend the hearing was an obstruction to the work of the Senate; describing it as totally unacceptable, disrespectful, and urged his colleagues that such practice and utterance should not be encouraged.The Ad Hoc Committee further accused the former CDC Scribe and powerful strategist for George Weah, when he ventured to contest the 2005 General and Presidential Elections, “as a serious affront to the Senate,” and requested that body to intervene.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)