Category: fbonfqzb

  • Foreign travel by ministers contributed to Guyana’s failing economy

    first_imgDear Editor,In the face of critical observations that the Guyana economy was underperforming and was being mismanaged, Finance Minister Winston Jordan, in May 2016, went on the defensive and told the people of Guyana that “the economy is in good shape”. Jordan said then: “It is not a doomed scenario. We are doing reasonably well, and we will continue to do well.”Between May 2016 and May 2017, Guyana’s gold reserves fell by almost $10 billion, from 14,498,200 to 5,219,500. Between 2015 and the present, the US dollar foreign reserve at the Bank of Guyana fell from US$800 million to under US$550 million.Recently, Finance Minister Jordan was forced to declare that the economy was in decline. Christopher Ram, financial analyst and political commentator, captured Government’s financial policy as one of “spend, spend, spend, borrow, borrow, borrow.”It was in this context that former Junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill noted that a huge demand for foreign currency to facilitate the travel of a Government consisting of 27 ministers and dozens of technical staff would lead to further depletion of the country’s foreign reserves.Referring to funding to meet the foreign travel of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo helps the average Guyanese person to understand the true import of Mr. Edghill’s comment. In October 2015, Prime Minister Nagamootoo, together with Minister Trotman and a Mrs. Tamara Evelyn Khan, was provided with approximately $660,000.00 for accommodation and meals for a three-day visit to Mexico.In December 2015, the Prime Minister and the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travelled to Paraguay. The Prime Minister told the National Assembly, on the 17th November 2017, that the Government of Guyana paid all the expenses associated with the trip in the sum of US$3,900. Of this amount, the Prime Minister explained, the sum of US$2000 was approved for contingencies. That would leave a balance of US$1,900. Airfares, he explained, cost $699,603. But US $1900 could not yield $699,603. The Prime Minister’s figures did not add up, and the National Assembly did not detect his “Nagamatics”. (See Hansard, 72nd sitting of the National Assembly, Friday 17th November 2017.)In January 2016, the Prime Minister and his wife, Lady Sita Nagamootoo, holding hands, attended the launch of the Golden Jubilee Independence Anniversary of Guyana in Queens, New York. A security/protocol officer accompanied them. Government paid all expenses, amounting to US$2,400, plus Gy$982,675. The Prime Minister was provided with US$4,200 for accommodation, meals and out of pocket expenses, plus US$1,000 as a contingency allowance. The total disbursement for this two-day trip approximates to almost $2,540,675. Of course, the Prime Minister does not have to account to the Ministry of Finance for the expenditure of this sum.In November 2016, accompanied by his wife, Lady Sita Nagamootoo, and his personal assistant, Ms. Deann Ali, the Prime Minister travelled to India for three days, and was provided with the sum of US$5,600 for in-transit accommodation and meals. That sum is approximately Gy$1,148,000. Allowing for in-transit accommodation of two nights by two rooms, that accommodation would approximate to about Gy$143,500. Even if that figure is doubled to Gy$287,000, that would leave the Prime minister, Lady Sita and Ms. Ali with the sum of Gy$861,000 for contingencies and food over three days !!!.Then in May 2017, when Prime Minister Nagamootoo visited Guadeloupe, he was accompanied by Lady Sita Nagamootoo. They were provided US$1,250 for out of pocket expense and meals.Allowing for out of pocket expenses of US$300, it would have left the Prime Minister and Lady Sita with nearly US$900 to spend over three days on food!! One recalls the public declarations of Prime Minister Nagamootoo: that he never travels first class, and never stays in five star hotels, because of his conviction that such expenditures could be applied to doing so much for the poor people of Guyana.I have identified only one Government functionary and the expenses related to some of his travels. Little wonder that our economy is in the state it is in. Now the expenses related to the Prime Minister’s travels are what he himself would describe as “Fat Cat-style living”.Now we understand that it is the privileged few who are in Government who are really enjoying the good life while the working class continue to beg the rulers to give them decent wages.Sincerely.Selwyn Persaudlast_img read more

  • Allen Endorsed As ECOWAS Ambassadors Chair

    first_imgLiberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. C. William Allen, has been unanimously endorsed as the Chairman of the ECOWAS Group of Ambassadors at UNESCO. Ambassador Allen replaced his Senegalese counterpart, Ambassador Abdou Sourang, whose tenure expired in June 2016. In his handover remarks, Ambassador Sourang thanked his colleagues for the level of support they accorded him and the accomplishments they achieved during his tenure. He called on his colleagues to give the new Chairman, Ambassador Allen, their full cooperation as he takes on the administration of the group in the years ahead.In his acceptance remarks, Ambassador Allen, who is the first Liberian Ambassador to chair the group, promised to work for the general good of the organization by seeking consultations for its effective administration. He promised to coordinate his activities with his colleagues at the Bureau of the AfricaGroup of Ambassadors so that important issues affecting the West Africa sub-region can be addressed and promoted.Ambassador Allen proposed the coordination of the various programs at the level of African Ambassadors and regional groups into a single calendar to derive maximum benefits at the different organizations.According to the Protocol of the ECOWAS Group of Ambassadors at UNESCO, the country currently chairing the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State automatically becomes the chair of the sub-regional group of Ambassadors and Permanent Delegates at UNESCO.In June 2016, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was unanimously elected as Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS at its 49th Ordinary Meeting. President Sirleaf is the first Liberian President and the first female head of state of Africa to be elected as Chair of the ECOWASAuthority of Heads of State and Government.Ambassador Allen was appointed Liberia’s Ambassador to France and UNESCO by President Sirleaf and officially resumed his duties in March 2014. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • House to Hold Popular Consultations on Dual Citizenship, Landownership Bills

    first_imgEaster break extended by one weekMembers of the House of Representatives have agreed to unprecedentedly add one week to their traditionally two-week’s Easter Break to have a face-to-face with their respective constituents about the ‘controversial’ Dual Citizenship and Landownership Bills.The constituents’ meeting is intended to help lawmakers make an informed decision on a growing controversial  issue currently the subject of intense public debates. Some legislators have already raised questions about the granting of citizenship to non Negros and have openly expressed opposition to it.On the other hand, some legislators share President Weah’s opinion that the Constitutional clause restricting citizenship to individuals of Negro descent is racist and needs to be scrapped.Whatever the case, in the final analysis the matter must be decided by the sovereign will of the people expressed through a national referendum. Similar past attempts to rescind this Constitutional provision have ended in failure, the most recent being the referendum of 2011 in which the proposal to amend the Constitution in favor of citizenship for individuals of non Negro descent was trashed at the polls.At this stage, it is not known whether costs associated with the extra week of consultations are being underwritten by Government funding as had been in the past, or whether Legislators themselves are shouldering the costs of the consultations, given the current economic downturn.However on Thursday, March 22, 2018, during the 19th day sitting, House’s Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers formally adjourned session for three weeks, comprising the two-week Easter Break and one-week Constituency Meeting.The Easter Break is in consonance with the timetable of the House Rules and Procedures, which states that the Legislature is entitled to two breaks, Easter and Annual Breaks.The House Rules and Procedure specifically indicates  that the Annual Break begins September 1 of every year, while according to Article 32 of the Constitution,  the Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January.Yesterday’s adjournment marked the first formal break in observance of Easter for the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature, the most important and oldest festival of the Christian church, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.The House will resume work on Thursday, April 12, 2018 and discussions on the proposed amendments are expected to resume in earnest.The titles for the four resolutions for discussions and passage are Citizenship Amendment, Property Amendment, Qualifications I Amendment, and Qualification II Amendment.The Four ResolutionsThe Citizen Amendment is aimed at removing the “discriminatory” Negro clause and open citizenship to any race, while at the same time defining natural born Liberians and allowing them to have dual citizenship. The amendment will upset Articles 27 and 28 of the Liberian Constitution.The purpose for the amendment of the Property Amendment is to allow non-citizens of Liberia to own property, with certain restrictions. The Amendment will affect Article 22, in which the entire Article 22 will be deleted and a new Article 22 will be written as “Every Liberian citizen shall have the right to own property, as well as in association with others.”Also, “Non-Liberians may own property under the restrictions,” and Qualification I Amendment is intended to restrict certain elected offices to natural born Liberian citizens as the term may be defined in the constitution. The amendment will be done in Article 30 and is rewritten: “Natural born citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature.”In addition to the restriction of only natural born citizens to be eligible to become members of the Legislature, Qualification II Amendment is also restricting the appointment of Supreme Court justices to natural born citizens. This amendment will be done in Article 68.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • Doxxbet-Liberia Inc. Shut Down for “Defrauding Gov’t”

    first_imgThe National Lottery Authority (NLA), according to the approved 2014 Act, is clothed with the authority to regulate all games of chances such as raffle draws, casinos, slot machines, schemes, arrangements, systems, plans, promotional competition or device for the distribution of prizes by lot of chance, or as a result of the exercise of skill and chance or betting based on the outcome of an event, including but not limited to sports, or any other game, scheme, and arrangement, a release has said.Additionally the NLA is mandated by the act to conduct, manage, and/or regulate the operation and business of the national lottery in the Republic and ensure the enforcement of laws relating to national lottery.One March 18, 2019, the Deputy Director General for Operations, Neved P. Kortu, communicated with the Management of Doxxbet-Liberia Incorporated, informing the management about an inspection exercise to commence on March 20– 22, 2019.According to Kortu, on March 21, 2019, the Operation, Monitoring and Evaluation team visited the offices of the entity, but the management instructed the staff at their outlets not to allow NLA inspection teams enter their outlets and to not sign the assessment form.He told the Daily Observer, the NLA Act Section 7.6, grants the NLA the rights to conduct periodic assessment of the operations of NLA in the country and submit reports annually to the President and the Legislature through the Board. On the basis of this mandate, Mr. Kortu decided to carry out the assessment exercise.Additionally, his term of reference as Deputy Director General for Operations, is to ensure compliance of the Lottery rules and regulations; ensure that a through monitoring and evaluation mechanism of the gaming sector is carried out periodically to ascertain that guidelines are fully complied with by gaming institutions; ensure that violators are brought to book and exposed in line with the 2014 Act and the NLA Regulation 001.On the basis of some of these duties of his office, he decided to bring to book and expose Doxxbet for defrauding government over the past years.According to the Gaming Regulations 001 payment schedule, a slot machine operator is required to pay to the NLA US$20,000 for 20 slot machines, and the operator is required to pay US$500 as registration fees for additional one slot machine from the exception of the initial 20 machines.According to inside sources, Doxxbet is currently operating 105 slot machines across the country, at 38 locations, and these locations are in Montserrado, Grand Gedeh, Margibi, Nimba and Bong. Out of the number, 20 are paid for every month by Doxxbet, thereby defrauding the government of thousands of United States dollars over the past years.In view of the Doxxbet’s  refusal to cooperate with the NLA, a  decision was reached to close down their facilities due to resistance encountered by NLA officials from supervisors at the gaming entity’s various locations in Montserrado  to count and verify the number of slot machines at those outlets. “Doxxbet will pay this government every cent they defrauded the government since the operation started in 2012,” declared Mr. Kortu.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • Halfway River Fire Grows 600 Hectares Over The Weekend

    first_imgHUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. – Crews fighting the Halfway River Fire faced an uphill battle with hot and dry conditions this past weekend.The fire, which is burning approximately thirty kilometres north east of Hudson’s Hope, grew by 600 hectares on Sunday, and now occupies an area of approximately 2,000 hectares. The 86 firefighters, 5 helicopters, and 3 pieces of heavy machinery have that fire 50% contained right.Fire Information Officer Hailey Williams says that the fire’s spread took it in a north-westerly direction, and that crews have maintained fire guards along the western and south-western flanks which are closest to structures near the blaze. Williams added that crews will continue to maintain these lines, but that high winds forecast for today could push the fire closer to the river.- Advertisement -While no evacuation alert has been posted for the area, Williams says that crews are closely watching the weather, and are working closely with the Peace River Regional District in monitoring the situation in case an alert needs to be put into effect.last_img read more

  • Pochettino reveals ‘good relationship’ with Tottenham outcast

    first_img1 Mauricio Pochettino insists he still has a good relationship with Emmanuel Adebayor despite leaving him out of the first-team squad since his deadline day move to West Ham fell through.Adebayor was hoping to get his career back on track with a move across London after agreeing a loan switch to Upton Park.But Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is believed to have blocked the transfer as he didn’t want to part fund his salary as he was playing for a rival.The former Arsenal and Manchester City striker has now been left out of the squad and didn’t even make the bench for the Europa League game against Fiorentina on Thursday night.But Pochettino says he has not fallen out with Adebayor and will continue to make his decision on the best strikers available to him.The Spurs head coach said: “It’s a good relationship [with Adebayor].“The only problem is I need to pick 18 players for every game. Now I pick Harry Kane or Roberto Soldado. But the relationship is good.” Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor last_img read more

  • POLE-AXED! GWEEDORE CELTIC STAR MARC WALSH SCORES STUNNER FOR IRELAND U15’S

    first_imgMarc Walsh in action for Ireland against Poland.SOCCER: Gweedore Celtic star Marc Walsh capped a dream few days by scoring for the Republic of Ireland U15 side against Poland.Ireland defeated Poland 3-1 in an entertaining friendly international this afternoon.Walsh was a constant menace to the Polish and his direct running caused them all sorts of problem in defence. Poland took the lead early on before Ireland levelled shortly after the restart.Walsh then won the penalty for Ireland’s second goal, before scoring Ireland’s third after excellent and expertly dispatched finish.Marc’s brother John posted the following report on Facebook, “Great win today for Ireland, they went down 1-0 at half time but came out far stronger in the second half.Ireland’s captain scored a free kick, Marc then went on a run down the right cut inside and was taken down by the polish full back inside the box. The penalty was scored, 2-1 Ireland. Then with 5mins to go with Poland pressing, a great ball from the back put Marc one-on-one with the keeper, his first touch took him wide but he cut back inside again and with everyone thinking he was going to square it, he fired a peach into the far top corner. Needless to say the Walsh’s made a show of themselves What a day, we are super, super proud ☘”POLE-AXED! GWEEDORE CELTIC STAR MARC WALSH SCORES STUNNER FOR IRELAND U15’S was last modified: November 26th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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) Tags:newsSportlast_img read more

  • DONEGAL CALL-CENTRE WORKERS TOLD TO TAKE MONTH’S PAY OR GET NOTHING

    first_imgThe 30 workers laid-off at a Buncrana call-centre have been told they have until noon today to accept one month’s pay or get nothing.Workers at Assetco Managed Services, who are part of a larger English company, were told the centre was closing yesterday.The first workers knew of the closure was when executives from KPMG arrived from Dublin acting on behalf of London-based banks. A spokesman for Assetco Managed Services ROI, based on the IDA Business Park at Lisfannon, said they had been left in a terrible position.“We have now been told that we either accept the situation now and get a month’s money or get nothing at all.“We feel so angry at how we are being treated. Christmas is just around the corner and we are being told that it’s tough – we either take their offer or leave it,” he said.The Assetco centre was set up in Buncrana in 2006 with grant-aid of more than €2 million. The company, is part of a larger company, Assetco London Ltd, which provides a breakdown call-out and support service for London Fire Brigade.London Fire Brigade failed to renew a major contract for Assetco London Ltd leaving workers out in the cold.Most of the London-based employees will be taken on by the company who won the new contract, Babcock.However, the Irish company have not been taken on and will lose their jobs.The spokesman added they are considering their positions and are even thinking of staging a sit-in at the plant. “We have been very loyal to Assetco London and this is how we have been rewarded.“We would like London Fire Brigade to know this and to know how we are being treated.“There are 30 families being thrown on the scrapheap just before Christmas it’s just not on,” said a spokesman.Meanwhile Fine Gael TD for Donegal North East, Joe McHugh, has confirmed the intervention of Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, who has formally requested that Enterprise Ireland, NERA (National Employment Rights Authority) and the Department of Social Protection intervene to establish the rights of Buncrana employees of Assetco Managed Services. Minister Bruton has also asked NERA to meet directly with the workers concernedMinister Bruton’s intervention followed representations made to the Minister by Deputy McHugh.Deputy McHugh said: ‘I know from conversations yesterday with Assetco Managed Services employees that the placing of the company into administration was very distressing. Initially workers were given until 5.30pm yesterday evening to agree to terms of exit with the administrators; this has now been extended until today.“I contacted the receivers, KPMG, in London yesterday evening to seek this extension, and I also sought the intervention of Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD’.“Minister Bruton has formally requested Enterprise Ireland, NERA and the Department of Social Protection to definitively establish the rights of workers and has asked NERA to meet the workers concerned.DONEGAL CALL-CENTRE WORKERS TOLD TO TAKE MONTH’S PAY OR GET NOTHING was last modified: November 14th, 2012 by StephenShare 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)Tags:Assetco Managed ServicesbuncranaIDAjobslay-offslast_img read more

  • CattleWomen’s Corner: Zesty barbecued cheeseburgers recipe offered

    first_imgThe California State Jr. High School Rodeo Finals will be at the Tehama District Fairground May 12-14 and admission is free. The Red Bluff community is planning a Welcome to Red Bluff Taco and Nacho Dinner for the roughly 200 contestants and their families. For more information, call Irene Fuller at 736-8551, write to rene.da.bean.rb@gmail.com or Jean Barton at jbarton2013@gmail.com.This recipe for zesty barbecued cheeseburgers is from Thirty Meals in 30 Minutes, at …last_img

  • ‘Hard Knocks’ teaser: ‘The autumn wind is a Raider’

    first_imgHBO and “Hard Knocks” are having a lot of fun with the Raiders and the series hasn’t even started.On Friday, HBO released a new teaser for the training camp docu-series that recalls Steve Sabol’s iconic “The Autumn Wind” poem. Only this time, Liev Schreiber — not John Facenda — provides the narration, and instead of scenes with John Madden, Ken Stabler and Cliff Branch, we get clips of Jon Gruden, Derek Carr, Antonio Brown and others.You remember the poem, right?The Autumn Wind is a Raider,P …last_img read more