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Monrovia City Mayor Begins Implementation of Light Lofa Campaign

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Monrovia City Mayor Begins Implementation of Light Lofa Campaign
(Voinjama, Lofa): Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee has embarked on the implementation of the Light Lofa Campaign, making sure the installation of solar street lights takes effect in various districts, cities, towns, and villages in Lofa County, targeting Voinjama, Foya District, Kolahun, Quardu Gboni, among others.
The implementation of the Light Lofa Campaign has kicked off with five hundred pieces of sophisticated solar lights, to be distributed among various districts, cities, towns, and villages in Lofa County.
Meanwhile, the five hundred sophisticated solar lights were donated to the Light Lofa Campaign by H.E. Dr. George Weah, President of Liberia, as a gift to the people of Lofa County.
 
With a mandate from President George Weah, the initiative has extended to Massabolahun, Massamai Town, Sawormai Town, and Tusu Town. This is in an effort to foster the growth and development of the county.
The Light Lofa Campaign became the order of the day ahead of the just ended July 26 Independence Day celebration in Lofa County, with sons and daughters of the land including traditional chiefs and elders, superintendents and other local authorities jubilating the good will of President Weah’s government for the electrification of their county.
 
Touring one district to another on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, the Mayor of the City Government of Monrovia, Hon. Jefferson T. Koijee, made brief stop at various towns including Suwormai Town, Tusu town, Massamai Town, Massabolahun, and Quardu Gboni.
He dropped several items such as the full solar lights setup, cartoons of copy books, footballs, and sets of jersey.
The Mayor who served as messenger on behalf of the President in presenting the lights and items to the good people of Lofa, received a rousing welcome and warmth reception. The imam, elders, chiefs, youth chairperson, the women chairlady, and children all joined hands and offered prayers for Mayor Koijee for his kindness and sincerity towards them.
 
Mayor Koijee is always preaching the development message of the President while at the same time encouraging the people of Lofa to constantly wear their nose masks and wash their hands and as well observe all other COVID-19 health protocols.
“See me as your messenger from the Father of the land, President Dr. George M. Weah to come celebrate the independence day with you and to present these lights as a gift and as an initiative to the sons and daughters of Lofa”, Mayor Koijee emphasized.
The people of Lofa extolled Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee for implementing the mandate of the President and for the Light Lofa initiative. Mayor Koijee was gowned with customized Liberian country cloth.
 
Finally, the people of Suwormai Town gowned Mayor Koijee with a Liberian customized country cloth and presented two bags of grand pea, a gallon of red oil, a gallon of palm wine and kolanuts. Other towns and villages did show gratification to the President through the Mayor.

“GOD GAVE US THIS PEACE”; Prince Y. Johnson Tells Liberians

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“GOD GAVE US THIS PEACE”; Prince Y. Johnson Tells Liberians
Written By: G. Augustine Dahn, Sr.
+231880668120/777505086
dahnaugustine199200@gmail.com
GANTA, July 28, (NTV): The peace and stability Liberia currently enjoys can be traced to the signing of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement which was the final peace agreement in the Second Liberian Civil War signed on August 18, 2004, in Accra, Ghana.
It was created following the signing of a ceasefire agreement on June 17, 2004, an “intensive back-door negotiations” beginning on June 4 in Akosombo, Ghana.
 
Signatories to the Accra Peace Agreement included the Government of the Republic of Liberia, the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL).
Additionally, a number of political parties signed including the National Patriotic Party, Unity Party, Liberian People’s Party, National Reformation Party, Labor Party, Liberia Unification Party, Liberian Action Party, People’s Democratic Party, National democratic Party and Free Democratic Party.
 
Others were the Reformation Alliance Party, All-Liberian Coalition Party, True Whig Party, United People’s Party, Liberia National Union, Equal Rights Party, Progressive Peoples Party, and the New Deal Movement.
The Agreement called for the establishment of a post-war two-year transitional government (National Transitional Government of Liberia) which would consist of 76 members: 12 each from the three warring parties; 18 from political parties; seven from civil society and special interest groups; and one from each of Liberia’s 15 counties.
 
The warring parties, the opposition parties and civil society groups agreed to share ministerial portfolios and employment opportunities in the cabinet and parliament and elections were to be held no later than 2005.
The peace agreement covered a broad range of intended reforms; committing to a human rights inquiry through a truth commission, and vetting of the security forces on human rights grounds.
Former Nigerian Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar facilitated the negotiations that led to the agreement.
However, civil society played a strong role in the talks as well.
 
Individuals representing inter-religious, human rights, pro-democracy, women’s rights, and legal organisations were included as official delegates, and many others attended unofficially as observers.
Women were especially vocal in these peace discussions.
Everyday between 150-200 refugee women activists arrived at the hotel where the talks were taking place to advocate to stop the shelling of Monrovia and the violence in their country.
 
These women were organized by the ‘Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace’.
However, fighting still continued following the signing of the Peace Agreement.
In October 2003, the UN Security Council authorized a Chapter VII mandate (allowing for intervention) and established a UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which included the deployment of 15,000 peacekeepers.
On October 14, 2003, an interim government under Gyude Bryant was sworn into power and ruled until the 2005 national elections.
The Liberian general election of 2005 took place on October 11, 2005 and a runoff election was held on November 8, 2005 which resulted in Ellen Johnson Sirleaf winning the presidency.
 
Since the signing of the Accra Peace Agreement, Liberia has enjoyed sustained peace and stability.
Despite the peace agreement and deployment of UN peacekeepers, Nimba County Senator, Evang. Prince Yormie Johnson, believes the peace Liberians currently enjoy was given by God.
“This peace, God brought it to us. All the peace accords failed and Liberians were wondering when peace will come. Liberians were on their knees crying on God. So, the peace we now enjoy that can make you to move from here to Buchanan in the night or any county midnight and no one stops you or sets ambush for you, came from God–let’s be grateful” Evang. Johnson told Liberians.
He described the Accra Peace Accord as guarantee for lasting peace and stability in Liberia.
“Any attempt to undo the Accra Peace Accord, Liberia will go back to her dark days” he warned.
Evang. Johnson’s comments were contained in his sermon delivered Sunday, July 25, 2021 at the Christ Chapel of Faith Ministry in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The sermon was titled “The battle belongs to God with text taken from I Samuel 17:32-36.

President Weah Dedicates Japanese Freeway; Expresses Delight Over Completion

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President Weah Dedicates Japanese Freeway; Expresses Delight Over Completion
Monrovia, Liberia – The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, on Monday, July 26, 2021 dedicated the recently constructed Japanese Freeway, formerly Somalia Drive, using the occasion to express joy and appreciation for the completion of the road built from a grant provided by the Government of Japan.
The Liberian Leader heaped praises on the Government and people of Japan for their traditionally impactful contributions to Liberia’s development and peace.
 
Several years before and during its construction, the highway’s cramped and dilapidated condition made travelling from the Freeport of Monrovia to the commercial hub of Red Light a nauseating experience that some inhabitants and businesses along the road took temporary refuge to other communities.
The completion of the double-lane highway is a great relief that comes with the free movement of people and goods and a boost to the local economy in communities along the highway and beyond, the Liberian Chief Executive noted.
“This road represents the most wonderful gift to Liberia on the occasion marking its 174th Independence Day celebration,” Dr. Weah said in remarks, zooming in on “fruitful bilateral cooperation” existing between Liberia and Japan, particularly since the 2019 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) at which time he and Japan’s Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met and held talks.
 
“Therefore, let me use this opportunity to again reiterate Liberia’s commitment to development cooperation with Japan under the TICAD framework and through direct bilateral engagement,” the President stressed.
He added that the dedication of the road was a manifestation of the strong partnership that exists between both countries.
He said further: “Ambassador Himeno, let me assure you that this relationship will continue to be nurtured under my administration. Japan remains one of our key partners in our development agenda. The Liberian people remain thankful.”
The President also used the occasion to admonish Liberians to make proper and judicious use of the new freeway.
“Before I take my seat, let me caution all would-be users and members of the communities along this road to help in its maintenance through proper use,” President Weah said, reminding Liberians particularly those along the road that the collective responsibility in the maintenance of the gift from Japan to Liberia as the surest way of demonstrating continuous appreciation to the Japanese government and its people.
 
He warned residents not to build makeshift market stalls on the road, throw garbage in the gutters and drainages and throw trash on the road.
“My fellow Liberians, let all of us do our part as responsible citizens,” he said.
President Weah described the completion of the road as a major milestone in his government’s development drive to improve our country’s infrastructure, noting that it represents one or more vital steps in confronting the infrastructure deficit the country faces.
He asserted: “As we gather here today to dedicate this crucial road linking important commercial corridors of Monrovia, we remain committed and steadfast in achieving the deliverables as set forth in the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).”
President Weah also thanked his predecessor, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, under whose administration the project was initiated.

Special Message by His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah on the Occasion of the Observance of the 174th Independence Anniversary of Liberia

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SPECIAL MESSAGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
ON THE OCCASION OF THE OBSERVANCE OF THE 174th INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
 
JULY 26, 2021
Her Excellency Madam Clar Marie Dekontee Weah,
First Lady of the Republic of Liberia;
Madam Vice President;
Mr. Speaker and Honorable Members of the House of Representatives;
Mr. President Pro-Tempore and Members of the Senate;
Mr. Chief Justice, Associate Justices, and Members of the Judiciary;
The Dean and Members of the Cabinet;
Officials of Government;
The Doyen and Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Our Special Guests;
 
Bishops, Prelates, and Members of the Clergy;
Chiefs and Traditional Leaders;
Our Development Partners;
Superintendents and Local Government Officials;
Political and Business Leaders
Marketers, Students;
Members of the Fourth Estate;
My Fellow Citizens;
 
Ladies and Gentlemen:
On July 26, 1847, the Founding Fathers of this Nation announced to the world the birth of a new country, to be called “Liberia”, and declared its independence from the rule of any power, to stand on its own among the comity of nations.
Since that momentous day, the Declaration of Independence has been commemorated as an important national milestone in the history of our Country.
Today, through the grace and blessings of the Almighty God, we are proud to celebrate the 174th anniversary of Liberia’s founding as the first and oldest African Republic. On behalf of the Government of Liberia, and in my own name, along with my darling wife, Madam Clar Marie Decontee Weah, I would like to congratulate all Liberians, both at home and abroad, on this auspicious occasion, and to wish you a joyous Independence Day celebration – even as we as a Nation and as a People struggle with the negative impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.
 
FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
As we are all aware, since early last year, the entire world has been ravished by this deadly disease, which has infected almost 200 million persons so far, and resulted in the deaths of more than 4 million citizens of our various countries. Liberia has not been spared the scourge of this pestilence, and we have also suffered our share of infections and deaths. However, through strong leadership and effective implementation of health policies and protocols, as well as the sacrifices and dedication of our health workers, these have been kept to a minimum.
 
Last month, the country experienced an aggressive upsurge of the COVID-19 pandemic as opposed to the situation seen early this year and last year. Over a period of 3 weeks, the daily number of people testing positive for Corona virus increased from less than 10 to almost 100 per day and the proportion of people testing positive was as high as 20% over the same period.
In the same month, new COVID-19 infections expanded to 14 of the 15 counties. There was also high hospitalization at the Star base COVID-19 treatment center with nearly all beds occupied.
I am informed by the Minister of Health that, as of July 24, 2021, Liberia has recorded a cumulative number of 5,433 confirmed cases after 141,077 tests. Nearly 38.5% or 2,094 of these cases were reported last month. The Minister further reports that there have been 226 deaths since the onset of the pandemic in Liberia; with 140 of those deaths occurring since the recent upsurge of the disease.
 
The number of people vaccinated to date is 95,867; of which 86,288 persons have received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccines, and 9,579 have been fully vaccinated. Despite the above figures, I am pleased to inform you that the country has seen a significant decline in the number of confirmed cases since the beginning of July, and for the past week the number of confirmed cases has been less than 10.
I ask that you now please join me to observe a moment of silence in memory of all our citizens and residents who have lost their lives as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in perfect peace. And may light perpetual shine upon them. Amen!
 
FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
My Government will continue to strengthen the strategic interventions that will urgently interrupt any chains of COVID-19 infections. As your President, I am determined to continue to exert my best efforts to ensure that we halt the further spread of coronavirus in Liberia.
In this regard, I have asked the National Legislature to allocate an additional $2 million dollars of our own resources to enable us to obtain critical supplies for our treatment centers and to assist in general case management and infection control. Additionally, an amount of $8 million dollars was recently approved for Liberia by our development partners to help finance the acquisition of much-needed vaccines and supplies.
I am encouraged to see that many more Liberians are now heeding our advice to wear masks, wash their hands often, and observe social distancing. If we are to be successful in this battle, we will need the collective support and cooperation of all citizens and residents alike, to strictly adhere to the published health protocols.
 
MY FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
The theme of this year’s celebration is:
“Together, We Are Stronger: Fighting COVID 19 and Achieving Development, Peace, Human Rights, Justice, Health and Prosperity for All”.
This theme reflects our unique values and collective experience as a resilient people who have prevailed through many adversities.
I must now take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the National Orator of the Day, Rev. Prof. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr., President of the University of Liberia, for the magnificent way he expounded and expanded on this theme during his excellent Oration. Being the renowned academic and scholar that he is, it came as no surprise to me that the content of his eloquently-delivered speech was carefully researched and historically instructive.
We will all do well to learn the important lessons and adopt the practical solutions that have been prescribed by the learned Professor to guide us in our collective behavior and attitudes, as we together seek to become stronger in fighting the deadly Coronavirus, while at the same time striving to achieve development, peace, human rights, justice, health and prosperity for all.
Thank you, Professor Nelson, for a job well done!
 
MY FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
Just before the third wave of the Covid-19 virus began to appear in our country, I embarked on a nationwide tour of the 15 political subdivisions of Liberia. Although this visit, long-delayed by the onset of the first wave of Covid-19, was intended to thank Liberians for our historic 2017 election victory, it also afforded me the opportunity to observe the development challenges that we face as a country, from a closer and more personal perspective.
One of the recurring themes, which remained prominent and consistent throughout my revealing journeys, was the large infrastructural deficit. Liberia cannot boast of being the first independent African nation when, up to today, we lack the proper health, educational, governance and infrastructure systems befitting such a status.
 
That is why since our incumbency, my Administration has endeavored to tackle roads and other basic infrastructure requirements so as to bring improvement to the lives of our people, as well as ensuring that there is adequate access to services. In spite of many challenges, we have rehabilitated thousands of kilometers of roads across the country, built hundreds of housing units, constructed and rehabilitated many schools, hospitals and several market buildings. We will continue our infrastructure drive, in keeping with the Pro-Poor Agenda, until we can begin to reduce the infrastructural deficit because, the very existence of this deficit at this time in our national development trajectory can be regarded as a major historical failure.
In spite of the negative impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have ensured that the national development agenda is not derailed. With the firm and prudent fiscal and monetary policy measures we have instituted, inflation has return to single digit. There is also greater stability in the monetary sector and marginal GDP growth is projected.
 
MY FELLOW CITIZENS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
Sustainable development can only be achieved if there is sustainable peace. That is why we must all work collectively to maintain the peace we now enjoy. No matter how polarizing our democratic discourse may become, never again should we resort to violence to resolve our differences. We are all one people, irrespective of our political, ethnic or religious persuasions. Let me call on those religious leaders who are using their platforms to predict religious war, to instead use their influence to preach peace, prosperity and development. Today, Liberia is a nation that is at peace with itself, and with its neighbors. Let us all play our part to ensure that there will be no war again in our beloved country.
My Government will therefore continue to create the conditions necessary for the rights of every Liberian to be fully respected, regardless of political background, religion or ethnicity.
 
Each and every one of us has a stake in the future of our beloved country. We should therefore play our part in ensuring that we do not engage in acts that could derail the hard-earned peace that we now enjoy. We have reached this far as a Nation through the toil and tears of our forefathers. That is why maintaining peace remains the foundation of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development. It is a responsibility for which we must all be held collectively accountable.
On this day 174 years ago, our forefathers laid the bedrock for what was to become the Lone Star on the African continent. Our rich and shared history is filled with tales of triumphs and tribulations. But despite the many trials we have faced throughout the course of our history, we have remained resilient, realizing that this nation is our common patrimony. My fellow citizens, our unity in diversity and our resilience as a Nation has set the foundation for us to deliver peace and prosperity for generations yet unborn.
Let us be encouraged and inspired by the immortal words of our beloved National Anthem, which I now quote:
In union strong success is sure
We cannot fail!
With God above
Our rights to prove
We will o’er all prevail.
Long live Liberia, happy land!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God’s command!
Again, let me use this occasion to wish a happy Independence Day to all citizens at home and abroad. May God bless us all and our beloved Mama Liberia.
I thank you.

Pres. Weah Laments Development Deficits; Vows To Overcome Challenges

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Pres. Weah Laments Development Deficits; Vows To Overcome Challenges

MONROVIA. July 26 (LINA) – The President, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has described as major historical failure Liberia’s appalling infrastructural deficit.

Giving his nationwide address commemorating Liberia’s 174h Independence Anniversary, the Liberian Chief Executive reflected that one of the country’s recurring themes, which remained prominent and consistent throughout history, is its large infrastructural deficit. He said Liberia cannot boast of being the first independent African nation when, up to today, “we lack the proper health, educational, governance and infrastructure systems befitting such a status”.

“That is why since our incumbency, my Administration has endeavored to tackle roads and other basic infrastructure requirements so as to bring improvement to the lives of our people, as well as ensuring that there is adequate access to services,” the President said in a prerecorded national address on Monday, July 26, 2021. He said in spite of many challenges, his government has rehabilitated thousands of kilometers of roads across the country, built hundreds of housing units, constructed and rehabilitated many schools, hospitals and several market buildings.

Dr. Weah said his government will continue its infrastructure drive, in keeping with the Pro-Poor Agenda, “until we can begin to reduce the infrastructural deficit because, the very existence of this deficit at this time in our national development trajectory can be regarded as a major historical failure.” He continued: “In spite of the negative impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have ensured that the national development agenda is not derailed. With the firm and prudent fiscal and monetary policy measures we have instituted, inflation has return to single digit. There is also greater stability in the monetary sector and marginal GDP growth is projected.”

President Weah is strongly convinced that the country’s infrastructure which, he said became more visible to him during his recent county tour across the country will remain undaunted unless strategically practical intervention is made. He assured Liberians that his administration will continue its roads development program in keeping with the flagship Development Platform, the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, PAPD, until the situation is improved.

President Weah asserted that it’s because of such national embarrassment that his Administration has endeavored to tackle roads and other basic infrastructure requirements in order to bring improvement to the people and to ensure that there is adequate access to services. He noted that in spite of many challenges, “we have rehabilitated thousands of kilometers of roads across the country, built hundreds of housing units, constructed and rehabilitated many schools, hospitals and several market buildings.”

Covid-19 and Liberians’ Resilience

Apart from the national infrastructural embarrassment recounted, the President also weighed in on the current health situation brought to bear by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the country is not being spared by the scourge of the pestilence, including infections and deaths.

“As we are all aware, since early last year, the entire world has been ravished by this deadly disease, which has infected almost 200 million persons so far, and resulted in the deaths of more than 4 million citizens of our various countries,” said the President. He added, however, that through strong leadership and effective implementation of health policies and protocols, as well as the sacrifices and dedication of our health workers, infections and fatalities have been kept to a minimum.

He recounted: “Last month, the country experienced an aggressive upsurge of the COVID-19 pandemic as opposed to the situation seen early this year and last year. Over a period of 3 weeks, the daily number of people testing positive for Corona virus increased from less than 10 to almost 100 per day and the proportion of people testing positive was as high as 20% over the same period.” As of July 24, the President quoted health ministry stats as saying that there is a cumulative number of 5,433 confirmed cases after 141,077 tests and nearly 38.5% or 2,094 of these cases were reported last month.

There have been 226 deaths since the onset of the pandemic in Liberia, with 140 of those deaths occurring since the recent upsurge of the disease, President Weah recounted. He also revealed that 95,867 Liberians have been vaccinated, of which 86,288 persons received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccines, while 9,579 have been fully vaccinated.

“Despite the above figures, I am pleased to inform you that the country has seen a significant decline in the number of confirmed cases since the beginning of July, and for the past week the number of confirmed cases has been less than 10,” he noted, expressing delight with the responsible manner in which citizens are heeding calls to adhere to the protocols announced by health authorities. President Weah said if the country is to be successful in the fight against the pandemic, it requires the collective support and cooperation of all citizens and residents strictly adhering to the published health protocols.

The Liberian leader pledged that his administration would continue to strengthen the strategic interventions that would urgently interrupt any chains of COVID-19 infections, emphasizing that he would continue to exert efforts to ensure that further spread of coronavirus is halted in Liberia. In order to achieve the rather milestone goal, the President disclosed that he has requested the allocation of additional US$2 million to enable Liberia obtain critical supplies for treatment centers and to assist in general case management and infection control.

He added: “Additionally, an amount of $8 million dollars was recently approved for Liberia by our development partners to help finance the acquisition of much-needed vaccines and supplies.”

Economic progress

According to the President, the government national development agenda is not derailed in spite of the negative impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic. He disclosed that inflation has returned to single digit due to firm and prudent fiscal and monetary policy measures the government instituted, adding that there is also greater stability in the monetary sector while marginal GDP growth is projected.

Peace & development

Meanwhile, President Weah has called on all citizens to play their part in the management and sustenance of the peace being enjoyed, stressing that sustainable development is possible with sustainable peace. “That is why we must all work collectively to maintain the peace we now enjoy. No matter how polarizing our democratic discourse may become, never again should we resort to violence to resolve our differences.

We are all one people, irrespective of our political, ethnic or religious persuasions,” President Weah admonished. The President called on religious leaders who are bent on using their platforms to predict religious war to instead use their influence to preach peace, prosperity and development.

“Today, Liberia is a nation that is at peace with itself, and with its neighbors. Let us all play our part to ensure that there will be no war again in our beloved country,” he noted. The President said Government will continue to create the conditions necessary for the rights of every Liberian to be fully respected, regardless of political background, religion or ethnicity.

“Each and every one of us has a stake in the future of our beloved country. We should therefore play our part in ensuring that we do not engage in acts that could derail the hard-earned peace that we now enjoy. We have reached this far as a Nation through the toil and tears of our forefathers,” the President stated. The Liberian leader used the occasion to remind Liberians of the ultimate sacrifices bore by the founding fathers who he said laid the bedrock for what was to become the Lone Star on the African continent.

He noted: “Our rich and shared history is filled with tales of triumphs and tribulations. But despite the many trials we have faced throughout the course of our history, we have remained resilient, realizing that this nation is our common patrimony. My fellow citizens, our unity in diversity and our resilience as a Nation has set the foundation for us to deliver peace and prosperity for generations yet unborn.” He said this year’s Independence Anniversary theme, “Together, We Are Stronger: Fighting COVID-19 and Achieving Development, Peace, Human Rights, Justice, Health and Prosperity for All” reflects the unique values and collective experience of Liberians as a resilient people who have prevailed through many adversities.

Applauding the national orator

President Weah thanked this year’s 26 Day Orator, Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, President of the University of Liberia, for what he termed “the magnificent way he expounded and expanded on this theme during his excellent Oration.” He said the oration eloquently delivered, carefully researched and historically instructive came as no surprise to him, given that the orator is a renowned academic and scholar.

“We will all do well to learn the important lessons and adopt the practical solutions that have been prescribed by the learned Professor to guide us in our collective behavior and attitudes, as we together seek to become stronger in fighting the deadly Coronavirus, while at the same time striving to achieve development, peace, human rights, justice, health and prosperity for all.” The President also congratulated all Liberians at home and abroad on the auspicious occasion marking the 174th Independence Day celebration of the Republic.

The lone survivor of the nine employees of WAEC narrates nightmare on sinking vessel

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The lone survivor of the nine employees of WAEC narrates nightmare on sinking vessel

Source:Thenewdawnliberia

The lone survivor of the nine employees of the West African Examination Council that were onboard the vessel NIKO IVANKA that sunk late Saturday, July 17, 2021, near the coast of Marshall City in Margibi County has been recounting his ordeal here.
“It was by God’s divine grace and not any human effort that I made it through and I also pray that the same grace by which I was successful will extend to my colleagues who have not yet been found, that they will find them”, Mr. Raymond C. Young explains to Joy Fm 101.5 on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Monrovia via mobile phone.

“We got to the pearl around 4 pm. The vessel was carrying lots of assorted items from what I did notice, it had cement, those jumbo bags from Cemenco, when I asked one of the crew members, he said they loaded about seven of those trucks onboard. They had rice, two LEC transformers, not those ones on the pole but those big ones that are planted on the ground, there were zinc, four drums of fuel, and other assorted items”, he says.

Mr. Young narrates that they took off from the Freeport of Monrovia at about one minute after seven Monrovia time on Saturday morning, July 17, 2021, and sailed smoothly initially, observing the area features of Monrovia. “You could see the American Embassy, the Executive Mansion, JFK, and then somebody posted that the engine went off.”

He continued that after the engine failed, the crew brought a heavy [diesel] generator which was used to continue the voyage, but noted that hence, an atmosphere of unease gripped everyone onboard that something sinister was looming.

“The picture I sent into our chatroom, it was a highly rustic vessel; so the process of even boarding the vessel itself was very risky; the chance of even falling into the pearl was highly likely”, he explains.

President Weah Receives Letters of Credence from Two New Ambassadors

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President Weah Receives Letters of Credence from Two New Ambassadors
 
Monrovia, Liberia – The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 received Letters of Credence from the diplomats of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Ghana.
Receiving Letters of Credence from the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Godfrey A. E. Odudigbo, President George Manneh Weah thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the people of Nigeria for being Liberia’s true friends in times of crises and peace.
 
Dr. Weah also praised his Nigerian counterpart for his leadership role in EOCWAS and for steadily fulfilling the organization’s goal of maintaining regional peace and security and promoting trade and free movement of its peoples.
The Liberian Chief Executive, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, welcomed the new Nigerian Ambassador.
“Liberia’s relationship with President Buhari and the People of Nigeria is enviable. I am sure your presence here will further strengthen and increase our partnership for lasting peace, security, trade and economic growth for the mutual benefits of the two countries,” Dr. Weah said.
 
Dr. Weah continued: “You are here at the time Liberia and the world are going through crisis, notably the COVID-19 Pandemic. Together, we can overcome this menace.”
Ambassador Odudigbo commended President Weah for his fruitful leadership in Liberia and the sub-region. He assured the Liberian Leader of his support as a direct representative of the people and government of Nigeria.
“Under your leadership, Liberia is peaceful and investors from Nigeria and other West African states and beyond are experiencing the noble impact,” the Nigerian Ambassador asserted. “Your pro-poor agenda for prosperity and development is an ideal platform for Liberia’s development and stability. I will work with you and the Government of Liberia to promote bilateral and multilateral collaborations.”
 
Also receiving Letters of Credence from the new Ghanaian Ambassador, H.E. Kwabena Okubi-Appiah, President Weah spoke fondly of the historic and mutually beneficial relations between Liberia and Ghana.
“Let us work together to foster local and international peace,” Dr. Weah told the new Ambassador who previously served with the Economic Community Monitory Group (ECOMOG) during Liberia’s civil crisis.
“Under my leadership, I will ensure that the rights of everyone are respected and peace and tranquillity reign. Join me and let us all continue to give message of peace,” Dr. Weah told the Ghanaian ambassador, who in turn lauded President Weah for keeping Liberia peaceful.
 
“I am pleased to represent my country this time as an Ambassador which now affords me the opportunity to work with this government,” H.E. Okubi-Appiah said, adding: “On behalf of my Government, I pledge to exert all effort to promote bilateral and multilateral relationship, trade and culture for the wellbeing of our two countries and peoples.”
The ceremonies were held separately at the President’s Jamaica Resort Office on the Robertsfield Highway, Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
 
The Liberian Leader hailed both envoys for their presentations and praised their various countries for their strong bond of friendship with Liberia over the years.
He recounted various milestone projects and assistance their governments have provided to Liberia’s recovery and development as well as paying the ultimate prize ensuring peace returns to Liberia.

EPA carried out an assessment engagement at the Omega Market in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

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A team of technicians and environmental scientists from Liberia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headed by Deputy Executive Director, Hon. Randall M. Dobayou on Monday 19 July 2021 carried-out an assessment engagement at the Omega Market in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The assessment engagement follows the naming of the EPA on a Special Presidential Committee by His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah.
 
His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, on Friday, April 16 2021 appointed a Special Presidential Committee for the comprehensive cleanup exercise of all county capitals and the city of Paynesville.
The cleanup exercise will kick start through the effective implementation of a 90-day Action Plan, commencing Friday, July 16, 2021, ahead of the 2021 July 26 Independence, which is to be celebrated by all Liberians.
The 90-day Action Plan is part of the Government’s Reform measures on the efficient management of market grounds in the country, with an initial focus on the grounds of the newly constructed Omega Market in the City of Paynesville.
 
The Special Presidential Committee will be headed by the Ministry of Public Works as Chair and Co-chaired by the Monrovia City Corporation.

Liberian vessel, Niko Ivanka sinks On The Cost of Liberia, Several Still Missing

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At least 15 people missing after ship sinks in Liberia: According to report, at least persons on board the sinking Niko Ivanka have been rescued with the help of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia along with the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority informed journalists Sunday morning that additional 15-17 people are still missing.

Niko Ivanka Vessel Sinks On The Cost Of Liberia, Several Still Missing

Search and rescue operations are ongoing, a coastguard official said at a news conference in the capital Monrovia.  He added that some people had been rescued on Saturday night as the ship was sinking.

The head of Liberia’s Maritime Authority Eugene Lenn Nagbe told reporters that the vessel in question had earlier been placed “under detention orders” because it was unseaworthy. Liberian daily FrontPage Africa reported on Saturday night that 21 people were aboard the vessel and a rescue operation began after it sent out a distress call.

The whole truth about this sinking vessel is below:
A total of 18 persons (9 crew members and 9 personnel from WAEC Monrovia Office) on board Niko Ivanka sank between Little Bassa and Marshall City. They were en route to Maryland County, Southeastern Liberia.
The vessel in question (Niko Ivanka) was a cargo carrier and not intended for passengers. In fact, it was declared unsafe and later detained from travelling on high sea.
 
Before Niko Ivanka could embark on this trip, NPA CSC PFSO warned and even stopped this vessel from sailing due to its unsafe status. The ISPFS also warned but no one could listen; not even the Port Managing Director.
The Port MD later called ISPFS and PFSO to allow Niko Ivanka to sail. The Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) was also reluctant to assess and ensure SOLAS. LiMA failed to approve this vessel for safety.
So far, 11 persons have been rescued and 7 are reportedly dead. The Port MD and LiMA should be held fully liable for this unfortunate disaster. We are calling for a full-scale investigation.
Why this disaster? This disaster happened because of bad road condition. The road leading to Maryland, Grand Kru, and Sinoe is almost impassable, if not totally impassable. This was also caused as a result of negligence and administrative ineptitude.
 
While lawmakers are sharing 30k among themselves, our people have to risk their lives on high sea. Our people are dying from such disaster that could be prevented. This is really sad.
Our heart goes out to all families whose relatives were entrapped in this tragedy.
Note:
  1. PFSO means Port Facility Security Officer
  2. ISPFS means International Ship and Port Facility Security
  3. SOLAS means Safety of Life at Sea.
More details to follow..
Activist Martin K. N. Kollie reports from exile…

Robert International Airport To Undergo Reform

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Robert International Airport To Undergo Reform. The Roberts International Airport had been a source of pride for Liberians at some point before our civil war. Built by the U.S. government during World War II about 45 kilometers from Monrovia and subsequently operated by Pan American World Airways until 1984, the airport had hosted direct flights from New York and re-fueled planes headed for Accra, Nairobi and Johannesburg. In addition to being Liberia’s first point of contact for many international travelers, Roberts was also a key component of Liberia’s economic infrastructure, servicing cargo planes flying to and from the region.

Stating The Problems: Before President Weah took office in January 2018, one of the major revenue generating areas(The Cargo Section)of the airport was outsourced in 2017. The Airport currently has a liability of more than US$900,000 in debt( Payment to NASSCORP from 2017 August up to present). The Airport which monthly revenue before the pandemic is said to be approximately US$1 million can not cover the costs of running the Airport. Though operational with the support of government subsidies, Roberts remains in dire need of emergency assistance for its “Power” situation. Operating on a cash basis and having no robust system of accounting for income and spending, the airport’s internal structure invited staff corruption. The staff is nearly triple the size necessary to operate the facilities—a problem exacerbated by the political practice of using civil service positions as the means of employment. At the same time, Roberts International Airport lacks the skilled personnel critical for successful operation.

The Challenges: Roberts International Airport is in a nightmare. It is a place where high level of Undermining and Deception have brought about a lack of financial accountability fostered endemic corruption; it is a place where the workforce is bloated and poorly trained, and finally it is a place where the country’s volatile political climate has created uncertainties about efforts aimed at changing the airport’s culture.

Starting The Reform Process: These are some major reform steps needed if we are to get the Airport back on course.
*There should be a financial controls put into place.
*Overhauling of the airport’s human resource practices.
*Training and preparing airport staff to sustain the reforms.

Financial controls: The first priority at the Roberts International Airport will be securing the revenue flow. You can’t do anything without money. People cannot be coming to the airport and paying bills, and the money isn’t accounted for. So there should be delineating reforms to keep track of the airport’s revenue flow.
Eliminate travel allowances for trips to
Monrovia, which often totaled as much as
US$100 to US$150, as well as weekly $30 to $50 snack subsidies for group managers. Reduced the budget of the airport’s public relations department and cut unnecessary costs.

Optimizing capacity: For an Airport that is deep in debt, identifying the most efficient number and placement of staff would be a key component in limiting expenditures and identifying staffing needs for the future. There should be an audit process of identifying areas for workforce cutbacks, and organizational structure, including staff numbers for specific departments.

There should be layoff of some of the passengers service staff, many of whom are partisans without basic training in said department.
You can’t have people in one segment of the organization trying to do things that are the responsibilities of another area, it leads to problems.
Take the security sector from the foreigner and let Liberian take charge.
Enlist outside agency the Ministry of Labor, to help assess the quality of airport staff.
Group managers should be asked to
submit names of employees to retain and those to lay off. If group managers dragged their feet, decisions should be made using skill and experience level as the main criterion.
Begin with larger departments such as security and operations, and progressively moved to smaller departments including financial sections. There should be an offered of voluntary retirement packages—immediate pensions of 40% of their salaries in addition to small severance payments—to employees close to retirement age. Employees who did not qualify for retirement received larger immediate severance packages: two months’ salary, payments for accumulated leave, and a month’s salary for each year they worked at the Airport.

Finally, the reforms will initially be difficult to implement as a result of resistance from both airport management and staff. Layoffs and benefit cuts will anger the rank and file. Introducing cuts to travel allowances, staff support for reforms will began to wane.
The reforms will alienate some managers as well as staffers. For example,deputy managing directors or staffers who are nearing retirement or are not qualify to keep their positions under this reform, will be forced to choose between a demotion and a severance package.
On this note, appointing a Reformer as the Managing Director without interference from the Executive and other government officials, will redirect the future of the Robert International Airport on the right trajectory.

Written By: Duddee Finishson, Political Scientist, Revolutionary and A Political Strategiet

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