Politics TOP STORIES

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Can a Coalition Defeat CDC in Montserrado Midterm?

GANGING UP AGAINST WEAH?

PUL BOYCOTT FEARS
Incoming Press Union of Liberia President Calls Against Boycott of PUL Induction, Pledges More Committees to Women

Media Issues

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CENTRAL BANK OF LIBERIA
MARKET BUYING AND SELLING RATES LIBERIAN DOLLARS PER US DOLLAR

BUYING MONDAY, DECEMBER 16 , 2013 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2013 MONDAY, DECEMBER 23 , 2013 L$81.00/US$1 L$82.00/US$1 L$82.00/US$1

SELLING L$82.00/US$1 L$83.00 /US$1 L$83.00/US$1

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www.frontpageafricaonline.com
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2013

These are indicative rates based on results of daily surveys of the foreign exchange market in Monrovia and its environs. The rates are collected from the Forex Bureaux and the commercials banks. The rates are not set by the Central Bank of Liberia.

VOL 8 NO.505

DON KAN REJECTS ‘CHEATERS’ LABEL
WITH THEIR CONTAINERS AT THAT POINT THEY DON’T REALIZE SHORTAGE IN THEIR FUEL

“THE MINISTER AND HIS ASSISTANTS HAVE PRIVATE GENERATORS. THEY ALL COME TO DON KAN FOR FUEL

PRICE L$40

Gas Station Fires Backs, Says Allegations from Ministry of Commerce False, Unfounded, Accuses Ministry Of Witch Hunting

Business Ü Pg.11

See PG 2

FrontPage
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VOL 8 NO.505

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2013

Sports

PRICE L$40

MOBBED ON ARRIVAL
Champions Dwight Trokon Joseph returns home after a successful year in the USA.

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Tuesday, December 24 , 2013
fears of an economic collapse? A case in point, the budget dropped from a whopping US$672 million projection for fiscal year 2012/13, scaling down the government’s revenue intake to US$550. The result has meant more headaches for Liberian consumers affecting by the ongoing crisis looming especially during the holiday season when many are finding it difficult to make ends meet and bring smiles on the faces of their families this holiday season. The reason lies in the fact that the under the PFM law, the national budge comprises all revenues and expenditures, on a gross basis, of the central government, including budget to sub national governments, autonomous agencies and funds, public or private enterprises or financial institutions, non‐government entities or institutions, or private persons. It is no secret that the budget drop is have a major impact on the implementation of key development initiatives and undermine government's ability to deliver on quick-impact programs and other important programs. During the year under review, the Ministry of Finance pointed to the inability of the Liberian government to generate revenues from certain programs such as logging due to the ban place on the Private Use Permits as among the factors contributing to the budget shortfall. The primary function of the SoE is to ensure and promote transparency surrounding revenues, expenditure, assets and liabilities of SOE's; better management of contingent liabilities; and oversight of funding and borrowing activities of SOEs, in compliance with the PFM Law. The SoE sector remains a key part of the Government's National Economic Agenda, government has met challenges in getting SoEs fully complying with the Law. "A review of our preHIPIC financial position reveals that guarantees issued by the Government on behalf of SoEs amounted to a staggering 14% of r debt stock.

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Monrovia ombined, the various state-owned enterprises in Liberia have the potential to generate millions, if not billions of dollars into the national economy. In recent years, both the International Monetary Fund and the World

Bank have credit the SOEs for the decent rise of the Liberian government GDP. But the ongoing budget shortfall which has led to revenue decline which is gravely affecting government’s quickimpact and midterm socio-economic development projects. What went wrong in 2013? How can the SOE’s pick up the slack amid General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was appointed by President Sirleaf in September after Mr. Winsley Nanka acted as Auditor General for two months. This is not the first time Mr. Nanka acted as Auditor General. In April 2011 when Auditor General John Morlu was not re-nominated by President Sirleaf; Mr. Nanka acted as Auditor General until September 2012, when Mr. Robert Kilby re-nominated by the President, was confirmed by the Senate in less than one hour, an exercise later dubbed the 4-G nomination hearing. Kilby, who was nominate prior in August 2011, was withdrawn by President Sirleaf when controversy about his academic and professional credentials was questioned by critics of the administration. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: In the absence a fear factor, will this be the year, the once-powerful agency regain its footing and restore lost credibility? The jury is out.

Today, we continue our assessment for 2013 with a look at the State-Owned Enterprises and Security sectors.
most of these institutions are domiciled in Montserrado County. To its credit, the CBL has continued the active engagement of credit unions and village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) primarily because these are the two categories of institutions that serve the rural areas. The number of registered credit unions grew from 220 in 2012 to 350 by 2013 year-end in all fifteen counties. The bank made significant strides in exploring opportunities for expansion of mobile money in Liberia. During the course of the year, CBL continued to support initiatives intended to enhance job creation and improve general access to finance opportunities particularly in rural Liberia. These initiatives are intended to enhance growth and economic development. Thirty-one of these loans were provided to women-owned businesses. The CBL Mortgage Stimulus Initiative provided for the first time in Liberia a facility allocated through a commercial bank for Liberians to get loans for homeownership. A total of 69 loans, totaling over $2.6 Million USD have been disbursed under the program. The CBL Agricultural Stimulus Initiativerecognized that agriculture is the main driver of economic activities in rural Liberia. The $7.5 Million USD stimulus has a focus on the rehabilitation of preexisting farms with preference for investments requiring minimal gestation periods. The facility provides structured loans with consideration for the gestation period and is intended to impact rural Liberia. Over $4.6 Million in USD and over $65 Million in LRD have been approved and disbursed under in sectors such as rubber, cocoa, coffee, oil palm among others. A total of 12 counties have benefitted under the program. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: While the CBL SME Credit Stimulus Initiative provided loans to Liberian-owned small businesses resulting in a total of 93 loans awarded in Margibi, Nimba and Montserrado counties, and impacted industries including fisheries, petroleum, manufacturing, agriculture, among others, some forces including the Liberian government and the twin towers: World Bank and the IMF had reservations about the scheme with some suggesting that Governor Jones is using the program to nurture his potential political quest. Some political observers however believe that attempts to cut the scheme from Jones and the CBL could present a public relations nightmare for the UP-led government, which could be seen as taking bread from the working class in their quest to get back at the governor. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Will Governor Jones and the CBL survive calls to end the loan scheme? What becomes of marketers defaulting on loans? This could be the year that political pundits speculating on Jones’ rumored presidential quest get their answer – or maybe not… GRADE: B

GENERAL AUDITING COMMISSION
The Post-John Morlu era is still lingering in space with very little activities and a wave of controversy, FPA has however learned that the agency is currently conducting 57 audits and more than 20 are in the reporting stage. But despite these reports, the fear factor Morlu brought to the agency is gone and government ministries and agencies are pretty much having a field day with no strong oversight entity to keep alleged corrupt officials in check and on their toes. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: The GAC was drawn into a whirlwind battle with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Information and forced to defend itself over statements attributed to the government that audit reports from the premier auditing agency are not credible. The agency went on to release two reports, one on the Roberts International Airport and another on the Education Ministry. The GAC in its reports, accused the two entities of financial mismanagement of Public funds. In separate reports the GAC accused the management of the RIA of giving board fees to board members upon the mandate of the Managing director at the time without any policy. The audit report also stated that some members of the board were employees of government, serving in senior positions and were at the same time receiving board fees separate from their monthly salaries. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The year 2013 was a rocky year for the GAC, An organization set up to fight graft found itself engulfed in conflict of interest web when the Auditor General Robert Kilby was fired by President Sirleaf in July 2013 for not disclosing his equity interest (ownership interest) in a company which was hired to perform consultancy service for the General Services Agency. Kilby, believed to be the shortest tenure Auditor General in the history of Liberia (10) months, hired 78 persons during his tenure, 28 of them in June, 2013. FPA has learned that his hiring spree has created over US$350,000 deficit in the GAC payroll budget for the 2013/2014 Fiscal Year. Yusador Gaye, a former Inspector

GRADE: INCOMPLETE- Madam Gaye, Insufficient information to evaluate her performance -No Grade (NG)

CENTRAL BANK OFLIBERIA
The CBL was in a dogfight during the year under review with its controversial loan scheme. Despite the publicity surrounding the saga, the bank continued its approach of advancing financial inclusion in Liberia through the support and engagement of microfinance institutions, community credit unions and village savings and loan associations. 2013 BIGGEST HITS: The bank was worked closely with with mass-based organizations to structure for their members a financial credit union so that those members could also be gradually integrated into the formal financial system. The effort played a key role in a number of new registrations of microfinance institutions, bringing the total number of registered institutions by year-end to eighteen. But despite the inroads made, distribution of offices in the political subdivisions of the country is still a challenge as

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

WHO PASSED? WHO FAILED?
United States Dollars from a group of criminals abroad. Fombah described the report as calculated nuisance intended to tarnish his hard earned reputation and integrity, especially as head of the national Security Agency Liberia that has been readmitted- Intothe comity of nations form a pariah state readmitted- Into-the comity of nations form a pariah state. He said, he-had intended not to comment -on the -National -Security- Implication as mentioned in the media report, but it has become necessary for him to distance himself from the falsehood that he received six hundred thousand United States Dollars from a criminal group.

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Every General Sales Agency / General Sales Agent licensed by the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority shall be established, headed and owned 100% by Liberians. Therefore, the Authority demands that all general sales agencies in Liberia should have more Liberians employed at the ratio of 5 Liberians to 1 foreigner (should a foreigner be need).” OUTLOOK FOR 2014: The dictates of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) remain untenable. A critical review is compelling to avert any untoward action with dire consequences. GRADE: B

2014 OUTLOOK: With full powers at its disposal minus checks and balance, the NSA is on course to become to most powerful and only security agency in the country with very little to show for its massive budget which does not require explanation.

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY
The agency responsible for providing National Security Intelligence to the President and the Republic of Liberia appears to have successfully fought its way into making it the sole security agency in the country with the near elimination of the Ministry of National Security and the National Bureau of Investigation whose budget has been minimized to paid staff and no funding for investigation, against legislative approval. The decision did not go down well with some lawmakers. Representative Alfred Koiwood(CDC, Gbarpolu) told FrontPageAfrica during the year: “Well, the president’s quest to shutdown the Ministry of National security and the National Bureau of Investigation is a complete disservice to the Liberian,” he said. We are informed that UN came to keep peace and they are not here perpetually which means we should have a security that will take over and that security should be in the hands of the Liberian people.” The legislative body’s decision to keep the ministry of National Security from being shut down faced resistance from the executive branch of government which reportedly requested the Ministry of Finance not to allot funding for the ministry, ending checks and balance within the sector. Critics say giving the NSA so much power and a massive budget on par with the Ministry of Justice eliminates checks and balances among the security sectors with no other agency available to counter check the other. Ironically, the NSA is also responsible for collecting, analyzing and disseminate overt and political, economic, cultural and sociological intelligence for the country and providing all possible means for the adequate protection of the Government and the Republic against subversion, espionage, sedition, adverse propaganda and sabotage. The Ministry of Justice shall issue orders and regulations with the approval of the President with regards to the performance of such additional functions as circumstance may dictate for securing the safety of the State. FrontPageAfrica reported during the year that the NSA had been at loggerheads with the Ministry of National Security for quite some time with some suggestions among security circles that the NSA has been feeling jittery and suggesting to the presidency that the two agencies were duplicating functions. In contrast, legislators are advocating that the country needs the MNS and other security agencies to fill in the gap that would be created when the United Nations finally pulls the last troop out of Liberia by 2015. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: The agency which has an individual budget of US$5,129,797, same as the Executive Protection Service with US$5,692,341, came under the spotlight during the course of the year. The National Security Agency is one security agency with huge budgetary allotment with most of the money said to be spent on intelligence services. The agency is allotted US$5,129,797 in the 2013-2014 fiscal budget and good portion of the budget, US$1.5 million is directed to intelligence services. Besides US$622,533 allotted for basic salary for paramilitary services, the NSA has US$4,507,264 for operations surpassing the operational budget of the state army. The Armed Forces of Liberia has a total of US$12,532,864, out of which US$8,500,000 is budgeted for basic salary-Military services leaving an amount of US$4,032,864 for general allowance, local and international travels, repair and maintenance and other overall operations. Personnel expenses are fixed throughout the budget year, making the state army to have only US$4,032,864 for operations excluding the US$ US$8,500,000 personnel expense as opposed to the NSA which has less number of personnel as reflected in the budgetary allotment for personnel salaries. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The media-shy Fomba was lured into a response and forced to address what he described as total rubbish media report that he received six hundred Thousand

GRADE: F

LIBERIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION (LIBTELCO) LIBERIA CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY
The Leadership imbroglio that marred the Roberts Flight Information Region for well over 18 months was finally resolved amicably – thanks to Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Alpha Conde of Guinea. But it was the finalization of the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) of the landmark GPS / RNAV procedures for safe landing and takeoff at Roberts International Airport (RIA)which will allow all aircraft to land even when the visibility is lower than one nautical mile, that enhance the LCAA during the year. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: Liberia resurfaced as Aircraft and PowerPlant Engineering dux for the 2013 class from Ethiopian Aviation Academy, a boost for the Department of Flight Safety Standards As a major plus to RIA, the AERONAUTICAL procedures also put the airport in the position to be used as an alternate when the weather is bad at other airports in the region or when there is equipment failure. The Delta Air Lines’ intervention constitutes a significant cost-saving advantage for the Liberian government due to the elimination of acquiring and maintenance cost associated with older and more expensive ground-based navigational aids. During the period under review, Liberia bagged two regional caps; Chairman Board of Directors of the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization (BAGASOO) and Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Roberts Flight information Region. The LCAA also worked during the year to ensure that aircrafts safely land and takeoff from runway 22 and runway 04 at Roberts International Airport putting the Airport on course with the installation of newly acquired Air Navigational aids – courtesy of the Government of Liberia – already in-country. All is now set for the refurbishment of the Air Traffic Control Tower with modern state of the art equipment; 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The troubling signs of the Ellen Corkrum saga raised red flag about the fate of Liberia’s lone international airport and crucial gateway to the country. As typical of a political atmosphere; there will be jostle and scramble for filling the void. The airport was in a real mess – unpaid workers’ salaries, damning and worrying ICAO and IATA audits findings, the controversial Collective Bargaining Agreement signed at the behest of the Musu Bility as Chair of LAA and forced down RIA’s throat in the absence of empirical research and strategic reasoning coupled with a perennial malfunctioning air navigation system. President Sirleaf turned to Archie Williams to fix what industry insiders say, a handful of square pegs in round hole wrongly entrenched. Critics purporting to be obscurely familiar aviation argued that serving the capacity of regulator and operator was not the best option. More importantly, amid a unanimous decision sanctioned by the Board of Directors, Weasua Air Transport was ordered shutdown the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority for violating Part 14: 14.6.8 of LCAA Regulations, which stipulate that: “No person who is an employee of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority or the Liberia Airport Authority shall hold financial interest or a position of management with a general Sales Agency/ General Sales Agent.

The agency with a lot of expectations remains one of the poor-performing entities in post-war Liberia which appears to lack the missing ingredient that could propel it to another level in the wake of Liberia’s entry into the high-speed age. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: The Liberia Telecommunications Corporation or LIBTELCO launched Liberia's first post-war fastest internet service, the Fiber Optic Cable. The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine communication cable is a planned Fiber Optic Cable system. The submarine cable is more than 17,000 kilometers in length, connecting about 25 countries, including Liberia, along the West Coast of Africa. The cable provides broadband interconnection to global telecommunications and ICT networks. BIGGEST MISS: The suspension of the entire board of LIBTELCO including the Corporation’s Managing Director, pending the conclusion of an investigation, capped an otherwise uneventful year for the agency. FrontPageAfrica has learned that the LIBTELCO board reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understand with the company at a rate of 40 percent for Liberia and 60 percent for the company. However, sources say, the board was cautioned that such a transaction needed the approval of the Public Procurement Concessions Commission (PPCC) and an official within the Ministry of State reportedly raised a red flag, tagging the questionable transaction. The board reported failed to adhere to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act in concluding a contract with a European company, Ketter Telecom (K3). The President reportedly took the action following a meeting with the LIBTELCO Board on Friday evening. The Board consists of: Mr. Francis Horton, Chairman; Mr. Ben Wolo, Secretary & Managing Director; and members Ms. Ciata Victor, Mr. Floyd Thomas, Mr. Mohammed Sherif, Mr. James Cooper, and Mr. Jackson E. Doe. K3 Telekom company is a provider of telecommunication equipment and services. According to the company’s website, it specializes in building networks for clients that previously rejected standard networks that lack in economical appeal. “We have patented a unique technology that allows superior two-way transfer of telecommunication services over long distances. Whether we wish to provide access to the internet, television or telephone, our technology ensures an extremely reliable and powerful means of transferring data to a large number of end-users at a fraction of the cost of building the standard infrastructure.” OUTLOOK FOR 2014: While the ACE is expected to enhance post-war Liberia development in the areas of creating new business and career opportunities in technology, providing greater access to global markets for Liberian goods and services, giving Liberians superior access to News and Information, and improved access to banking systems and international financial institutions. Will this be the year LIBTELCO fulfill the potential many feel they have to really place Liberia among high speed technology age. GRADE: D

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FrontPage EDITORIAL
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A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE, MADAM PRESIDENT
SEVERAL VERSIONS are floating around but nothing official has been put on paper regarding what may or may not have happened between President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Chris Massaquoi, during the president’s visit to the Monrovia Central Prison last Saturday, December 21 2013. FROM THE PRESIDENT’S camp, reports are emerging that the president gave the police director the shove when he tried to greet the president who was performing her annual ritual to grant pardons and share a brief holiday moment with prisoners. ACCORDING TO SOME sources, the President wanted nothing to do with Massaquoi and made him know as much by snubbing his gestures to greet her at the prison. ANOTHER VERSION from those close to Massaquoi suggests that the incident was the result of an overzealous Executive Protective Service Officer who ordered Director Massaquoi to take his hands from his pocket before greeting the president, triggering an altercation between Director Massaquoi’s officers and officers of the EPS. A POLICE SOURCE confided to FrontPageAfrica Sunday that the matter is currently under investigation and the video of the incident is being reviewed by both the EPS and the police before a finding can be reached. TENSION BETWEEN the EPS and the Police stems from the recent revelations on a secret recording by Ellen Corkrum and her fiancé Melvin Johnson, on which it appeared that Director Massaquoi was aiding and abetting the fugitive pair in the plan to flee prosecution. In August, the Liberian government announced an indictment of Cockrum and her fiancé, accusing the pair with the crime of Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property, criminal conspiracy and misapplication of entrusted property. Cockrum was indicted along with LAA board chair, Musa Bility, Diaspora Consulting LLC thru Moamar Dieng. THE INDICTMENT alleged that the accused conspired to and did do and commit the crime of economic Sabotage in flagrant violation of Chapter 15, sub-chapter “F”, section 15.81(a)(b)(c),Misapplication of Entrusted property in violation of Chapter 15, sub-chapter “D”, sections 15.56; Theft of Property in violation of Chapter 15, subchapter “D”, section 15.51 (a)(c); Criminal Conspiracy in violation of Chapter 10, sub-chapter “D” section 10.4 (1)(2)(3)(4) of the penal code of Liberia. The recording confirms speculations circulating in various circles that Corkrum and Johnson fled Liberia through road because the airport authorities had apparently been alerted not to let them leave the country. ON THE TAPE, Director Massaquoi is heard telling the pair that instructions from as high up as the presidency have put in motion all stops to prevent them from leaving the country. “I am aware of the action that should be carried out, for you not to leave. In this Liberia, these people can frame people all kind of way. But Melvin You a lawyer now. You got to help the girl out,” Massaquoi is heard on the tape. THE MASSAQUOI RECORDING followed another recording released earlier this year on which Defense Minister Brownie Samukai bowed to mounting pressure when he apologized to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and his colleagues in government about comments made against them in a secret recording carried leaked by Corkrum and her fiancé. SAMUKAI WOULD LATER apologized at a regular press briefing on Thursday, September 5, 2013, revealing that when he recognized as a normal human being that his own fault has come to the public domain it is incumbent upon him to take responsibility for such action. “First, I want to tell you that I take full responsibility for what you heard although it is greatly edited and I choose not to go into that version. I take full responsibility to granting the kind of access that Ellen Cockrum had to me that gave her the opportunity to do the recording that she did.” FRONTPAGEAFRICA HAS also gathered that Samukai himself was subject to search at a Cabinet meeting shortly after the recording controversy by officers of the president’s security detail. Samukai reportedly rejected the search and left the meeting. ON TODAY, MONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2013, the Supreme Court is expected to hear a case involving the Monrovia Liquor Store, a business interest of Minister Samukai and the Revenue Department of the Ministry of Finance. ACCORDING TO REPORTS, Samukai is accusing the revenue department of try to overtax a shipment of Heineken by nearly three times the value of the shipment. SADLY, THE case is actually an extension of a long-running beef between Minister Samukai and Finance Minister Amara Konneh going back to the Corkrum recording on which Samukai was heard saying some not so pleasant things about the Finance Minister. WE STRONGLY believe that the turn of events unfolding under the nose of the President of the Republic of Liberia does not augur well for the presidency and the security of the state. THAT THE PRESIDENTS’ security detail may be involved in vengeance against those heard on a secret recording who also happen to be in the security sector speaks volumes to seriousness of this matter. IT IS OUR hope that the President will take the necessary steps to prevent this from spilling out of control and further endangering our already fragile post-war environment. A stitch in time, Madam President saves nine. A Hint to the Wise…

WHAT REALLY HAPPEN BETWEEN CHRIS MASSAQUOI AND MADAM SIRLEAF?

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Monrovia —

LIBERIAN OFFICER TAKES COMMAND OF ARMED FORCES OF LIBERIA’S 23RD BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS

SPOT NEWS

Tuesday, December 24 , 2013

he Armed Forces of Liberia moved closer to operational independence last week when Liberian Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Ziankahn assumed command of the 23rd Brigade from Nigerian Army officer Colonel Audo. This change of command marks the first time that a Liberian officer has commanded the unit in approximately four years. The change of command ceremony featured a passing of the colors, an official transfer of authority, and a display of the lineages of previous commanders. The assumption of brigade command by Lieutenant Colonel Ziankahn, one of the AFL’s best leaders, is a seminal event in Liberia’s progression toward fully commanding its own military. United States and ECOWAS military mentors have conducted sustained military-to-military training engagements with the AFL to help them build a more professional and capable military force – one that will effectively contribute to the overall security environment and that is a “force for good” within Liberia.

Commentary

As the Liberian Economy plummets, its managers get year-end honors from Journalists, Newspapers, etc…..

HONORS FOR SALE!!
John Y. Harris, harris_john58@yahoo.com> , Contributing Writer

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he masses of Liberians who continue to suffer debilitating effects of a rapidly declining economy may not help but succumb to frustration and fury when they see the front pages of newspapers brandishing the smiling faces of those under whose sluggish stewardship the economy is nose diving; government budget has twice shrunk in one year; and the exchange rate of the Liberian Dollars against the US Dollars has skyrocketed. Deteriorating purchasing power of ordinary Liberians is increasing hunger and destitution in the country. While many Liberians are baffled by the apparent grounding of the economy due to the proven inability of its managers to bring to bear shrewd strategies to tackle the sharp fall in government’s revenue generation; and despite the fact that poor monetary policies, wacky financial inclusion plans, the politicization of the work of the Central Bank and of access to credit, are unmasking the poor performance from January to December, some media actors, especially from the print media, have already begun to draw up year-end honor role listings and to lickseal the envelopes containing the names of so-called “best performers of the year”. It will come as a great surprise to many (but certainly not to Liberia’s “cato” journalists) that the two names now being brandished in media circles as “minister of the year” or “man of the year” are those of misfit Amara Mohammed Konneh-Minister of Finance, and the rambunctious Dr. Mills Jones - Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, both of whom should instead compete for Liberia Economic Notoriety Award. These are the main individuals under whose management (or better still, mismanagement) the country’s economy is being wrecked. What a big shame!!! Interestingly, the activities of these double-dealing individuals were doggedly followed from the inception

of the calendar year and their incessant failures were reported to the public on the very pages of some of the same newspapers that are about to bestow honors on them. With a media landscape riddled with journalists with integrity deficit and objectionable ethical record, and who would murder truth for a few unholy dollars, the Liberian people are asking themselves the question, who watches the watchdog? While we understand that the coming of the festive season pushes journalists, like everyone else, to respond to the need to meet ends, it is no excuse for public deception of a fake “best minister” or “best governor” of the year. A journalist must be more than mere public informant and information disseminator. He or she must be bold and courageous, truthful, analytical, objective, and most importantly, a champion of ethical uprightness and truth in society. Unfortunately, the state of journalism and media in Liberia is a sad story of media houses sacrificing their consciences by allowing themselves to be lobbied and bribed by the very ones who mismanage the economy. Some join-the-lists are painting rosy pictures of people who are noted for deceiving the noble Liberian Civil Servants in such instance as committing to increase salaries after obtaining twenty million dollars (20, 000,000) in savings from the cleanup of the payroll from ghost names. These individuals wreck and mismanage the economy but they diligently manage the press, paying for gowns in which they are honored. They should be made minister of information and press secretary to the president instead of economic managers because they lack professional strength and profundity of character. They pile up the people money from January and use it to buy honors from them in December through doling “happiness envelopes” in December. But the Liberian people in their anger are watching and they will act before you know it.

FrontPage
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR STORIES ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB

Send your letters and comments to: editor@frontpageafricaonline.com
YOU WRITE; WE PUBLISH; THEY READ!

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COMMENTS FROM FPA ONLINE
US DOLLAR GOLD DUST IN LIBERIA: CURRENCY DEPRECIATION DRIVING ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
WHY CAN’T WE DO THE SAME “Fellas, We can talk, write and talk, nothing going to improve. Our President has mind-set that this medium of communication (FPA) is against her administration, so if you submit a brilliant idea to move this country forward, she think you're also an enemy of the (failed) State (her administration). With all the economist (book people)from Harvard University (crooks), why can't we look at our friends like Ghana, or Nigeria and use their economy replica? We could just copy and paste instead of copying corruption and paste which is in all Liberian bloodstream. We (Liberian)like big-big show!! and the only way we can do that is to steal from government because our salary is not enough to take care of our many girlfriends, children and a stay-home wife. All we need to do is to put the shut to the up.” HELLEN Me, I don’t know. I went to Ghana when Gangay brought his trouble to us. I carried with me US money. So I went to buy food and they Ghana people say I must bring Ghana money. I say Hennn... You don’t want US? The fat Ghana woman say NO. My question... Why Liberia cannot do the same thing? SUMO PIPE “This simple economics. We import 90% of everything that we consume in this country. To import things we have to use US dollars to pay for them. Therefore, the importers have a very high demand for US dollars, because they cannot buy stuff abroad for LB dollars. To counter this high demand for foreign currency, we have to start producing products that we can sell abroad for the same US dollars. That is not happening at the moment. This is what makes the US dollar more and more expensive. And it will continue until we start to produce more than we import. Simple.” CHECHE “I agree Sumo, in addition to your brilliant but simple economic analysis, (Econ 101)top Ellen cronies and other high ranking officials (lawmakers, cabinet members, commissioners, etc)are paid in US dollars, and instead of injecting in the economy, a lot of them are paying mortgages abroad, while the vast majority of the unprivileged keep struggling for end meets. (Capital flight?). Yea, the Liberian people are seriously benefitting from the Harvard University graduates. What a shame!” HARD HITTER “Folks, I have a simple question, can you go to Ghana or Nigeria and buy goods over the counter with US$ or Local currency? There is double dealing in Liberia by the business people. They cornered all the USD(including that imported by the CBL) and yet sell to us in USD. And finally send out that money to their foreign bank accounts, mainly in Lebanon and India( i.e. Capital Flight), and then sit and wait for CBL to bring in fresh batch of FX. This vicious circle just continues.” PETR MULU “Dr. Jones says the economy has to earn the US dollar like any other foreign currency that it has to earn . He is right . But how ? Export . They both seemed to agree on that word without saying it because someone is responsible for the lack of agriculture export in Liberia . In his interview with FPA Dec 3 , 2013 , this is what the Minister had to say , "... The agriculture sector, while it is a large component of income and comprises about half of employment in Liberia, suffers from low productivity and largely comprises subsistence agriculture. So, we are aware of the issues(but does the Agriculture Ministry understands that ?), and we are taking steps to turn things around...." So in the absent of the agriculture sector export , because the MoA and MoF do not see eye to eye on this , Minister Konneh must depend on the concession companies alone to bring the hard currency in through export. Something that the economy has to earn . The ball is in the court of the MoA also . In a nutshell, our economy had basically being turned into a haven for capital flight. Until we get a grip of such( for example, single currency trade like Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, etc), we will continue to experience this FX shortage. The comments expressed here are those of our online readers and bloggers and do no represent the views of FrontPageAfrica

OBSERVING THE LAND COMMISSION WITH VIGILANCE:
AN OPEN LETTER TO DR. OTHELLO BRANDYAN OPEN LETTER TO DR. OTHELLO BRANDY

Dear Dr. Brandy: With admirations, I extend you a season greeting. I have contemplated a moment of reflection so necessary in bringing to your attention my observations. My year is made and I am glad that the moment has come as the clock shifts toward the advent a new year. My motivation, this time, stems from a news story that appeared in the December 18, 2013 edition of the Daily Observation Newspaper under the caption: ‘LC Chairman warns against the issuance of Tribal Certificates.’ Land matter has a very strong historical significance and is cardinal in building a spirit of inclusiveness and exclusiveness. As the matter stands, I feel compelled to flashback at Medieval Europe as a mean of pointing out the core issues in the Liberia context. Instead of a nationalism directed toward the nation-state, the system of land administration in Medieval Europe attracted the virtue to individuals ranging from vassals (lesser Nobles), powerful nobles to the kings. Lesser nobles’ owed loyalty to more powerful nobles in a master- servant relationship as a result of land gifts the came from the latter to the former. This concept of land system, embedded in what is known as feudalism, can be pictured as a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid were peasants, who farm the land. Many peasants were considered properties (Fiefs) attached to the land and could be transferred from one noble to the other. In view of the above conditions, many European societies were impregnated with frustration and aggression, only awaiting the fullness of labor pain that could hasten delivery. This state of volatility became visible in 18th century France. On July 14, 1789, the Bastille was stormed to symbolize the destruction of the ‘Old Regime’ which presided over lot of ills including an ugly land policy. When this news reached the provinces, the aroused peasants attacked nobles’ castles and destroyed the records of feudal dues. The situation as stated supra, is not different from the Liberian context. In the 1820’s, founders of our state introduced a legal framework that institutionalized a form of feudal system. Although the actual question of land purchase, as expressed in lot of narrations that relate to the Ducor Contract, portrays the image of a unilateral contract, the ACS allotted at least 10acres of farm land to each settler which could be held in fee simple. As in feudalism, the embodiment of the kingship was reflective in the ACS with settlers serving as the nobles. As a result, the dual system of land tenure in Liberia, statutory and customary, inevitably adjusted to prioritize statutory land ownership. Thus, customary claimants move parallel to peasants under feudalism with many, by analysis, considered fiefs. This view is fully supported by Unruh (2007) when he asserts that Liberians who

claim access to land under customary tenure are often regarded by government to be “occupants” rather than “owners” of the land. Mere occupancy by customary land claimants has become practical even in relation to the way in which government grants concessions. Currently, Golden Veroleum is licensed to carry on oil palm operation in the South-east. The determination of the concession area, totaling 220,000 hectares (about 500,000 acres) has not done injustice to customary ownership but also abused that land tenure system. Water pollution, eviction of customary claimants and disregard to sacred area are few of the abuses. Though there have been appeasement mechanisms aimed at righting the wrongs, the unique Liberian custom which places emphasis on respect for the ancestors and their perpetual attachment is yet to find a breathing space in our post-war democracy. The other side of the coin that I am bringing to your attention appertains to forest resource management under communal paradigm as recognized by the Community Rights Law (CRL). This is a critical land matter that, in my conviction, needs to be addressed by the New Land Law in process. A classical example is the Gba Community Forest in Nimba County. In 2011, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) transferred to the Gba Community Forestry Management Body (CFMB) the rights to manage the forest as envisaged by the CRL. Right now, Arcelor Mittal has claimed that the forest is in its concession area and that the land involve is to be used for the construction of a Tailing Management Facility(TMF). What remains undisputed is that Arcelor Mittal only has claim to the iron ore under the ground but the community owns the forest. Such overlapping claims require meticulous approach. Even so, a corollary stands out to be the question of ownership to the land after the concession period. Since the forest will be nonexistent after the concession, does the land go back to the government or community dwellers? Amid the herculean task, however, I am aware that the Land Commission is making some gains. The road may be yet long but you are gradually on the path. The new land policy speaks volume of the gains. The wisdom of the policy which places customary land on par with private land is a victory for local people whose livelihood remains fundamentally attached to the land they consider their inheritance. In vigilance, I remain as I observe the activities of your institution from a concerned perspective. Best regards. Respectfully yours F.Mulbah Zig Forkpa, Jr. 0886380283/0776631962/fmulbahzig@gmail.com

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Rodney D. Sieh, Managing Editor, 0886-738-666; 077-936-138, editor@FrontPageAfricaonline.com; rodney.sieh@FrontPageAfricaonline.com Wade C. L. Williams, News Desk Chief, wade. williams@frontpageafricaonline.com; 0880664793 Francis F.B. Mulbah, Layout Editor; 0886639382 REPORTERS Sports Editor, Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@ frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886236528 Henry Karmo, henry.karmo@frontpageafricaonline. com Al-varney Rogers al.rogers@frontpageafricaonline. com, 0886-304498

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Sports Reporter, A. Macaulay Sombai,macaulay.sombai@ FrontpageAfricaonline.com, 077217428 COUNTY NEWS TEAM Grand Bassa, Alpha Daffae Senkpeni, 0777432042 Bong County, Selma Lomax, selma.lomax@ frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886-484666 Sinoe County, Leroy N.S Kanmoh, leroy.kanmoh@ frontpageafricaonline.com 0886257528 BUSINESS/ADVERTISING Kadi Coleman Porte, 0886-304-178/ 0777832753, advertise@ frontpageafricaonline.com

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Tuesday, December 24 , 2013
request was for a special commercial arrangement between LPRC and KPC for the supply of petroleum products at discount price to enable LPRC bring relief in the form of fuel subsidy to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), National Transit Authority (NTA) and the John F. Kennedy Hospital (JFK), among others. GRADE: B-

LIBERIA WATER & SEWER CORPORATION
During the year under review, the LWSC announced further extensions of its services to residents in Monrovia and its environs as part of plans by the corporation to restore piped water to all of Monrovia. The process of expansion begun when the Management of LWSC purchased and installed two electric high-lift pumps at the White Plains/Water Treatment Plant in March this year, thus enabling it to increase its supply from an average of about four million gallons per day (4mgd) to six million gallons per day (6mgd). This represents an increase of 50% in water pumped into Monrovia. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: As a result, of the increase, the corporation has since been able to extend the supply of water to several communities including West point, most parts of Central Monrovia including Mamba Point, Front Street, Benson Street Snapper Hill area, Newport Street, Carey Street, Ashmun Street up to UMU/Centennial Pavilion), Stephen Tolbert Estate in Gardnersville, ELWA Road (up to the ELWA Fence where the line has been cut by Road Construction Company), Rehab road, and Somalia Drive. In addition the corporation has revitalized three of its rural treatment plant and has begun supplying water in Zwedru, Kakata and partially in Robertsport. Many of these areas had not had access to water for several years until now. Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation Dr. Kimmie Weeks says he attributes the recent success to a dynamic Management team led by Managing Director Charles Allen and a reinvigorated work force. “We’ve come a long way from the ways when we could barely pump water for a few hours if at all to now working towards building up a robust system that can pump water throughout Monrovia for 12 – 24 hours a day.” Weeks outlined that the challenges faced by the corporation remain grave but noted that the Board of Directors and Management was “taking the bull by the horn.” The new Management of LWSC took over the corporation about a year ago and includes Mr. Emmett Watson and Mr. Frank Cassell. The Management says it will continue to expand services in the coming months with several more communities in urban and sub-urban areas expected to be connected. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: More than a decade after the civil war and two presidential elections later, only one in four Liberians have access to safe drinking water, according to the World Health Organization. More troubling, half of all Liberians have no access to a toilet and use streams or open areas. Outbreaks of water-borne diseases like cholera occur regularly. As many as 1 in 5 deaths in Liberia are blamed on water and sanitation problems. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Will this be the year, the LWSC rediscover itself in terms of meeting the water needs of citizens across the spectrum? GRADE: C+

OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Will the Motherwell Project Finally hold?

LIBERIA PETROLEUM REFINING COMPANY (LPRC) 2013 BIGGEST HITS: The LPRC management, during the year under review, met the demands of clients by ensuring that all three (3) petroleum products were available and distributed to all fifteen (15) counties. Petroleum product sufficiency on the Liberian market is made possible through the constant review and accountability measures put in place by the LPRC Operations Department. The management says it is on track to achieve a US$8.6 million net profit for 2013. Revenue as of November 30, 2013 was US$17 million, $2.3 million was paid to GOL as Corporate Tax, $2.2 million was paid to GOL in Dividends, 80,911,315 gallons was lifted and distributed to the fifteen (15) counties YTD. The company says it is on course to complete the rehabilitating and Expanding the Product Storage Terminal (PST) to be completed in 2015 and is currently in the 3rd Phase of the project. The LPRC also says that the modernizing and Rehabilitating the Ganta Oil Terminal (GOT) is on course to be completed in 2014. Also, the rehabilitating and Expanding the Crude Storage Terminal (CST) which is on course or completion in 2014 will create a much-needed facility which will supply Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to LEC and others. In 2013 there were few changes in the price of Crude oil on the world market. This caused movement in the pricing of refined products locally. We experienced an increase in prices the first couple of months of the year which trended down in the second quarter and half of the year when prices begin to decrease for both gasoline and fuel. In line with our Corporate Social Responsibility program, LPRC extended a helping hand to low income families and devastated communities. The company also provided building materials and school supplies to schools around the country. Hospitals and clinics also benefited through special donations and construction work. As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, the management has aided more than 100 institutions and communities in various parts of the country as part of its CSR program in agricultural projects supported in Montserado, Bomi, Margibi, Gbarpolu, Bong and Grand Cape Mount Counties. The management has also construction pumps in Montserrado, boleholes in Bomi, Gbarpulu, Margibi and Cape Mount and two bolehole wells at the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita Nimba County. A clinic is under construction in # 4 Compound, Grand Bassa County. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The LPRC management has been facing questions regarding the current status of the announced Kuwaiti Oil Agreement. The management announced on December 8, 2012, that it had entered into discussions with the Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC) for the supply of petroleum products at concessionary price. At the time, the management asserted that the

DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
The Agency charged with fighting drug-related crimes including drug trafficking at the country's borders, had its hands full during the past year amid rising cases of arrests and trafficking by both land, air and sea. The drug issue has engulfed post-war Liberia devastatingly effecting national security, stability, economic growth, and the health of our people, most especially the youthful population. Despite assistance from the United States and other international partners, who have been helping to crackdown on illicit drug trafficking in Liberia, the problem persists. The country is listed as one of those areas where heavy illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin and marijuana are transited to enter European and other western nations. Vehicles belonging to few government officials including former lawmakers were impounded with drugs while several other incidents have been reportedly shield to avoid public disgrace. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: Drug Czar Anthony Souh has been a strong advocate for the passage of strong drug laws but the post-war nation received a boost when the U.S. sent in a counter narcotic advisor to the DEA to assist in the formulation of policies that will enhance the work of the agency. The agency has also begun to craft its strategic vision for institutional development to affect four operational and administrative sectors such as Culture of Service and professionalization, enhancement of Operational and Intelligence anti-narcotics capability, institutional reorganization and above all, human resource development of DEA which will bring the agency on par with the best drug fighting organizations in the world. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The arrest of the head of the presidential motorcade for allegedly smuggling drugs in an official vehicle. Perry Dolo was arrested with 297kg (654lb) of marijuana after crossing over from Sierra Leone, it alleged. The jeep used is "Escort 1", which normally leads President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's convoy. Mr. Dolo was arrested with a Liberian, a Guinean and a third person believed to be a member of the Sierra Leonean military, the DEA said. The year also open Liberia to a new form of drug-trafficking via Kenya Airwasy. A FrontPageAfrica investigation uncovered that a Ugandan and Nigerian busted on Kenya Airways flight were aided by immigration and police officers. David Forkpah, an officer of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, according to sources solicited the help of two officers of the Liberian National Police- Sokpah A. Boy Saye and Bockarie Roberts to assist the Nigerian national pass through customs with the heroin. According to a memo detailing the arrest from the RIA commander in possession of FrontPageAfrica, the Ugandan entered the country as a guest of one Erica Kaba of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and a resident of ELWA Paynesville. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: In her 2013 State of the Nation, President Sirleaf pleaded with the National Legislature to pass into law An Anti-Drug Bill to help curtail drug trafficking and abuse in the country, will lawmakers finally get their hands passing in the coming year? GRADE: C-

LIBERIA PRODUCE MARKETING CORPORATION Probably the most dormant agency in Liberia, LPMC has a recurring dilemma, failing to implement programs to make farming and processing easier for farmers. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: During the year LPMC held capacity building workshops where 69 participants came from Bong, 52 from Nimba and 20 from Lofa who hopes were raise from the pronouncement made by LPMC Managing Director Nyah Mantein that the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has provided US$38 million for Liberia's tree corps farmers. The workshop was the first of its kind to be conducted by the LMPC in several years. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: Not much to crow about The Liberia Produce and Marketing Corporation (LPMC) is taking curative actions aimed at restoring it to the pre-war capacity and status with the holding of two-day capacity building workshop in Bopolu, Gbarpolu County. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: When will the LMPC and government do something about the low level of production for such a rich nation. GRADE : F

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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NATIONAL PORT AUTHORITY
LIBERIA AUTHORITY TELECOMMUNICATIONS
The gateway to Monrovia has undergone three managing directors since the post-war government took charge. From 2006 through 2011, Togba Ngangana, George Tubman(deceased) and Matilda Parker have all come up with different models in hope of improving the port with mixed results. 2013 BIGGEST HITS: The port management has had its hands full trying to ensure that the four key ports- Buchanan, Harper, Greenville and Monrovia remain open for business but it is an ambitious US$2 billion “Master Plan” for the further development and expansion of the four ports that caught the eye of many during the year. The NPA also welcomed the development of a brand new port in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County. For the NPA, the improvement and expansion of the Freeport and the ports of Buchanan, Greenville and Harper are critical to the expansion of business and industry in Liberia. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: While a lot of work has been done on the Freeport in recent years, the management continues to struggle in removing sunken ships, especially from the Greenville port. The issue of dredging has come up on several occasions and Executive Mansion sources told FPA during President Sirleaf’s visit to the port this year, that the president was not impressed with what she saw. Sunken ships were clearly visible at the Greenville Port despite management’s repeated claims that dredging and other initiatives have taken place at the Ports of Buchanan and Greenville, making them ready for the export of iron ore, timber and other products. Much more needs to be done at the Port of Greenville to make it ready for the export of iron ore by the time the Putu Mines in Grand Gedeh County come into production three years hence. But we strongly believe that the most urgent project Matilda Parker and her team at the NPA have on their hands at this time is the building of the Port of Robertsport in Grand Cape Mount County. MD Parker was engulfed in a war-of-words with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission after a report claimed that Parker and a number of government officials allegedly misrepresented the facts and lied in their declaration of assets. The LACC particularly noted that the managing director of the Monrovia Port Authority Matilda Parker lied about the value of her assets and failed to cooperate with the commission in its efforts to get her to straighten the records provided.“Miss Parker was also asked to disclose the seller of the aforementioned Sophe community property and the contact details of the seller. Mrs Parker disclosed the name of the seller but declined to disclose any contact details; telephone, residential address, and or other means of contact,” stated LACC boss Cllr. Frances Johnson Alison during a news conference on Tuesday. Parker insists that she had provided the commission all the information it needed to know in the process. “LACC raise three points against me 1. I stated that my property was valued at 750,000. But when they checked it was 300,000. Two points. LACC must be unaware of the massive reduction in property value in the USA, and have selected to ignore the fact that this property was purchased in 2006 and the MD started at NPA in 2009,” states Parker in a text message response. She said the LACC claimed that she only provided the name of the person that she purchased a property from in 2008 that is located behind Sophe’s but questioned the entity to state the law that requires individuals to stay in touch someone they bought a property from four years after the transaction. Parker also acknowledged in a GAC report covering 2006 to 2008, records that government sustained a loss of US$ 6.9 million to 83 landed proprieties or lease agreements. Addressing the Joint Committee on Public Account on Tuesday at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, Madam Parker described the agreements as ones that were not signed during her administration, but promised to collaborate with the GAC and the National Legislature to remedy the situation. “We have been able to acquire deals for all four ports under the managerial authority of the NPA”, she said. “Now that we have legal possession of all of our facilities, we can now go to court if the need be, before then, we could not go to court because these documents were not available for our legal backing,” she asserted. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Will this be the year the foreign companies end their complaints of bottlenecks and difficult working ties with the NPA? GRADE: C-

FORESTRY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
The country with perhaps the biggest surviving rainforest in West Africa endured a turbulent year marred by corruption, illegal sale of forests and a rather disturbing international picture, Liberians would love to forget. The state corporation mandated to sustainably manage and conserve all forest resource for the benefit of present and future generation may have a hard time recovering from the 2013 storm. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: A low year for one of Liberia’s biggest earners. The PUP scandal not only brought embarrassment to the country and its president but contributed to the budget deficit now hurting the country. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The revelation in June on how the government had granted 63 licenses allowing companies to cut down 58 per cent of all the primary rainforest left in the country proved to have brought the biggest international embarrassment in the past year. The "Private Use Permits" were awarded by aides close to the presidency and virtually every license were handed out in breach of the laws of the land. The President was forced to freeze the distribution of permits but failed to order cancellation of existing ones. At least ‘29 illegal licenses have been withdrawn and processing is already in play for the cancellation of the remaining 34. The illegal granting of logging permits threatened to taint Sirleaf’s international image. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Global campaigners are happy that President Sirleaf has revoked the illegal logging permits but many are hoping that they are no longer reversed or allowed to resurface again. GRADE: F

The year under review was a busy one for the regulators of the telecommunications industry as the term expired for commissioners who had served the past five years. The LTA is not considered a State-Owned Enterprise, but a regulatory body responsible for implementing and enforcing the Telecommunications Law. The LTA, unlike State-Owned Enterprises, does not exist to make a profit. This is why many have been advocating against giving financial autonomy to the authority. Fees from telecom companies directly to the LTA amount to millions. For example, frequency fees for 2G and 3G, License Fee for 3G, Numbering Plan, Levy on incoming international calls, and Universal Access Fees are estimated to total several million dollars, with Lonestar alone paying over $5 million. There have been concerns that Ministry of Finance does not receive any of these funds and has no say on how they are expended raising questions as to why the funds do not go through normal government channels. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: The LTA was credited for intercepting a major SIM Box fraud at Novafone which led to the arrest of ISP Supervisor Hussein Dakroub. Dakroub implicated CEO Chady Salim, who left the country prior to Dakroub’s arrest. Salim’s removal from the company raised further questions about his alleged role in the fraud. Police sources have stated that the theft has cost ‘massive losses’ to the Liberia Telecommunications Authority and two other major carriers, Cellcom and Lonestarcell. Novafone CEO, Slim and its IT Supervisor, Dakroub have both been accused by the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) of defrauding the government of Liberia through the use of an illegal GSM gateway to terminate international calls. The gateway used is a SIM box, which would normally redirect international calls to appear as commencing on a local network. Mobile phone users who have received international calls which show as a local Novafone number will have seen evidence of this fraud. As the rerouted calls are not detected by the government as incoming international calls they are not assessed for the usual taxes. The other service providers lose their revenue from international interconnection charges. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: A lot of noise have been made about the commissioners of the LTA who make thousands of US dollars as monthly income (some as high as US$15,000.00 a month), more than ministers and managing directors. On top of these fabulous salaries, they travel several times a year abroad using first and business class travels. Travel per diems run in the range of US500.00 or more a day. The General Auditing Commission has undertaken an audit of the LTA for the past one year and cannot come up with a final audit report. Neither the budget nor the financial report of the LTA has been published raising many issues regarding the transparency and integrity of governance at the LTA. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Will the national legislature go along with Chair Angelique Weeks’ quest for more, unlimited power? GRADE: C

NATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE CORPORATION (NASSCORP) The retirement guard for Liberians in their old age appears to have been consumed with its multimillion dollar business complex and while scores of NAASCORP employees have undergone capacity training in the past year, the agency has been unable to articulate what it actually does and how it rolls out payments for injuries or retirement. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: NAASCORP is ending another year without the completion of its multi-million dollar, multi-purpose high-rise business complex at the ELWA Junction despite spending millions of dollars and scrutiny. NAASCORP says when completed, the US$10-million facility will serve as a major commercial center and tourist attraction. The construction of this huge structure is in fulfillment of a statutory requirement that the corporation invests 25 percent of its insurable earnings into profitable and realistic ventures. Accordingly, the management, in 2007, drafted an investment policy and strategic document, purposely to fast-track its investment activities to meet longterm benefit commitments and cater to the socio-economic well-being of the larger Liberian society. Construction of the complex, started on April 18, 2009, was contracted out to ECOCON Inc., a Liberian construction company, and is the single largest infrastructure investment under the investment portfolio of the corporation. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The departure of Francis Carbah and continued concerns that beneficiaries' accounts are being tampered with. Not much has been heard from the results of a 2012 probe involving a scandal that certain employees were withdrawing money from the account at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI). OUTLOOK FOR 2014: The countdown commences for the groundbreaking of NAASCORP Business complex. GRADE: F

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Page12 8 | THE Page | Frontpage NEW REPUBLIC

www.tnrliberia.com

Tuesday, December 24 , 2013 TUESDAY , DECEMBER 24, 2013

TOTAL LIBERIA OPENS ITS FIRST TAIR SERVICE STATION AT THE SMYTHE ROAD JUNCTION, OLD ROAD

The New TOTAL BRAND -TAIR At Smythe Road Junction on the Old Road

TOTAL Old Road Service Station Staff

TOTAL Liberia General Manager Robert Fenech Making Remarks

Guests At the Opening of TOTAL TAIR Service Station

Marketing Manager And Retail Manager Presenting the TOTAL New BRAND TAIR

Cutting of the Ribbon to Officially Open TOTAL TAIR Shop At the Station

Marketing Manager in a Chat With a guest

A Culture Group Tills Audience at the Opening

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

SEASON'S GREETINGS

Frontpage

Page 9

The Staff, Management and Workers of the Cavalla Rubber Corp. (CRC), Pleebo, Maryland Present their best wishes for Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2014 to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Government and brave People of the Republic of Liberia. CRC also joins the people of Liberia in celebrating 10 years of unbroken peace!

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Tuesday, December 24 , 2013

CIVIL SERVICES AGENCY

NATIONAL OIL COMPANY OF LIBERIA

The central government agency responsible for managing the Civil Service, improving human resources capacity and service delivery, and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Civil Service is the glue that holds the workforce together. The CSA advises government in key areas of the Civil Service, including organization, staffing, pay and benefits, pension, conditions of employment, and human resources development. During the year under review, the CSA undertook an employee verification exercise. The project funded by the World Bank and the Government of Liberia was aimed at vetting and validating employees using CSA’s Biometric Identification System across Liberia to ensure that all employees on the government of Liberia payrolls are legitimate. The exercise is intended to establish a clean list and build their individual dossier or profile. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: At the start of the year, the CSA targeted the accomplishments of biometrics as key to the enrolment in Biometrics for individuals on both the regular and supplementary payrolls. Today, employees in 24 Ministries & Agencies now have Biometric ID cards. Biometrics has also succeeded in capturing information for nearly all pensioners/retirees (non-Armed Forces of Liberia) and more than 2055 individuals have been removed from the payroll, which has saved the government $1.6 million USD. More importantly, according to the CSA, 25,000 employee files are in the system while 7829 forms still need to be processed. It is estimated that Biometrics has succeeded in capturing 75% of the workforce in the Ministries & Agencies in its mandate. There are two upcoming surges scheduled in Monrovia and in the counties in an effort to enroll 98% of the workforce by December 31, 2013. Cleaning the Payroll: More than 2055 individuals have been removed from the payroll, which has saved the government $1.6 million USD. Supplementary Payroll:Biometrics and other relevant information of 6,800 individuals on Supplementary Payroll have been captured. This is a significant achievement given that there are 8,000 total on Supplementary Payroll. ID Cards: Biometric ID cards have been printed and delivered to 24 Ministries & Agencies. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: Potential employees were dealt a blow when the CSA announced a Six-month hiring freeze on all civil servant positions. The freeze however exempted teachers and healthcare workers, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The freeze, according to the CSA would give the agency an opportunity to conduct a thorough analysis of the pay structure, job classification, and job descriptions that will inform a revised pay strategy to be implemented incrementally beginning next year. 2014 OUTLOOK: How much impact would the payroll verification exercise under the CSA’s Employee Biometric Identification and Records System (EBIRS) project have on government employees within the central and greater Monrovia areas as well as in the leeward counties of Liberia. GRADE: C+ studies at the Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) since the end of the civil war, but the young men and women stood tall in the face of adversity after the completion of a rigorous training exercise which will change the cadets lives for the better. The graduates received certificates for completion of the General Purpose Rating (GPR) program in both Marine Engine and Navigation in addition to six (6) other IMO mandatory short courses - namely Fire Fighting & Prevention, Personal Survival Technique, Elementary First Aid, Tanker Familiarization, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility and International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The death of four cadets - Patrick Ansumana, Jr., Henry D. Bryant, George Kaba Reed, Jr., and J. Eddie Wilson led to the filing of an action of damages against the Liberia Maritime Authority for the wrongful death of the cadets. The LMA lost the case and is now seeking appeal at the high court. The plaintiffs alleged in their complaint that the defendants over a period of time required the cadets to visit water courses and in some cases entered the seas to swim or engage in other water-related activities and that on one occasion, the defendants took the four cadets and others to Banjor Beach after 6pm to participate in a search and rescue mission in the ocean. The plaintiffs alleged that on September 27, 2012, the cadets were taken to Musa Beach where they died in the Atlantic Ocean while undergoing training under a heavy down pour of rain. The case continues tomorrow. 2014 OUTLOOK: How will the appeal process end for the LMA in the high court? GRADE: B

The lucrative oil company of Liberia rounded the year with a tour of the fifteen counties looking to gain support for the controversial petroleum law draft passed by the Senate but put in check in the lower house. Residents in most of the counties visited have been consistent in recommended that 40 percent of Liberia's 30 oil blocks be reserved for future generations. Citizens across the country have, amongst several clauses in the draft oil law, called for the reduction of excessive power given to a President to appoint Board members of NOCAL and other agencies in the oil sector to be created shortly after the law is passed. They also want board members of NOCAL to be nominated by the Legislature and approve by the president and that all fifteen counties of Liberia should be represented on the board of NOCAL or other subsiding agencies of NOCAL. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: The controversial block 13 saga finally came to an end when oil giant ExxonMobil Corporation’s Liberian affiliate completed the acquisition of an 80% interest in Liberia Block 13 (LB-13) from Canadian Overseas Petroleum (Bermuda) Ltd. (COPL). Block 13 is 18 miles (30 kilometers) offshore Liberia’s central coast. Located offshore Liberia in water depths between 250 feet and 10,000 feet, LB-13 spans over 625,000 acres (2,500 square kilometers). After receiving final approvals from the Liberia national legislature and Liberia President, the transaction closed on Apr 5, 2013. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: Robert Sirleaf finally stepped down has chairman of the board of NOCAL. His mother, the President reluctantly accepted. “I accept your resignation as Chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia and as Senior Advisor to the President. With your departure, this government will lose one of its most capable and valuable assets. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Will the lower house pass the controversial Petroleum Draft? The clock is ticking. GRADE: B

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT CONCESSIONS COMMISSION
With the General Auditing Commission watered-down, the PPCC is viewed by many as the first line of defense in the war against corruption in Liberia. The commission proved itself during the year with interventions in two of the biggest corruption stories of the year: The Ellen Corkrum saga and the efforts that led to the firing of GSA former boss Pearine Davis Parkinson and Auditor General Robert Kilby. The PPCC was also instrumental in tracking another violation by the head of the National Oil Company o f Liberia. A PPCC inquiry found that over US$700,000 contract was single handedly awarded to the American firm Dupont de Nemours International by NOCAL's President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Randolph McClain without the PPCC approval. More importantly, Dupont was McClain’s last place of employment. In a letter dated July 10, 2013, the Executive Director of the Public Procurement & Concession Commission (PPCC), Mrs. Peggy Varfley Meres wrote Dr. McClain apparently upon hearing that Dupont had already commenced the implementation of the agreement, reminding him that NOCAL was yet to follow the PPCC request. Meres furthered: "Our records reveal that NOCAL has not responded to said Communication to enable the Commission ascertain compliance with the PPCC Act and its accompanying regulations. We therefore request that you submit information with regards to the status of the award of the contract for the services as indicated above." 2013 BIGGEST HIT: As a regulatory body for public procurement and concessions activities in Liberia, made emerged as the lead guard against corruption, since departure of former AG John S. Morlu. Through the work of the PPCC, it was observed on many instances how bidding process and failure to satisfy minimum requirements for government contracts were ignored or violated. PPCC, despite its limited budget is building capacity but remains constrained due to lack of funding. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: Transfer aggression by many officials captured in violation came the PPCC’s way OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Will this be the year the government stop funding key agencies that can help it win the war on corruption? GRADE : B+

NATIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY
2013 BIGGEST HITS: During the course of the year, the NTA purchase twelve new Ashok Leyland mass transit buses to augment existing fleet from 33 to 45 buses. The company managed to upgrade employment with the creation of 60 new jobs from fiscal year 2012/2013 through December 2013 of FY 2013/2014. The company also established self payment system on ALL of its 17 routes in Montserrado County. This implies that commuters are expected to make payment directly into a mental box installed on the buses. NTA has identified and established four areas for strategic intervention. During the year under review, NTA concluded procurement, contract and establishment of Letter of Credit (L/C) for the purchase of nine (9) new Ashok Leyland mass transit buses. Expected time of delivery: end of first quarter of 2014. This acquisition shall increase existing fleet to 50 mass transit buses. The Government of India made a firm commitment to donate 15 mass transit buses to the Government of Liberia for use by NTA. This commitment was consummated at bilateral talks held in September of 2013 in New Delhi. Tender for buses has been placed out in India with a supplier to be selected shortly. With this addition, we expect our fleet of available buses to grow to 65 over the next year. NTA has maintained sustainable services on ALL its existing routes (17) in Montserrado County and between Montserrado to the following towns and cities – Bo-Waterside, Buchanan, Clay, Gbarnga, Ganta, Harbel, Kakata, Schefflin and Zwedru. NTA provides special services to the University of Liberia (UL) and the African Methodist Zion Episcopal University (AMEZU) commuting over 25,000 students daily between Monrovia and their Fendell and Po-River Campuses respectively. Over 2.5 million annual passenger’s trips achieved. Provided free transport service to a little over 21,000 Liberians in the physically challenged and visually impaired categories. Similar service was provided for over 14,000 children under the age of 5. BIGGEST MISS: The impoundment of an NTA bus by security officials in Ganta, Nimba County in August led to the seizure of a huge quantity of marijuana.The government-run bus was impounded in Ganta City while traveling from Grand Gedeh to Monrovia, reports said. The incident raised concerns that NTA buses have become easy access for drug-trafficking. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Still a need for more buses to ease the transportation woes. Will the coming year continue the trend? GRADE : B

LIBERIA MARITIME AUTHORITY

At the end of the year under review, Liberia remains the second largest in the world with more than 3,900 ships of more than 131 million gross tons, which represents 11 percent of the world’s ocean going fleet. The increase in ships spells boom for the LMA and sending a message that Liberia is once again becoming a major trade zone as more ships are now docking than ever before. “The docking of more ships at these various ports will increase our own activities in those counties. It is also important to note that the opening of the regional office will ease our cost of operations and increase safety,” says Maritime boss Binyah Kesselly. The LMA also broke grounds during the year for the construction of the permanent office. In addition, some eighty (80) young cadets are being trained in three major disciplines: General Purpose Rating (GPR) Engine and Deck Departments; Maritime Search and Rescue Basics; and Catering. They will also be trained in the following IMO mandatory courses: Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting; Elementary First Aid; Personal Survival Techniques; Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities; International Ship and Port Security Training; and Tanker Familiarization. 2013 BIGGEST HITS: the first batch of cadets to complete

GENERAL SERVICES AGENCY

Mary Broh aka “The General” marked her return to government after her controversial stint at City Hall with a caution to government ministries and agencies and others not to abuse government proprieties in their possession. Broh has made the issue her top priority. Broh’s first order of business though was to give a facelift to the appalling condition at the GSA compound of the General Services Agency (GSA) on the UN-Drive. 2013 BIGGEST HIT: In a short time at GSA Broh has already retrieved 70 government vehicles under a campaign launched by the GSA to recover all government vehicles. 2013 BIGGEST MISS: The dismissal of former Director-General Pearine Davis-Parkinson, for non-compliance with, or violation of, public financial management and procurement laws, brought to an end a turbulent era for employees who had sought her ouster from the agency. Davis-Parkinson told a legislative hearing that the GSA had employed an accounting firm owned by Kilby to set up an asset tracking system for the government. OUTLOOK FOR 2014: Will the General Stay at GSA? head to Public Works? or join the already long laundry list of candidates contesting the Montserrado County Senatorial elections. GRADE: B

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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DON KAN REJECTS ‘CHEATERS’ LABEL
Gas Station Fires Backs, Says Allegations from Ministry of Commerce False, Unfounded, Accuses Ministry Of Witch Hunting

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BUSINESS

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Mr. Sekou Donso

- Donkan vice

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Monrovia he management of Don Kan Filling Station in Liberia has described as false and misleading the latest allegation of cheating made against them by the Ministry of commerce and industry. Mr. Sekou Donzo, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Don Kan said the allegations by the government is a clever attempt to witchhunt Liberian businesses and bring them to public ridicule in favor of foreign businesses. Donzo said the management was informed that the commerce Ministry was about to carry out inspections at various filling stations, a venture they welcomed but added that the ministry failed to invite various filling station to a conference after the inspection as it is usually done. Said Donzo: “While awaiting the commerce ministry to call us to a conference, to our surprise the minister had a press conference telling the Liberian people that we at Don Kan are cheating the Liberian people by giving them half gallon for one that is not possible that is a lie because in the Gas market there is high competition so no one wants to lose customers by cheating.” The Donkan Vice President also argued that the very Commerce Ministry making the allegation has been supplied fuel by the filling station in the past: “The Minister and his assistants have private generators. They all come to Don Kan for fuel with their containers at that point they don’t realize shortage in their fuel the Minister usually come to our Catholic junction branch to fuel his car at that point he don’t complain of shortage my pump is hundred percent correct.” Added Donzo: “I want the Television Stations in Liberia along with commerce inspector to visit all Don Kan Gas Station in and around Monrovia to do their own investigation and see who is lying. We being in this business for the past 20 years and this is the first minister to come out with such misleading accusation against us.” Mr. Donzo accused the Ministry of giving ‘A’ to only one filling station that is a foreign company because according to him, the ministry failed to take into consideration

that in Liberia fuel is measured in gallons and not liter, as it is done by the foreign company. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade & Industry Thursday named and shamed filling stations in Monrovia that are involved in cheating petroleum end users.

An inspection by the ministry has uncovered fraud in serving of customers at thirteen gas stations out of eighteen stations inspected. “Two of the gas stations Liberia Petroleum (LP) Carey/ Lynch Streets and Don Kan on the By-Pass performed poorly

and failed the accuracy tests, showing volume readings dispensed to be far below the actual one U.S gallon,” Ministry of Commerce, Trade & Industry Minister Axel Addy said. The Minister of Commerce has warned the public not to buy

from the below listed filling stations where he said pumps were reading far below the minimum standard or outside the accepted error limit: Liberia Petroleum (LP) gas station Lynch and Carey streets ,LP Vamoma, Super Petroleum (SP) U.N Drive-Newport

streets, SP Airfield, Don Kan Capital By-pass, Don Kan Catholic Junction, SP Jallah Town, PMS 7th Street, Sinkor, Liberia-Afric Service Station 11th Sinkor, International Gas Station 11th Sinkor, SP 9TH sinker as the filling stations involved in the fraudulent act. “Sixty-seven percent failed the accuracy test of volume meaning the actual one U.S 1 gallon.” This situation clearly confirms the suspicion of the public about the accuracy of the actual gallon discharged at the pump,” Minister Addy said. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade & Industry said fraud discovered shows that people who purchase petroleum got a half gallon instead of one gallon. “Government is the highest purchaser of petroleum so it means that we are losing US$783,000 to these stations,” Minister Addy said. Minister Addy said, the inspection was to verify gas stations for compliance with the General Business Law and conformity to technical regulations and international standards.

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SEASON'S GREETINGS

Tuesday, December 24 , 2013

The Chief Executive Officer,Management and Staff of ArcelorMittal Liberia extends warmest felicitation to her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai; the Speaker and members of the Honorable House of Representatives; the President Pro Tempore and members of the Liberian Senate; the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia and to the peace loving people of Liberia a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

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LOOMING PRISONERS REBELION
Corrections Officers on Strike In Gbarnga
Selma Lomax, selma.lomax@frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886-484666

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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Gbarnga, Bong County orrection officers assigned at the Gbarnga Central Prison have embarked on an indefinite strike for what they termed as government’s failure to pay them. The superintendent of the Gbarnga Central Prison, Feshell Dean, who was the only person on guard at the center upon arrival of our correspondent, confirmed the workers’ action but said efforts were underway to pay the aggrieved workers. “Indeed prison officers at the Gbarnga Central Prison Center are on strike,” he said. The officer said the actions of the aggrieved officers were making things increasingly difficult for him particularly in attending to inmates. “My workload has increased all because of the actions of the aggrieved workers,” he said. Dean explained that the Ministry of Justice has been partnering with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to ensure Correction Officers at the prison open deposit accounts with ECO Bank, but said the process has failed. He described the actions of the prison officers as political as those on the go-slow have been criticizing government since they took assignments at the prisons over delay in payment.

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GANGING UP AGAINST WEAH?
Can a Coalition Defeat CDC in Montserrado Midterm?
Tecee Boley, tecee.boley@frontpageafricaonline.com
Benjamin Sanvee, a Youth Adviser to ex-President Charles Taylor

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Dean also denied media reports that conditions of inmates at the center had deteriorated. ”It false and misleading, the conditions of our inmates are in tight,” he said. Meanwhile, residents of Gbarnga have expressed fear over the go-slow action of the Correction Officers. The residents said the action by the Correction Officers poses threat to the peace and stability of the city especially during this Christmas and New Year seasons. The residents called on the Ministry of Justice to address the plights of the officers. “The actions of the Correction Officers if not quickly addressed by the Ministry of Justice could cause prisoners at the Gbarnga Central Prison to rebel which will not offer well for residents of the county. Emmanuel Peters, a local Palm Wine dealer at the Gbarnga-Lofa Parking told this Paper. Another resident, Mrs. Krubo Yarkpawolo believed the three months delay on the part of the Ministry of Justice in paying the correction officer is a bad news for security sector of the country. Jefferson Ford, a gasoline dealer and a resident of Gbarnga, said the Ministry of Justice must see reason to quickly address the plight of the correction officers stop the fear amongst of Gbarnga. “I think those risking their lives to protect the peace and stability of this country must be catered to and provided salary on time if Liberians, want to enjoy the peace we have today” Peters added. She told FrontPage Africa it is not only the Correction Officers, but salary crisis amongst government workers in Liberia is at an alarming rate and must be addressed to ensure effectiveness in public service delivery.

Monrovia rontpage Africa has learnt of ongoing negotiations to form a grand coalition to challenge Congress Democratic Change George Weah in the upcoming 2014 special election for the senatorial seat of- Montserrado county. “We are planning a coalition for the sole purpose of protecting Montserrado from the sinister plans of the Congress for Democratic Change that is to get a guy elected who is unable to provide leadership for the county, to represent the county just to further their political party’s ambition of capturing the presidency in 2017,” says Menipakei Dumoe, once a die-hard supporter of the CDC but now favors former National Youth Adviser to the government of Liberia, Benjamin Sanvee for the senate during next year’s elections. Since George Weah who is the political leader of the main opposition CDC declared he would be a formidable force in the fight for Montserrado’s seat, many continue to acknowledge that he is indeed a force to reckon with and

Musa Dorley and Alli Sally dancing celebrating with Liberian Folklore singing group Muscial could be unbeatable. Weah’s announcement has drawn attention and interests, drawing the attention of those aspiring to contest for one of two seats in the senate for Liberia’s most densely populated county. The incumbent Joyce Musu Freeman, a stalwart of the party, has openly that she would not support the CDC leader. As 2014 draws near, more and more candidates are throwing their hats in the ring with some young candidates looking to make an impact. Among them: Stephen Johnson, Youth Activist Ali Sillah, former General Auditing Commission employee Musa Dorley and Benjamin Sanvee, a Youth Adviser to ex-President Charles Taylor. Weah is believed to be the clear frontrunner and favorite to win the seat. Like much of Africa, Liberia has a huge youthful population (70% is under 30). Young people’s participation in politics or governance has been an issue that many countries have been trying to address. In Liberia there is a national youth policy to address the young people’s concerns. But still “generational change” remains a major topic in discussions in street corners and on radio talk shows. Election record shows that CDC has always won Monsterrado County’s senatorial race. The party boasts of huge political influence over the young people.

“Congress for Democratic Change has traditionally depended on the votes of the young people. The fact that so many young people are coming up to oppose George Weah in itself is a blow, It delegitimizes George Weah because he has always carried himself as a candidate for the youth,” Dumoe Says. Over the weekend two of the candidates Musa Dorley and Alli Sally were seen dancing together and celebrating with a Liberian folklore singing group Musical Madrid. “At the appropriate time in politics decisions can be made but for me, I remain a strong force in the race,” Dorley says, in an attempt to be on the safe side of the proposed coalition. But the coalition is not free of challenges and agreeing on one candidate is the major task at hand says Sally. “To have one youthful candidate is a good concept on paper. But getting to the conclusion is where the problem is. We come from different political parties and those parties have differences and indifferences, which are the political parties’ platform. And to agree on a particular person as a candidate I think is going to be a difficult task.” Sally acknowledges that the difficulties could be overcome if they put the interest of the public first. “Notwithstanding it is a good thing. We are talking behind the scenes and at this point there is nothing wrong. Having one person has to do with the kind of criteria that we will develop in terms of who will be the best person. Is it based on the person’s strength in terms of their political party? He asked, will it be based on competence or advocacy? It is the Grand Coalition but how do we conclude?” “I think Benjamin Sanvee should be the face, but there are others who believe that Sillah is the man, and Stephen Johnson is the man. That is why we are holding consultations. And these consultations by early next year, we have to concretized them.” Commentators are already foreseeing a overcrowded field in the Montserrado County race but many are also mindful of how coalitions in Liberia normally fall apart following primaries to decide on a single candidate.

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WORLD NEWS

Tuesday, December 24 , 2013
rebels taking the major towns of Bor and Bentiu. Between 500 and 1,000 people are thought to have been killed in the fighting and UN compounds are sheltering more than 40,000 civilians. UN humanitarian co-ordinator Toby Lanzer, who was in Bor over the weekend, told the BBC he had witnessed "some of the most horrible things that one can imagine". "People who were being lined up and executed in a summary fashion. This is done by people who are simply out of control," Mr Lanzer said. President Kiir told parliament earlier that he was willing to hold talks with Mr Machar, saying that a delegation of East African foreign ministers had offered to mediate. However, he said that Mr Machar would have to come to the table without any conditions. Mr Machar told Reuters that he was open to dialogue if his political allies were released from detention. Over the weekend, the US deployed extra troops to help evacuate Americans and other foreigners. In Bor, three US military aircraft were fired upon on Saturday, forcing the evacuation to be aborted. On Sunday, the US re-entered using civilian US and UN helicopters. Sudan suffered a 22-year civil war that left more than one million people dead before the South became independent in 2011.

UGANDAN PARLIAMENT PASSES ANTI-GAY BILL THAT INCLUDES LIFE IN PRISON

IN BRIEF

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UN'S BAN KI-MOON WARNS OVER SOUTH SUDAN VIOLATIONS
towns.His rival, President Salva Kiir, has promised an imminent counter-strike against the rebels President Kiir, a member of the majority Dinka ethnic group, sacked Mr Machar, who is from the Nuer community, in July. Last week the president accused Mr Machar of attempting to launch a coup, which he denies. The fear is that their personal rivalry will spark a full-scale conflict between the Nuer and Dinka groups. Mr Ban said attacks on civilians and UN peacekeepers "must cease immediately". "The United Nations will investigate reports of grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity," he said. "Those responsible at the senior level will be held personally accountable and face the consequences, even if they claim they had no knowledge of the attacks." He promised to bolster the UN's presence in South Sudan. Two Indian peacekeepers were killed last week in a rebel raid on a UN compound. The fighting began in the capital Juba last week after Mr Kiir said he had quashed an attempted coup. Since then, violence has spread throughout South Sudan, with

legations of rights violations in South Sudan will be investigated, and those responsible will be held to account, the UN secretary general says. Ban Ki-moon urged leaders on both sides to find a political solution. Tens of thousands of people have fled fighting, as rebels thought to support sacked former vice-president Riek Machar have seized major

RIFLE DESIGNER MIKHAIL KALASHNIKOV DEAD AT 94
MOSCOW (AP) —

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ikhail Kalashnikov started out wanting to make farm equipment, but the harvest he reaped was one of blood as the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, the world's most popular firearm. It was the carnage of World War, when Nazi Germany overran much of the Soviet Union, which altered his course and made his name as well-known for bloodshed as Smith, Wesson and Colt. The distinctive shape of the gun, often called "a Kalashnikov," appeared on revolutionary flags and adorns memorabilia. Kalashnikov died Monday at age 94 in a hospital in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia republic where he lived, said Viktor Chulkov, a spokesman for the republic's president. He did not give a cause of death. Kalashnikov had been hospitalized for the past month with unspecified health problems. Kaslashnikov often said he felt personally untroubled by his contribution to bloodshed.

"I sleep well. It's the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence," he told The Associated Press in 2007. The AK-47 — "Avtomat Kalashnikov" and the year it went into production — is the world's most popular firearm, favored by guerrillas, terrorists and the soldiers of many armies. An estimated 100 million guns are spread worldwide.Though it isn't especially accurate, its ruggedness and simplicity are exemplary: it performs in sandy or wet conditions which jam more sophisticated weapons such as the U.S. M-16. "During the Vietnam war, American soldiers would throw away their M-16s to grab AK-47s and bullets for it from dead Vietnamese soldiers," Kalashnikov said in July 2007 at a ceremony marking the rifle's 60th anniversary. The weapon's suitability for jungle and desert fighting made it nearly ideal for the Third World insurgents backed by the Soviet Union, and Moscow not only distributed the AK47 widely but also licensed its production in some 30 other countries.The gun's status

among revolutionaries and national-liberation struggles is enshrined on the flag of Mozambique. Kalashnikov, born into a peasant family in Siberia, began his working life as a railroad clerk. After he joined the Red Army in 1938, he began to show mechanical flair by inventing several modifications for Soviet tanks. The moment that firmly set his course was in the 1941 battle of Bryansk against Nazi forces, when a shell hit his tank. Recovering from wounds in the hospital, Kalashnikov brooded about the superior

automatic rifles he'd seen the Nazis deploy; his rough ideas and revisions bore fruit five years later. "Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer," said Kalashnikov. "I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery."In 2007, President Vladimir Putin praised him, saying "The Kalashnikov rifle is a symbol of the creative genius of our people." Over his career, he was decorated with numerous honors, including the Hero of Socialist Labor and Order of Lenin and Stalin Prize. But

because his invention was never patented, he didn't get rich off royalties. "At that time in our country patenting inventions wasn't an issue. We worked for Socialist society, for the good of the people, which I never regret," he once said. Kalashnikov continued working into his late 80s as chief designer of the Izmash company that first built the AK-47. He also traveled the world helping Russia negotiate new arms deals, and he wrote books on his life, about arms and about youth education.

fter years of controversy, the Ugandan parliament has passed a bill that punishes certain acts of homosexuality with life in prison. A Ugandan lawmaker first introduced the bill in 2009, sparking worldwide condemnation for tough measures that included the death penalty. It was briefly shelved amid the backlash. At the time, some European nations threatened to withdraw aid to Uganda, which relies on millions of dollars from the international community. Before its passage Friday, parliament adjusted the death penalty clause to life in prison for "aggravated homosexuality." It includes acts where one person is infected with HIV, "serial offenders" and sex with minors, Amnesty International said. In cases where one has HIV, the punishment applies even when the sex is consensual or protected. "Ugandans have been anxiously waiting for this bill. This day will be a good day for all Ugandans," said Benson Obua Ogwal, a member of parliament for Moroto. The bill also proposes years in prison for anyone who counsels or reaches out to homosexuals, a provision that would ensnare rights groups and others providing services to lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people. "The knock-on effect of passing this bill will reach far beyond gay and lesbian people in Uganda, impeding the legitimate work of civil society, public health professionals and community leaders," said Aster van Kregten, deputy Africa director at Amnesty International. Homosexuality is illegal in most African countries, where sodomy laws were introduced during colonialism. In Uganda, homosexual acts are punishable by 14 years to life in prison, according to rights activists. But lawmakers in the conservative nation sought tougher legislation, saying Western lifestyle risks destroying Ugandan family units. "This is a piece of legislation that is needed in this country to protect the traditional family here in Africa, and also protect the future of our children," David Bahati, the lawmaker who first introduced the bill, said last year. "Every single day of my life now I am still pushing that it passes." Rights groups urged President Yoweri Museveni to veto the bill. To become law, it requires his signature within 30 days.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MOBBED ON ARRIVAL D
wight Trokon Joseph, a Liberian mixed martial artist (MMA), Sunday returned home from the United States of America (USA) after a successful season. Trokon, the son of renowned certified public accountant Theo Joseph of Baker TillyLiberia, was greeted on arrival at the Roberts international airport by family members and well-wishers at 11:00PM after the conclusion of arrival formalities. He then inspected a team from the Liberia Taekwondo Federation, where it all began for him, who were taken to the airport by Master Junior Pewee Russian and a somewhat endless photo session ensued.Trokon won the dynasty combat sports (DCS) featherweight or 145 pounds championship in Nebraska on August 24, 2013 and he won another bout on December 14, 2013. This was not only a day for Trokon to win his first professional belt or medal but it came in twofold—Liberia’s Flag Dayanniversary and his mother’s birthday. So how does Jaytee, as he is affectionately called, feel about being home after a successful year coupled with the occasion on display. “Well, I am here because this is my home. This is where I grew-up; this is where I was born. And you know what, I am happy to be back; I am happy to visit my family and friends. “This is really crazy; I wasn’t expectingthis. I can’t believe all of this,” Jaytee laughed-off. MMA is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports. Various mixed style contests took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. The combat sport of vale tudo that had developed in Brazil from the 1920s was brought to the USA by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The more dangerous valetudo-style bouts of the early UFCs were made safer with the implementation of additional rules, leading to the popular regulated form of MMA seen today. But Jaytee is unmoved that the game, popularly known in Liberia as blood sport, is injury-prone. “Blood happens sometimes; I got my first cut in my last fight. It was a little one. Sometimes blood comes out but any sport can be a dangerous sport.

Sport

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Champion Dwight Trokon Joseph returns home after a successful year in the USA.
Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com

“You can get hurt playing football. And I love it, I really love it [mixed martial arts]. I started training [in 2011 and] since I walked in the gym, I have never walked out. So I enjoy doing it,” Jaytee responded. Following a number of changes, MMA has seen an increased popularity with a pay-per-view business that rivals boxing and professional wrestling. The World Mixed Martial Arts Associationhad 38 members as of December 2013. And the 24-year-old’s reputation in the US where 47 of the 52 states have legalized the game could see the merger of the Liberia Karate, Judo, Wrestling and Boxing Federations/Associations to form the Liberia MMAto join the world’s governing. How it all did begin? Jaytee began training in April 2011 and made his MMA debut on April 28, 2012 as a featherweight. All of his fights have been in this class except for his second fight on June 30, 2012, which he fought at lightweight (155 pound). After going 5-0, Jaytee was awarded a title fight for the DCSs vacant featherweight belt on August 24, 2013. Formerly known as disorderly conduct, the organization changed their name to DCSs for more opportunities with sponsors and advertisers. It had been disclosed that Jaytee's opponent, Morgan Schulz, stood with a record of 4-1. They were actually scheduled to fight on December 15, 2012 but Schulz pulled out due to insufficient training. Schulz was on a four fight winning streak and he won a number one contender fight against Jaytee's fourth opponent James Reed on July 6, 2013 to earn the title fight against the Liberian flag bearer. Jaytee defeated Reed on March 30, 2013 for victory fighting championship via an arm triangle submission. He and Schulz had three common opponents before they met in the cage, which was the main event of the night and everybody was excited to see who would be the 145-pound champion. The bouts are usually scheduled for three three-minute rounds but it was scheduled for three four-minute roundssince it was a championship fight. The fight started and Jaytee won the first round by controlling the action on the feet and on the ground. The second round started just like the first with Jaytee controlling the action for about half the round on the feet. Halfway through the round, Schulz took control of the round, working the clinch and scoring two takedowns on Jaytee, ending the round on top and possibly stealing the round and gaining some momentum.The third round started like the first two rounds with

Jaytee controlling the action on the feet. Almost halfway through the round, Schulz landed a head kick on Jaytee and immediately after that Jaytee followed up with a combination of punches ending with a head kick that floored Schulz. Jaytee followed through with some punches to end the fight but Schulz proved to be tough by surviving the barrage. He ended up on top in a dominant position and after a short scramble, Jaytee ended up mounted on Schulz's back. After some more punches and scramble, Jaytee was persistent and maintained position on Schulz’s back, while trying to work in the rear naked choke (a choke from behind your opponent). Jaytee eventually sank in the choke and seconds later Schulz tapped out, a sign of giving up. This submission earned him the victory. In a show of good sportsmanship the duo hugged and congratulated each other after a tough fight. "He was definitely one of my toughest opponents," Jayteerecalled. Jaytee, who attended the Early Learning Foundation School and Joseph Jenkins Roberts United Methodist High School, is a graduate of Doane College in Crete, Nebraska with a bachelor's degree in business administration.With seven wins from seven fights, the sky is certainly the limits for the lad and his proud father, who while hugging Jaytee, said: “And now, you can greet one of your biggest admirers.” Jaytee will have a period of rest before beginning training with the LTF and his thoughts about merging the different federations and associations to join the WMMA. Only time will tell when all of these lofty ideas kick-off.

Ailing basketballer sends out an SOS call
Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com

FRAIL AND SHRUNKEN

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rom his bed at the John Fitzgerald Kennedymemorial medical center in Monrovia, Ishmael Dickerson, popularly known as “Leaflet”, cries out for help as friends who had gone to see him wept uncontrollably. Wrapped in a blanket, Dickerson, an ex-player of LPRC Oilers and Uhuru Kings, muttered a few words: “Gentlemen, your [you will have to] please do something to help me. I am going slowly oh.” According to a close friend Augustine Tuo, his buddy had fallen ill about two months ago and his health situation took a turn for the worst in recent weeks. “Imagine my good friend and brother lying down and unable to do anything on his own. He has to be taken to the bathroom to attend to nature. That’s too much for a man to go through,” a visibly shaken and tearful Tuo lamented. “Lord, why am I like this?” Leaflet, whose body frame has turned virtually skinny, asked in a rather very small tone from his sick bed as a friend tried to lift him up and take him to the rest room. Leaflet got married in December 2012 but has been abandoned by his wife, according to some family members. “My brother has been left [alone] for me to cater for him. When he was working, he was spending the money on his wife. But since he lost his job, she has been nowhere to cater for him,” said a sister in an angry tone. Some friends of Leaflet suggested that his health condition may have been compounded by his apparent state of abandonment by his wife. “How do you expect a man to stay strong and healthy when he was left in the cold by the one he calls his wife,” a man calling himself an elementary schoolmate of Leaflet said with his head shaking in both directions as a sign of bewilderment. Leaflet broke onto the national scene in the mid-1990s following some starring performances for the Foxes of the College of West Africa (CWA). He would go on to become a household for his stylish performances for Bushrod Bulls, Oilers and Kings. Leaflet is a senior student at the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University. As one of his friends, Wellington Bright, puts it all hands must be on deck to ensure that the once stylish Leaflet recovers from his illness and gets on the basketball court to bounce the ball again. “We must make the recovery of Dickerson our final vow for 2013 and our resolution for 2014,” Bright asserted.

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LEGISLATIVE BEAT

Tuesday, December 24 , 2013

BRIDGING GAPS
Liberia Muslim Lawmaker visits Churches His constituency
Henry Karmo (0886522495) henrykarmo47@gmail.com

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Monrovia epresentative Sekou Kanneh (UP-District #2 Montserrado County) Sunday concluded his visit to over 20 Churches in his district. Kanneh, a Muslim said, his visit to churches in his district was to identified with Christians in his district as they prepare to celebrate the birthday of their Jesus Christ who they believe is the son of the almighty God. The lawmaker said Liberia as a country with people of different religious backgrounds and predominantly Christians, it was necessary to identify and appreciate Christians who elected him into the legislature despite his religious beliefs. Said Kanneh: “I am the representative of this district. This district is mixed with people from different religious background, but predominantly Christians. During the month of Ramadan, I shared and identified with Muslims.

So I feel it is important that during this festive month for Christians I do the same.” The Muslim lawmaker also told churches he visited that his visit was also in fulfillment of his promises to them during the campaign season when he promised to be what he called “The Twin Mother”. The lawmaker confirmed challenges face by his representation at the legislature as a result of his religious beliefs, but promised to represent the district indiscriminately, irrespective of religious and ethnic faith. Said the lawmaker: “My election is a clear indication that Liberia is a country that believes in religious tolerance, especially in a district that is predominantly Christians; If the people of this district can accept to elect me despite my religious background, I feel we are on a path of National reconciliation.” The lawmaker also presented cash donation of over two hundred thousand Liberian

dollars to the 20 churches her visited. Pastors at most of the churches visited, commended the lawmaker for his thoughtfulness and promised to keep him in their prayers especially during this Christmas season. Two of the churches benefiting

from the lawmakers visit, presented him a certificate of appreciation and gowned him for his level of representation of the district. The churches confirmed that the lawmaker’s representation cut across boundaries of religion and ethnic background

despite what critics have said about him in the past. Some of the pastors described Kanneh as one in a million of people of people of his religion. Speaking about the Somalia Drive pending road construction project Kanneh said, all is now been done in his

district and from the side of the government to get the project started. He said, residents of the district and other districts to benefit from the project are anxiously awaiting the kick-off of the project.

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he President-elect of the Press Union of Liberia, K. Abdullai Kamara, has pleaded with members of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) to call off their planned boycott of the PUL’s induction next Friday. In a letter to members of the PUL, Mr. Kamara agreed with the female colleagues that the absence of women in the elected leadership tainted the joy of his elections, but added that his challenge now is to seek advisories that will ensure that the leadership reflects the concerns of all members. While Mr. Kamara agreed “that the process leading to this point was electoral, but noted his full awareness that “customs and traditions are steep in practices that limit opportunities for women – whether inadvertently or not.” While adding that this impression is “also true among intellectuals, including the media,” Kamara called for such thought patterns and practices to “be adjusted in line with inclusive growth and development that have taken over our contemporary world.” Kamara recalled that the PUL, as a human rights group, has to be wary that its every action must have and project attitudes

PUL BOYCOTT FEARS
Incoming Press Union of Liberia President Calls Against Boycott of PUL Induction, Pledges More Committees to Women

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MEDIA ISSUES

that promote the rights of all members and the society at large.Kamara noted that in reaching his position, he held consultations with various groups, including FeJAL, with the aim of allaying their disappointment of not been represented at the highest

level of the PUL, but also other compatriots, including some who contested various posts in the elections, and have reached the consensus that the PUL “must do better to ensure that women have larger roles within this institution and the larger Liberian society.”

Said the incoming PUL Prexy: “My solidarity with female journalists in Liberia predates and will succeed my aspirations for leadership in the Press Union of Liberia,” adding that his task now is “to work with all to reduce the hurt, improve the circumstances and ensure

that the voices of our sisters and all other disadvantaged groups are heard, and quite loudly.” Kamara then pledged to appoint women as Chairpersons to the majority of Standing Committees of the PUL. The PUL constitution

lists chairpersons of Standing Committees as members of the Executive Committee.Kamara added that he will work with all committees to ensure that their roles are not only in name, but will be remembered for the impact upon the development of the media in Liberia and setting the agenda for Liberia. Kamara: “I make these concessions not only because I am wooing FeJAL to call off the planned boycott, but because I have always believed that deliberately bringing all hands on deck is a sustainable approach to ensuring development of our society.”He concluded by calling upon media colleagues that “the greater task of standing up for a better legal and operating environment for journalism should not be obstructed by the absence of the womenfolk and other disadvantaged groups, who have integral roles in this process.”

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Official Program of Taking the Police to the Community at Zones & Depots on Monday, December 23, 2013

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POLICE BOSS WANTS LIBERIANS RESPECT POLICE OFFICERS Launches Clean –Up Exercise In Several Communities

he residents of the swamp Community of West Point including Freeport and New Kru Town Monday was thrilled by the launch of the First clean –up exercise exercise to be undertaken in their various communities by the leadership of the Liberia National Police. Police boss Chris Massaquoi and his immediate deputy Rose Stryker were all part of the exercise that was launched during the mid-day in the three densely populated communities just in the suburb of Monrovia. In the swamp community of West Point where the exercise first started, Police Director Chris Massaquoi told the group of residents who quickly assembled at the West Point Police Depot at the time the Police Marching band sounded out that the current police has a very potential force that will just be sitting for the people to come to them He said that the intent of the exercise is to build a cordial relationship between the community and the police and when this happened crimes can be prevented in the various where there are report of crimes. “ We love you and we want you to work with us to fight crimes in our various communities said police boss Chris Massaquoi. The police boss cautioned the residents to report crime where ever it has taken place in their communities and claimed that the citizens don’t have to disclose their identities in the report of crimes to the police. He continued that the police will continue to identify with the various communities not only in Monrovia and its environ but also in the leeward counties where the police job is also taking place. During his tour to the three communities the police chief called on the residents not to panic during the festive seasons adding that he can guarantee a peaceful celebration and that a police had an operational plan where the police is going to ensure that the people are protected during the festive seasons,After his departure from West Point the Police Chief and his entourage continued to Freeport and finally New Kru Town where they were met on arrival by elders , commissioner as well as youth groups.During his tour police director Massaquoi disbributed candies and biscuits to hundred of children that was invited to the launch of the exercise while the people of the areas visited extended appreciation the police Director and claimed they look forward to celebrating a peaceful festive season with the help of the police.