Daily Media Summary (2018-03-09

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia




The submission of the recast budget to the Legislature by President George Manneh Weah, his condolence message to the Russian President, the resurfacing of lassa fever in Liberia, and the certification of LRA staff by UNCTAD as facilitation trainer are some of the selected stories for today’s summary.


Weah Submits Recast Budget – US$536.2m Projected

According to the In Profile Daily, President George Weah has submitted the recast budget for the fiscal year 2017 – 18 to the Legislature through Speaker Bhofal Chambers for scrutiny and timely consideration so as to help drive the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda. The recast budget which is dated March 7, 2018, submitted to the House of Representatives, is forecasted at US$536.2 million for the fiscal year 2017-18. According to the communication from the office of President Weah, the Legislature in 2017-18 approved a budget of US$563.5 million to facilitate government’s operations and as well undertake needed public sector investments.

President Weah Consoles Russian President

President George Manneh Weah has sent a message of consolation to H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, following the tragic loss of 39 Russian Military personnel in a plane crash. The deceased tragically met their untimely demise on Tuesday, March 6, at the Hmeimim airbase, near the coastal city of Latakia, Syria, early Tuesday morning. According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Liberian leader said, “The Government and People of the Republic of Liberia are deeply saddened by the tragic plane crash at Hmeimim airbase, near the coastal city of Latakia, Syria, in the early morning of Tuesday, March 6, 2018, claiming the lives of thirty-nine (39) Russian Military personnel.” The President further said, Liberia recognizes that this sad event has indeed brought forth a difficult period for the People of Russia, particularly, for the families of those affected, the Daily Observer quotes a Foreign Ministry release.

Gov’t Bars Entry to Illegal Migrants from Sierra Leone

The Government of Liberia on Wednesday barred hundreds of Sierra Leonean citizens from entering the country at the Bo Water Side border post because they did not have ‘traveling documents’ that could have allowed them to do so. However, the Sierra Leoneans interviewed said they were residing in Liberia and recently returned to Sierra Leone to cast their votes in the country’s presidential and general elections on March 7. Authorities at the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) told the Daily Observer on yesterday that the returning Sierra Leoneans did not have travel documents and therefore they could not allow them to enter Liberia. LIS Commissioner, Lemuel Reeves, said only 566 persons were granted free passage to return to Sierra Leone, but afterward realized that upon their return the number had surpassed 1,000 individuals—most of them women, babies and small children, reports the Daily Observer.

Lassa Fever Resurfaces in Liberia, 3 Deaths Confirmed

The National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) have confirmed three cases of Lassa Fever in Montserrado and Nimba counties. All those confirmed to be carrying the fever have died, a MoH release has said. According to the release, the victims were given a safe and dignified burial. The county health teams are now doing contact tracing on both healthcare workers and community members who came into contact with the patients during their symptomatic period and are considered to be at risk. No epidemiological link has been established between those confirmed with the disease, though they have already died. A total of 134 contacts have been identified and are currently being followed-up (Montserrado, 105, Margibi, 25 and Nimba 4), including 37 healthcare workers. As of March 7, 2018, no new confirmed Lassa fever cases have been reported, the release said, pens the Daily Observer.

Related Caption: NPHIL Confirms Lassa Fever In Liberia (Heritage)

LRA Holds Tax Clinic For Business Stakeholders

The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) says it will determinedly enforce the collection of lawful revenues, while working with all stakeholders, especially the business community, to enhance compliance and boost domestic resource mobilization. The Authority wants businesses in the country to operate within the confines of the law and pay their taxes in line with the Liberia Revenue Code, to foster national development. The call was made Friday (March 2, 2018) when the Domestic Tax Department held a one-day interactive discussion with several business stakeholders at the LRA Headquarters in Paynesville. The discussions focused on issues hindering the accurate filling of tax records, including timely payment of taxes by taxpayers mainly in the Medium and Large Tax sectors, reports the Daily Observer.

Related Captions: LRA Holds Tax Clinic For Business Stakeholders (Insight), and UNCTAD Certificates LRA Staff… AS Int’l Trade Facilitation Trainer (In Profile Daily)

IMF Team Here to Assess Liberia’s Economy

A seven-man International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV Consultation Team yesterday arrived in the country to hold series of discussions and technical meetings with various stakeholders, including authorities at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to assess the status of the country’s economy. The assessment by the visiting team under the Fund’s Article 4, consultation surveillance is carried out on member countries. The engagement which is done every year is to assess each country’s economic health and to forestall future financial problems. Acquainting Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., on the objectives of the visit, Mika Saito, Deputy Division Chief, Western II Division of the African Department of the IMF, outlined the Mission’s objectives, detailing a number of issues the team will explore during its visit to Liberia. Among them, Saito said the IMF team is interested in knowing the government’s medium-term vision, as well as its plan for achieving that vision over the next five years, reports the Daily Observer.

22-Year-old Student Booked With Narcotics

A 22-yr-old student of the Grade 11 class of St. Lawrence Catholic School in Ganta City, Nimba County was on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 arrested with quantities of narcotic drugs he had reportedly brought to the classroom. Speaking on a local radio breakfast show, the Principal of the school, Larlesser Berdeh said the boy, one Jonathan Mensahn, was caught with 29 parcels of marijuana (weed) and pieces of milk candy that had allegedly been laced with the same drug. Mr. Berdeh said that ever since the school year started there had been reports of students carrying narcotic substances to their classrooms. Based on those reports, the school’s Administration decided to conduct a surprise search of the various classrooms. He said that it was during the search that they discovered quantities of marijuana, reportedly intended for sale on the school’s campus, in a bag found with Jonathan, writes the Daily Observer. 

Press Union Names New LMC Executive Director


The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has named Samuel Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II, as the new executive director of Liberia Media Center (LMC). The decision to appoint Mr. Duworko followed a vigorous vetting process by the leadership of the union, PUL President Charles Coffey told journalists at a press conference yesterday in Monrovia. The governing board of directors of the LMC, headed by the president of the PUL thought it wise to seek the applications of qualified and interested individuals to fill the gap left by the late Lawrence Randall. According to Mr. Coffey, prior to naming Mr. Duworko, an announcement was made through a number of media outlets and 11 persons from different media houses and educational institutions applied and an intensive interview conducted to identify the most qualified from among the applicants was conducted, and Duworko emerged as the best candidate. Duworko, a lecturer of English and journalism at the University of Liberia, has been congratulated by the Board of LMC and assured of its commitment to support him in his endeavors to promote the developmental media agenda of the entity, reportsDaily  Observer.

Related Caption: LMC Gets New Executive Director (Heritage)

UN Certificates LRA Staff

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has awarded a professional certificate to a staff of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Zechariah Geedehgar Munford, as an International Trade Facilitator Trainer. According to a press release, Mr. Munford, Senior Officer for Valuation in the LRA Customs Department, received the global recognition following complement of a two-year intensive international trade facilitation training program. Before being certificated, he completed the five modules of the empowerment program and also obtained satisfactory marks during evaluations, reports the New Dawn newspaper.

Related Caption: UNCTAD Certificates LRA Staff as Int’l Trade Facilitation Trainer (Insight)

Several Resident Benefit From Over L$100,000 Micro Loan

Montserraado County District #17 Representative, Hanson Kiazolu, has officially launched a free micro loan scheme, with the presentation of L$108,000 to several residents of his district, outside Monrovia. Rep. Kiazolu said though it is not his constitutional responsibilities to provide free micro loan to his residents, the initiative was intended to help empower his constituents. He explained that the move is also intended to contribute towards the welfare of the beneficiaries to enable them cater to their respective family members through the establishment of small or medium size businesses, reports the Heritage newspaper.

Police Boss Apologizes – For decision on motorcyclists

Liberia’s Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue has made public apology to members of the Liberian Senate, after being summoned for adjusting restrictions on commercial motorcyclists’ movement and allowing them to drive through certain routes considered “no-go zone”. His appearance Thursday before the Senate was marred by apologies and appeals to Senators for taking hasty decision to return commercial motorcyclists in the main streets of Paynesville affecting routes from Redlight to ELWA Junction and from Redlight to Freeport on the Somalia Drive, asserts the New Dawn newspaper.