Daily Media Summary 2018-06-29

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia




Today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies highlights news of the House’s criticism of   Firestone Liberia for violating the 92-year-old Concession Agreement; the University of Liberia’s plans to establish three health programs as well as President Weah’s congratulatory messages to the Republic of Seychelles and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the observance of the two nations’ Independence anniversaries respectively.



Firestone Operations Threatened Over ‘Violations’-For Selling Hevea Wood, Furniture; Growing Coffee, Cocoa

According to the Daily Observer, Firestone Liberia, the oldest and largest rubber plantation company in the country, has been criticized by members of the House of Representatives for being in blatant violations of the 92-year-old Concession Agreement, by selling hevea rubber wood, furniture and growing coffee and cocoa. The Lawmakers said the venturing of Bridge Firestone Liberia into selling hevea rubber woods and furniture and growing coffee and cocoa  does not only make them to be in violation but is undermining Liberians who engage in similar businesses and the Liberianization Policy. Members of the House of Representatives made the statement yesterday – Thursday, June 28, during the 41st day sitting when the Management of Firestone Liberia appeared to address itself to the observations and findings  by the House’s Joint Committee on Agriculture and Labor as well as Lawmakers from Margibi and Montserrado Counties.


Related Captions: House Gives F/Stone Headache (The New Dawn), Firestone Admits To Violating Agreement(The INQUIRER)



UL To Establish School Of Public Health

According the New Dawn newspaper, authorities of the state-run University of Liberia (UL) are in the concluding stage for establishing three health programs at the institution. This followed a stakeholder’s meeting Thursday, June 28, 2018 at UL. The three programs, namely; Certificate in Health System Leadership and Management (CHSLM), a Bachelor of Science degree program in Public Health (BScPH) and a Masters of Public Health (MPH) with focal areas, were approved by the University Faculty Senate in March this year. According to a statement from the university, the approval marks the UL’s historic move towards establishing a School of Public Health (SPH), an initiative that will significantly enhance and expand locally trained capacity to better prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats and reduce risk of another outbreak as catastrophic as the Ebola virus disease crisis. With the approval by the faculty senate, the UL statement says the next step would be a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, and its final decision.


Related Captions: UL Moves to Establish School of Public Health(Heritage), UL Moves to Establish School of Public Health(The INQUIRER)




President Weah Congratulates Seychelles, DR Congo On 42nd And 58th Independence Observance


The INQUIRERnewspaper reports that President George Manneh Weah has send two separate messages of congratulations to the Governments and peoples of the Republic of Seychelles and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the occasions commemorating the two countries’ Independence anniversaries respectively.  According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Republic of Seychelles will celebrate its 42nd Independence Anniversary on Friday, June 29, 2018, while the Democratic Republic of Congo will commemorate its 58th Independence Anniversary on Saturday, June 30, 2018. In the message to his Congolese counterpart, His Excellency Joseph Kabila, President George Manneh Weah on behalf of Liberia, extended heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the Government and people of the Democratic Republic of Congo as they celebrate this historic national event. The Liberia leader further expressed confidence that the observance of this year’s independence occasion will inspire impetus in the historic bilateral ties subsisting between Liberia and the DRC as the two Governments work together collaboratively in the spirit of African solidarity.  In his congratulatory message to President Danny Faure, the Government and people of Seychelles, the Liberian President also noted that as they celebrate this historic milestone, it is his prayer that the two countries will work collaboratively in the spirit of African solidarity for the betterment of the continent.


China Completes US$12.9M Capitol Building Annexes

The Daily Observer reports that the construction of the annexes of the New Capitol Building which began in October 2016 under “The Grant Assistance Project,” has been formally completed. According to the daily, the keys of the annexes were turned over to the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW), which subsequently handed them over to the Joint Legislative Modernization Committee on Wednesday. Assistant Public Works Minister for Technical Services, Clarence Wilson, on behalf of the Ministry of Public Works presented the keys to the lawmakers. “We have come to officially turn over these keys to the Legislature, because the two annexes are completed,” Wilson said. He was accompanied by Mr. Sidney Divine, the Construction Engineer of the project. Jiangsu Jiangsu Construction Company constructed the annexes, while another Chinese company, the China International Engineering Design and Consultant Company Limited, supervised the engineering component. PRC’s Ministry of Commerce was responsible for the project.



For Supporting GACs Activities: Auditor-General Extols IMF, World Bank, Others

The Auditor-General of the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Yusador S. Gaye, has implored the effort and support to the commission of some international donor institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, African Cooperative Development Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to enhance the activities of the GAC. The GAC boss noted that, while it is true that the government of Liberia has been supportive of the commission.  Auditor-General Gaye spoke yesterday, during a one-day interactive forum organized by the entity to brainstorm on the significance of transparency and accountability, was aimed at enhancing government’s developmental agenda by promoting the elements of transparency, accountability, as it relates to the utilization of public resources, the Hot Pepper newspaper reads.



WLCU Assists Law School with Scholarships, Chairs

The World Lebanese Cultural Union of Liberia (WLCU), has launched a scholarship program at the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia beginning with 12 students at the cost of US$6,750.00 and has also offered to design 250 chairs for the school. WLCU President Ahmed Wanzi said the gesture was the Union’s initial contribution to the nation’s highest and specialized institution of learning, and the beginning of a long process of dialogue and cooperation with the Lebanese Community in Liberia. The check was presented yesterday to Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia, the INQUIRER newspaper reads.



Education Minister Encourages Transparency in Education at Tertiary Level

Education Minister Prof. Dr. Ansu Sonii Sr., who statutorily serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Commission on Higher Education, is encouraging colleges and universities whose operational permits have expired to seek renewal immediately. He reminds educators to remain law abiding and transparent in their quest to provide quality education at all levels in Liberia. Prof. Sonii confirms to continue working closely with the commission to ensure that all processes are properly, professionally coordinated and are in conformity with the Act governing the commission, the Heritage newspaper reads.



New IMO Envoy Unfolds Plans to Revamp Maritime Programs

Liberia’s newest envoy to the International Maritime Organization (IMO),  Amb. Moses Owen Brown, Jr. says, he is taking up many challenges to revamp and improve the Maritime programs and operation in his country, but vows to infuse dynamism that will better the life of his country and people. Envoy Brown said he has three major cardinal goals to work with as soon as he takes up assignment in London, the United Kingdom; and that will include Passion, Commitment and Dedication for which he promised to work for his country, Liberia, the Inquirer newspaper reads.


Liberians Risk Dying Of Contaminated Fish

The Inspector-General at the Ministry of Commerce in Monrovia alarms here that Liberians who bought and ate the much talked about plastic fish sold by Diamond Food, importer of fish and poultry products, risk dying of slow poison in the not too distant future. Inspector-General Ms. Josephine W.A. Davies made the alarm Wednesday, when she appeared on ECOWAS Radio’s public affairs program “This Government Thing.” Madam Davies, who describes the product as “slow poison”, notes that the fish turned to plastic because of dangerous chemical substances used by Diamond Food as preservatives. She further reveals that due to the graveness of the situation, the Government of Liberia (GOL) has maintained the closure of the Diamond Food business establishment operated by a Lebanese merchant in the country. According to her, samples of the highly toxic fish were sent to several countries including the Republic of Ghana for laboratory test, and results prove positive, writes the New Dawn newspaper.



Citizens Attend Peace Forum In Nimba

The Liberia Peace Building Office [PBO] along with the Ministry of Internal Affairs have ended a two days forum on non-violence in Flumpa, Electoral District#8, Nimba County under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]. Citizens of the area were at each other’s throats during the 2017 elections, especially after poll results in the district ended in dispute with aggrieved parties running to the Supreme Court. The forum brought together six of the nine candidates who contested in the district, including Melvin Sendolo Garpeh, Jackson Fildor, Rufus N. Mandein, Ben Zonmia and Representative Larry P. Younquoi. They all pledge to work towards peace in the district. The Executive Director for the Liberia Peace Building Office, Edward Mulbah says the engagement was intended for citizens to learn how to do away with conflict in order to live together peacefully like before, after the elections, reports the New Dawn newspaper.



BWI Turns 89 Tomorrow

According to the Daily Observer newspaper, several activities have been lined up this weekend in commemoration of the 89th founding anniversary of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), Liberia’s oldest technical and vocational training high school in Kakata, Margibi County. The institute came into being in 1929 through the vision and instrumentality of President Charles D. B. King who, on a visit to the USA, had appealed to the emotions of the American government and people to help establish such a learning facility in his country. His dream came true when a US private foundation, headed by a philanthropist, provided funding for the setting up of what would become one of West Africa’s “best brains academies.” The bill to establish BWI suffered some delays in the legislature, but some lawmakers, led by Senator William V.S. Tubman of Maryland County, succeeded in convincing their colleagues to get the bill passed in the interest of Liberia, according to Kenneth Y. Best’s publication, “The BWI Story.”



IAA Staff Gear Up For New Fiscal Year

The management and staff of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) will from July 2–6 hold a retreat to evaluate its performance during the just-ending fiscal year, and finalize the Agency’s annual plan for 2018/19 fiscal year. According to the Daily Observer, the retreat, which will be held at IAA’s proposed new office in Congo Town, will focus on perusing and endorsing critical documents of the institution such as the IAA’s five year (2018 – 2023), the Internal Audit Manual, the revised Human Resource Manual, amongst others. As a prelude to the Retreat, several committees comprising IAA’s Executives, Sector Directors, Directors and Managers have been established to formulate, review, update and/or amend some of the Agency’s policies and plans to meet the demands of the pro-poor administration. The daily reads that the aim of bringing all IAA’s employees together is to re-invigorate the team spirit and foster interactions between and amongst employees of the Agency.