Daily Media Summary 2018-05-02

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia



Today’s edition of our summary of the local daily highlights news of the signing of an agreement turning over ECOWAS radio to Liberia and Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh’s assertion that the unstable Foreign Exchange rate is affecting the price of rice on the Liberian market




Liberia, ECOWAS Sign Regional Radio Agreement

The New Dawn newspaper reports that Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley and ECOWAS Commission President Dr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou have signed an agreement turning over ECOWAS Radio to the host country, Liberia. At the event Tuesday, 1 May in Monrovia, Mr. Findley said ECOWAS Commission President Dr. Brou appeared here specifically to sign the agreement turning over the ECOWAS Radio facilities and also on a courtesy call to President George Manneh Weah. Mr. Findley says communication is important in reaching out to the people in the region, adding that three languages will be spoken in transmitting messages to member states via ECOWAS Radio. The regional radio station became ECOWAS Radio after the United Nations turned over what was UNMIL Radio to the regional bloc this year in ending its peacekeeping operations in the country. During the signing of the agreement turning over the radio station, ECOWAS Commission President Dr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou says the radio station will be a very important instrument to promote the idea of peace, tolerance and good governance in the region. He adds that ECOWAS Radio will be used to send messages to all the 15 member states, and that ECOWAS will play its part in supporting the radio station.



Rice Verses US Rate Unstable Forex Exchange ‘Hampers Price Of Rice’ In Liberia

Liberia’s Commerce Minister Prof. Wilson Tarpeh has told the House of Representatives that the hike in the foreign exchange rate is having a trigger down effect on the reduction in the price of rice – the country’s stable food.  According to the FrontPage Africa newspaper, the Commerce Minister and officials of the Rice Importers Association of Liberia were cited by the House of Representative to state whether the agreement entered between the rice importers and President George Weah is being implemented. Appearing before the plenary alongside officials of the Association of Rice Importers on Tuesday, May 1, Minister Tarpeh confirmed that the rice importers are living up to their agreement with the President. He said although the implementation is in full swing, only wholesalers are benefiting from the reduction while retailers are not due to the foreign exchange crisis. He added that for ordinary Liberians to benefit from the pro-poor measure being taken, there is need to stabilize the foreign exchange rate, something he noted requires the collective efforts of major actors of the economy including the Legislature.

Related Caption: Commerce, Rice Importers Confirm Reducing Price by US$3, But…(Daily Observer), US Rate Affecting Price Of Rice(The INQUIRER)




US$200K Oxygen Plant For ELWA Hospital Soon

The Rotary Club of Monrovia (RCM) over the weekend broke ground for the construction of a facility to house a medical grade oxygen production plant for ELWA Hospital. The Oxygen Plant project, which costs approximately US$200K, comes after nearly 4 years of fund-raising and project development by the Rotary Club of Monrovia, Rotary Club of Marlow and other Rotary Districts in the United Kingdom. RCM President Monique Cooper-Liverpool said her organization is pleased to collaborate with ELWA Hospital on this life-saving project and described the venture as the beginning of a new phase of work that has been ongoing for four years. According to the Daily Observer, the Oxygen Plant is one of two “Ebola Legacy projects” that is being implemented by the Rotary Club of Monrovia.


House And Senate Send 2018/2019 Budget To Joint Committee

The House of Representatives voted unanimously on Tuesday, May 2, to send the 2018/2019 Budget in the tone of US$562.4 million to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning and the Public Account and Expenditure Committee to begin scrutiny. According to the Daily Observer, the House’s Budget Committee was given one month to scrutinize the 2018/2019 Budget and report to plenary. The daily reads that the Liberian senate has also mandated its Committees on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget as well as Public Accounts & Audit to collaborate with the House of Representatives to have a Joint Budget Committee, which will lead to a speedy budget public hearing in compliance with the constitution, because revenue generation devolves upon the House of Representatives. According to the summary of the 2018/2019 Budget, the expenditure is subdivided into two categories, recurrent expenditure of US$488.7 million or 87 percent and US$73.4 million or 13 percent for Public Sector Investment Plan (PSIP).


CEO Captan MCC Compact will Benefit All Vulnerable Group

The Heritage newspaper reports that the Chief Executive Officer CEO of the Millennium Challenge Account- Liberia (MCA-L) says the implementation of the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) will benefit all vulnerable groups, including women and children. The MCC is a US$257 grant signed between the Governments of the United States of America and Liberia on October 2, 2015 and is aimed at encouraging economic growth and reduces poverty in Liberia by focusing on improving the inadequate road infrastructure and increasing access to reliable and affordable electricity in the country.


High Powered Health Delegation Begins Nationwide Tour Today


The Heritage newspaper reads that two health officials have expressed delight over the level of health delivery services and surveillance system in Margibi County. Deputy Health Minister for Administration, Norwu Howard and National Public Health Institute Director General Tolbert Nyenswah said they were impressed by the preparedness of the team to deliver quality health service. The two health officials said though there were other challenges; they believe the Margibi County health team like others must be fully supported. The daily, quoting a health Ministry release said the two officials spoke at the start of a nationwide tour to determine the implementation of the Integrated Disease Surveillance system.


LRA Agrees to Pay 712k Of Retirement Salaries For 31 Employees

The Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Mrs. Elfrieda Tamba has dismissed rumors that the LRA has refused to pay-off 31 employees who were retired, but said the LRA has over the years been facing financial constraints like any other government agency. She told the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 1, that the LRA is willing to settle the retirement salaries of the redundant employees. And so she is appealing to the legislature to make the necessary appropriation in the 2018/2019 budget. Mrs. Tamba said out of the US$712,800 owed the retired employees; the LRA was only able to pay US$30,000. The Daily Observer reads that through a motion from Lofa County District 3 Representative Clarence Massaquoi that Ways, Means, Finance, and Development Planning work along with the LRA to include the fund in the 2018/2019 Budget, the House’s Plenary unanimously accepted the gesture.


LRA Validates Domestic Resource Mobilization Strategy

The New Dawnnewspaper says the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has ended the final in a series of two national validation of the country’s draft Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM) Strategy, with stakeholders proposing key recommendations. The daily reads that in a bid to review and solicit inputs in the draft strategy, the LRA in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), supported by the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Program-II, held a two-day validation exercise with stakeholders from five counties over the weekend in Gbarnga, Bong County. At the Gbarnga DRM Strategy review, stakeholders recommended vital improvement in Liberia’s trade and industry sector to enhance revenue collection and facilitate national development.


Related Caption: Stakeholders Recommend Ways To Increase Domestic Devenue-As LRA Validates National Strategy(In Profile Daily)


LRRRC Intensifies Data Collection For Disadvantaged Youth

According to the FrontPage Africa newspaper, the Liberia Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) has intensified data collection for people it calls “National Internally Displaced Person (NIDPs).” These NIDPs, who are also described as “persons with special needs,” are also referred to as zogos. The daily says the data collection is part of the commission’s program to collect basic pieces of information on those caught directly associating with drugs such as selling, producing or importing the substance. The program, code named ‘Disadvantaged People Assessment or Mapping Exercise Implementation Arrangement,’ is intended to gather the total number  of disadvantaged youths with the aim of creating skills training programs intended to enable them rewrite their futures. The exercise which is currently taking place in most communities in Monrovia will also help the relevant authorities source the needed support from partners.


HR Managers Urged To Relate To Employees

According to the In Profile Daily, the Ministry of Labour has concluded the holding of a one-day acquaintance meeting with Human Resource Managers of Unionized Employment institutions in the private sectors of Liberia. Speaking during the interactive forum, Assistant Labour Minister for Trade Union Affairs and Social Dialogue, Mr. Togba R. Croyee Porte, said the meeting is intended to strengthen the existing relationship between HR Managers and the Labour Ministry as well as to discuss how to move the Labour sector forward. 


WCO Conducts Disaster Preparedness Training For LRA, Partners.

The world Customs Organization (WCO) through its Custom for Relief of Epidemic Diseases (C-RED) project on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 kicked off a four-day training for Customs officers of the Liberia Revenue Authority LRA as well as partners working in relief projects. According to the In Profile Daily, the WCO C-RED project is intended to assist Customs Administrations in West Africa to be better prepared to minimize the effects of regional epidemic diseases and natural diseases.


Maryland Hosting WPFD 2018

Maryland County will host the 2018 Press Freedom Day (WPFD) Liberian celebration as part of ongoing efforts to copiously strengthen the country’s democratic qualities to the World. The Harper Events are expected to attract the media, civil social activists, the academia, and government representatives. The WPFD events are scheduled to cover field trips to Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee. The Heritage newspaper reads that this year’s celebrations of the World Press Freedom Day will be held under the theme: Keeping Power In Check: Media, Justice and Rule of Law. 


Accountability Lab Launches Integrity Idol 2018 Edition

According to the Daily Observer, Accountability Lab Liberia (ALL) has launched the 2018 edition of Integrity Idol that celebrates honest civil servants in corruption-plagued countries, like Liberia, and has grown to reach new audiences in other West Africa countries with the aim to enlist the public’s help in fighting corruption. The 2018 Integrity Idol is the fourth edition of a nationwide campaign by Accountability Lab- Liberia in partnership with other organizations that also appreciate honest public servants. Officially launching the initiative in Monrovia on Monday, the coordinator for Accountability Lab Liberia, Lawrence Yealue, said this is another opportunity for Liberians to fame one of their best civil servants, instead of the usual naming and shaming, which has been the status quo in fighting corruption.


Related Caption: Accountability Lab Liberia Launches Integrity Idol 2018(FrontPage Africa)