The National Housing Authority (NHA) has signed a US$360,000 agreement with the African Development Bank (AFDB) aimed at providing capacity building and technical service assistance to the NHA.Acting as the administrator of the Nigeria Technical Cooperation Fund, the Bank will provide capacity building and others technical assistance to the National Housing Authority in its service delivery.AFDB was represented by its Country Head, Dr. Margaret Kilo, at the signing ceremony, while the National Housing Authority’s (NHA) Managing Director Samuel W. Thompson also represented it at the signing.According to Dr. Kilo, the Bank shall act as the administrator of the Nigeria Technical Cooperation Fund (NTCF) pursuant to a Technical Cooperation Agreement signed on the 5th of April 2004 between the Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria and the AfDB.She said the objective of the NTCF is to promote African solidarity, regional integration, technological advancement and economic independence through increased capacity building and institutional support initiatives for the Bank’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs).She added that the significance of the housing sector to growth of any economy couldn’t be over emphasized.Dr. Kilo used the occasion to call on other institutions to support the NHA in building its capacity to meet Liberia’s critical housing needs.In a brief remark, NHA Managing Director Samuel Thompson expressed gratitude to the Bank for the level of support to the country.The MD recounted several major interventions of the Bank in the areas of power, water and road and said this was another commendable intervention.According to MD Thompson, the capacity building is critical to a country coming from war; therefore the support of the NTCF and the AFDB to the NHA in this area is very strategic.He lauded the effort of the AFDB and said he was excited over the support, which is a critical milestone in developing technocrats, support staff and equipping the NHA in its ongoing Housing Policy reforms to foster growth of the Liberian housing sector.According to Mr. Thompson, the capacity building fund will help the NHA develop its internal capacity in Technical Services, Information Technology, Finance and Procurement.He said that local and foreign training of staff will place the entity in a better position to meet current housing challenges in developing innovative products, proper financial reporting, timely responses and ensuring value for money.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,The response by the Department of Energy to grave concerns expressed about the invitation to select petroleum companies to Guyana for face-to-face meetings is disingenuous.There is no need to sell Guyana’s share of profit oil directly. The share should be sold by the operator and should fetch the same price as the operator’s share. The price garnered for ExxonMobil’s share will be declared publicly to its shareholders and is a transparent, trusted and audited process. ExxonMobil cannot and will not lie to its owners (shareholders) and is closely monitored by capable institutions such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The same cannot be said for the process outlined by David Granger’s Department of Energy (DE).The DE is being facetious when it suggested that “The short-term first phase beginning this week will focus on setting national benchmarks for selling Guyana’s portion of its crude in the future”. One, the benchmark will be set by the sale of the oil lifted before our turn comes and two, each batch of oil is quality tested and sold according to those results.The DE confirmed that “Selected companies are invited to bid to buy Guyana’s product in the very short term”. The obvious question is why? Oil is sold on the world market daily, there is no advantage to pre-selling oil of unknown (but expected to be very high) quality. Should we, for example, accept a price US$2 higher than Brent Crude per barrel, it would seem a good deal unless the quality is higher and the world market price would be Brent plus US$8. In such a scenario, Guyana would have lost US$18 million due to undue haste. Given the present ravaged state of the Treasury, it is a risk we can ill-afford to take.Then there is the issue of “selected companies”, the DE stated that “This strategy was employed upon serious consideration of advice given by an international team external to the DE”. The DE gave us titles of persons but significantly fails to name anyone. The DE gave us a lengthy three-point explanation of the ‘logic’ employed in reaching the decision to adopt a self-described “novel approach” – an examination of the three points is revealing.In point one, the DE said the quality of the crude is not yet known. This is patently false; ExxonMobil has signalled that the crude is expected to be higher than the benchmark Brent. However, each shipment of oil is graded onboard the FPSO rigorously, oil companies do not buy or sell ‘pig in bag’. Any sale before testing is going to be below real value as companies will claim ‘risk’. Absolute hogwash!Point two states “The DE has been advised, by the Crude Marketing Specialist, that in order to take Guyana through this limited short-term phase, a few high-quality IOCs with a global refining footprint and integrated oil value chains would be best given an opportunity to support the DE during this incubation and launching phase”. Guyana needs to get the best possible price for its share of profit oil, what it seems to have gotten is high-priced ‘con-sultants’. Keep it simple stupid should be a mantra over at the DE; it seems they are easily confused or misled. Is Kevin Granger an advisor on the ‘international team’? is it a team or a gathering of cronies?Point three of the DE’s response states “Guyana’s main incentive in taking this approach is to establish a norm in terms of quality standard and quantity availability so as to prevent any possible down-pricing”. Again, if or quality is low, it will be tested before lifting and priced according to world prices, same if it is high, every shipment will be tested and priced this way, in a very open and transparent process. That is unless we deviate from the norm during the ‘face-to-face’ meetings.The DE asserted that there is no untoward motive hidden in the request for face-to-face meetings and then, only with ‘selected’ companies, but I would suggest that when men with guns and masks are in our house, Guyanese do not have to wait to be robbed to know that they are bandits. We also know ‘salla-walla’ when we see it.Respectfully,Robin Singh
President David Granger on Thursday said the proposed salary increases which were put forward to the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) for 2016, will not be the same for the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU).“It is not my view that the GTU negotiations were part of the negotiations with the GPSU. I would have expected a separate arrangement to be made and I would say that the actual agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers Union should be something which should be kept separate from the GPSU negotiations. We, as the Government, accept, we acknowledge [and] we observe the collective bargaining agreement and that is how the GPSU agreement was arrived at in the first place…,” President Granger said.He said that the payment, when made, is a preliminary one as negotiations continue.“Even with regard to the GPSU, the agreement, it’s not a final agreement. The Government of Guyana is still in engagement with the GPSU, so if it’s not final for GPSU, it can’t be final for GTU,” he said.During the recording of the Ministry of the Presidency’s weekly programme, ‘The Public Interest’, the President, in response to questions on whether he would have received correspondence from the Guyana Teacher’s Union on the matter and whether he had engaged the Union, President Granger said he had indeed received the Union’s letter but he believes that the Union should first engage at a ministerial level with the Ministers in the Social Protection Ministry.“As far as the trade union is concerned, yes I have received a letter and I have a Ministry of Social Protection and I would urge that the trade unions engage the Ministers first. It would be imprudent for me to overrule or override or try to deal with the unions without first giving the Minister responsible [a chance to engage]; and they are two Ministers in that Ministry. So it is important for the Trade Unions to engage her first and of course, the Minister who has specific responsibility for industrial relations,” the Head of State posited.President Granger said that conciliation was not necessary at this time, as he noted that talks between the Union and Government were not discontinued. He cited the fact that there is a menu of measures which have not yet been exhausted. He noted that because of Government’s preparation of the 2017 Budget, talks between the Unions and the Government needed to have reached a certain point by September so that a budget could be prepared.The President added, “The GPSU is fully aware that these matters are still on the table and the discussions are continuing. It is not a final offer; it is an offer which allows the Government to get on with its business and allow the public servants to enjoy the increase in pay to which we feel that they are entitled. We are still talking to the Union there’s no reason for conciliation at this stage because we are still engaged, it is not as though the talks are deadlocked but we are willing to move ahead and we can’t have the public servants suffering because of the slow pace of negotiations.”
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Four swimmers from the Inconnu Swim Club will be heading to Abbotsford in two weeks’ time to compete at the BC Summer Games.Nicolas Eyles, David Shipalesky, Griffin Ternier-Smith, and Cameron Louie will be making the trip to the Lower Mainland for the Games, which are taking place July 21st – 24th. The four swimmers found out that they had qualified last week. Each of the athletes are free to choose which of the event they will be competing in, allowing them to play to their strengths, while also allowing them to enter events they may not normally swim in. Eyles and Shipalesky will be swimming in the 100 m backstroke, 100 m freestyle, 50 m backstroke and freestyle events, and the 1500 m freestyle events. Louie meanwhile is more of a breaststroke swimmer, and will be competing in a number of distances in that discipline.The quartet are excited about making the trip down to Abbotsford for the Games; all four are looking forward to the opportunity to meet and compete against new swimmers, and are also hoping to advance from ‘AA’ to ‘AAA’ standards in their respective events.- Advertisement –
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Peace Region Community to Community Motorcycle Poker Ride has been postponed until August 24 due to weather conditions.The Poker Ride is a fundraiser event where riders will travel to checkpoints around the Peace Region, which includes checkpoints in Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Taylor, Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope, and Tumbler Ridge.Registration for the event will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Dawson Creek Visitor Centre and will wind down at 5:00 p.m. at the Fixx Urban Grill in Dawson Creek.- Advertisement -The cost to register for the Poker Ride is $35.00 per hand, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to the top hand while the other 50 percent will go towards the South Peace Community Resource Society.The Peace Region Community to Community Motorcycle Poker Ride is taking place Saturday, August 24, starting in Dawson Creek.For more information and to register, you can call the Dawson Creek Visitor Centre at 250-782-9595 or email email@example.com.Advertisement
GLENDALE – Hundreds of people attended the funeral of 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, who died after her insurance company initially refused to approve a liver transplant then reversed the decision hours before the girl died. Mourners remembered Sarkisyan on Friday as someone who was optimistic, loved dancing and never complained about the leukemia she was battling. Janet Saboundjian told the crowd at St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolate Church in Glendale that her niece’s sparking blue eyes could brighten the darkest of days. Along with traditional black attire, mourners wore touches of pink, her favorite color. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonPhiladelphia-based Cigna Corp. has said the procedure was experimental and not covered by the employer’s benefit plan. The company reversed the decision after nurses and community members rallied outside its office. Attorney Mark Geragos has said the family will file a lawsuit. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
1 Per Mertesacker: The German has picked up an injury during pre-season Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker will be out for “a few months” with a knee injury, manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed.The French boss confirmed the injury to his defender in a press conference on the club’s pre-season tour. The 31-year-old suffered the injury in Friday’s pre-season draw with Lens and did not travel with the rest of Arsenal’s squad for their two-match tour of the United States.The German World Cup winner, who lost his place in the Gunners’ side towards the end of last season, will now miss the start of the new campaign.It comes as a blow to the club and especially to Mertesacker – reports last week claimed the German was set to be handed the captain’s armband at the north London club.Fellow central defender Gabriel was also left at home and, with Laurent Koscielny on an extended break following his exertions with France at Euro 2016, it means new signing Rob Holding is likely to be involved in both matches.Wenger’s men meet the MLS All-Stars in San Jose on Friday before ending their short stint in the States with a game against Chivas de Guadalajara.Mertesacker, who joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen in 2011, had captained the side on occasion last season before he was dropped as Wenger preferred to partner Gabriel and Koscielny at the heart of his defence.England Under-21 international Holding was signed from Bolton earlier in the week but the 20-year-old, named the Trotters’ player of the season last year as they were relegated from the Sky Bet Championship, could now play a major part in the build-up to Arsenal’s season.He could be paired with Calum Chambers against the All-Stars team, with the pair familiar with one another having been part of the England Under-21 squad which won the Toulon Tournament in May.Wenger also confirmed another new signing, Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka, will play some part against the All-Stars following his big-money move from Borussia Monchengladbach earlier in the summer.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Police officers went to Robida’s home Thursday and spoke to his mother. According to court papers, she said Robida came home about 1 a.m., bleeding from the head, then left. In his bedroom, officers found Nazi regalia and anti-Semitic writings on the wall. A man who answered the door at Robida’s mother’s house Friday morning ordered reporters off the property. At least one of the wounded men remained hospitalized Friday. A second was released, and hospital officials would not disclose the whereabouts of the third victim. Police said they were examining material Robida posted on his Internet home page. The site is full of references to a rap group called Insane Clown Posse, which is known for its explicit lyrics and sinister clown makeup. The band’s label, Psychopathic Records, has a logo depicting the silhouette of a man wielding a hatchet. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – A teenager accused of going on a rampage at a gay bar with a hatchet and a gun sometimes glorified Nazism and had a swastika tattoo, but never previously expressed any prejudice toward gays, friends say. Jacob Robida, 18, was wanted in Thursday’s attack at Puzzles Lounge that left three men wounded, one critically. He remained at large Friday. Police have labeled the attack a hate crime and said Robida will be charged with attempted murder, assault and civil-rights violations. Heather Volton, 22, of Fall River said she has been friends with Robida for more than a year. She said he had a swastika on his hand, but “the kid never so much as raised his voice at me.”
At least 30 people have been injured after an overcrowded escalator broke in an underground subway in Rome.Crowds of people hurtled into each other after the malfunction at the Repubblica underground station, which happened just before Roma’s Champions League match against CSKA Moscow. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions The remains of the escalator after the horrifying incident 3 There have been at least 30 casualties in the incident Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won 3 MONEY Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Russian fans were reportedly “singing and jumping” on the escalator shortly before it gave way.The incident sparked panicky scenes as scores of people were sent hurtling towards the bottom.Some were able to scramble over the central reservation but many got crushed in the mechanism.La Repubblica claims that one victim’s foot was amputated in the incident. The game between Roma and CSKA Moscow has gone ahead no dice Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury RANKED Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card ADVICE huge blow REVEALED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade It is understood six people are seriously injured and more than 100 firefighters were scrambled to the station.“A group of CSKA fans were going down into the station. At that moment the escalator collapsed,” a police spokesman told Russian news agency RIA.Meanwhile, a Russian fan was reportedly stabbed during clashes between fans near the Stadio Olimpico. BEST OF 3 Latest Football News REVEALED Two other travelling Moscow fans were also said to have been hurt in the melee.Police were deployed with fire hydrants to break up the violence between rival fans.
The home video rental market, despite business for “Million Dollar Baby” and ABC’s “Lost,” suffered an 11 percent drop during the third quarter, according to research released on Thursday by Rentrak’s Home Video Essentials. Consumers spent $1.75 billion on rentals during the period of July 10 through Oct. 2 – $218 million less than in the same period a year ago. The slowdown is being attributed to a variety of factors, including the tepid economy and dramatically rising gas prices. But mostly the problem seems to be the result of the protracted box office slump that has plagued the movie industry this year. “There’s a bit of dissatisfaction among consumers that is transferring from the box office to home video,” said Brad Hackley, Rentrak’s vice president of business development. “The (box office) slump began in the spring, and we are inheriting that right now and inheriting that within a very soft economy.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 In addition to the Oscar-winning “Baby,” the top-five feature film rentals during the quarter were the Ashton Kutcher-Bernie Mac comedy “Guess Who?”, the thriller “Hide and Seek” starring Robert DeNiro and Dakota Fanning, the Keanu Reeves action picture “Constantine” and Jane Fonda’s comeback film “Monster-in-Law.” Another factor in declining rentals, Hackley said, seems to be the soaring popularity of TV shows on DVD that have become such hot sellers in the sell-through market. But some consumers prefer to rent the TV shows like top-ranked “Lost.” Other top rentals in the television genre were “Six Feet Under: Season Four,” “Nip/Tuck: Season 2,” “The OC: Season 2” and “Desperate Housewives” which was released at the tail end of the quarter. According to Rentrak, consumers pulled back on renting DVD and VHS titles both from individual rentals at brick-and-mortar stores and in the form of online subscription services. Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said the home-video industry could be in for an even bigger chill in the months to come. “With other cost pressures, it’s going to be tight, and the pain will really be felt in early 2006 when people start getting their gas bills for winter heating,” Kyser said. Renting a movie “is something they can afford not to do, and people are making discretionary spending decisions: Do we go out to dinner, or do we rent a video?” Rentrak’s data also showed a steep 55 percent drop in the renting of VHS format titles, which are being largely dropped by major chains while the DVD format was up by 9 percent. Greg Hernandez, (818) 713-3758 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!