MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC): Former West Indies vice-captain Brendan Nash believes the poor standard of cricket facilities in the Caribbean has played a role in the decline of the game in the region. The Australia-born left-hander, who played 21 Tests between 2008 and 2011 after qualifying to represent West Indies through his father, who is Jamaican, said the quality of the facilities at all levels had fallen off, and this had directly impacted on development. “A lot of money was spent on the 2007 World Cup to increase the standard of facilities,” Nash said. “I know when I was there towards the end of 2010, the facilities really dropped off. So within four years, they just didn’t have the money to keep it going or it wasn’t run correctly. “It starts with the facilities, because training facilities are poor. Even club matches, facilities are terrible. I can’t see it getting better any time soon, unfortunately.” Much of the decline in West Indies cricket has also been attributed to the breakdown in the relationship between the West Indies Cricket Board and the players, and Nash said this appeared to be the case. “I’ve been out of it for two or three years, but from an outsider looking in, there is just no trust between either party,” he said. The 38-year-old ended his association with English County Kent last August, following a productive four-year stint with the club. And he said he was still available for international duty if West Indies required his services. “I’m still available. I’d like to think I can still move around the field quite well, and I’ve been playing county cricket, which has its challenges over there, and done pretty well in the last four seasons.” He added: “They (West Indies) still need that mix of experience and youth, but they need the right kind of experienced players.” Nash averaged 33, with two centuries and eight half-centuries, during his brief Test career.
The Liberian people, still reeling (staggering) amidst one of the most desperate and tragic moments in their history–the Ebola crisis—in which people are dropping dead around the country, awoke Monday morning to some most shocking and unbelievable news. Their government has suddenly decided to auction off some of the nation’s most treasured assets–four oil blocks.Oil, or petroleum, is a new resource which the good Lord has granted this beleaguered country, Liberia. This is in addition being already richly endowed with so many other resources, including rich agricultural land, abundant rainfall, many rainforests, the capacity for all kinds of tree crops, 350 miles of coastline and beautiful beaches, lagoons and lakes, plus iron ore, gold and diamond. Despite all of these enviable resources, Liberia has failed to develop.The problem has been mainly national leadership, which over a long period has failed to inspire, motivate and train our people to take full control of their economy. The Liberian economy is totally in the hands of foreigners who, with very few exception, are the only ones with money in their pockets and therefore calling the shots in every direction–financial, political and even judicial. These foreign businesspeople everyday spew out (discharge, spit) in the faces of the miserable, luckless Liberians–oppressed and downtrodden in their own country–the contemptible (disgraceful, shameful, humiliating) boast: “Take me anywhere, and NOTHING will come out of it!”The Daily Observer has, throughout our 33-year existence, consistently and passionately appealed to the government to do everything possible to empower Liberians in business. Okay, they say Liberians are “not entrepreneurial,” meaning they don’t like or know how to create businesses. But even if this were true–and most of it is not–it does not have to remain that way. That is the purpose of parental upbringing and education, to fill the child’s “tabula rasa.” Philosophers throughout the centuries, probably beginning with Aristotle, have long argued that the child is born with a blank mind–”blank slate.” The English philosopher and physician John Locke, an Enlightenment thinker, more than anyone else popularized this philosophical principle, that human beings are born with blank minds, and begin to acquire knowledge and experience as they grow and develop.So it is with every one of us. We have the capacity to learn anything. It all depends upon exposure and opportunity. So one cannot dismiss a whole nation of people because they have not been given the opportunity and encouragement to pursue and excel in a particular vocation. Success is within anyone’s grasp, depending on the available exposure and opportunity.That is what parents are for, to give their children proper upbringing and help them develop their God-given talents. That is what governments are for–to build schools, colleges, universities, to help the students develop their latent creative energies and expose them to new vistas of learning and opportunity; to gauge (estimate) the needs of society, for example, how many teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers, businesspeople a country needs at a particular time, and produce them to fulfill the national need.This newspaper is opposed to the auction of the four oil blocks. A time of national emergency, when we are all consumed with the deadly Ebola crisis, is NOT the time to auction our treasured national assets. Three reasons: first, the nation and people are right now too vulnerable; and foreign enterprises knowing that would take undue advantage of us. We would be short-changing (cheating) ourselves.Secondly, this is not something on Liberians’ mind right now. All our faculties are consumed by Ebola, and how to stop our people from dropping dead.Thirdly, because of this Ebola preoccupation, its deadly consequences and the headache and heartache in dealing with our pitiful dead and our overwhelming sorrow, how many of us are prepared to step forward to bid on these blocks? And with most Liberians, since the war and throughout this administration, left out of the moneymaking mainstream, who has the money to participate in these auctions? This, therefore, means is that all the blocks will go to foreigners, further empowering them take control of the little that is left in Liberia.Do the President and her team contemplate the consequences of handing over all the nation’s assets to foreigners? There are primarily three consequences: first, further surrendering control of the economy to foreigners; second, leaving Liberians perpetually poor, miserable and powerless; and third, totally unnecessarily threatening our fragile peace.Madam President, please defer the oil block auctions. A more appropriate time will come.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The National Investment Commission (NIC) has launched a local content policy initiative, which it says is to create strong links between small domestic and medium size enterprises (SMEs), including foreign companies, in Liberia. The Commission says the local content policy is intended to address the market-pull for Liberian products and services, which are reputed to be the missing element in the country’s national policy for domestic businesses. Launched recently, the local content policy initiative is expected also to facilitate the creation of new links, deepening and expanding existing programs between foreign and domestic enterprises in the country, thus making the SMEs more sustainable. The NIC has named five priority sectors — oil and gas, mining, agriculture, forestry and infrastructure — and says the new policy will concentrate on these. Many domestic SMEs operating in these sectors are faced with enormous challenges, including lack of technical-know-how and inadequate funds, among others. But NIC authorities have guaranteed that with the local content policy soon to be put in place, some of the solutions to those issues affecting small businesses in the country will be given priority and addressed subsequently.The Commission has announced the formation of a technical working group, consisting of the public and private sectors, including a number of development partners, to provide leadership and guidance in shaping and planning the process of the policy. NIC Executive Director and Acting Chairman Mr. George Wisner said “the aspiration of the local content policy is the enactment of a local content law, which will require concessionaires and foreign companies, to utilize domestic production and local human capital and to promote inclusive growth,” adding that the NIC is seeking to adequately deal with the market-pull for Liberian services and products, which he says is the ‘the missing element’ which will be addressed once the policy is finalized. The Acting NIC Chair said that the Commission’s focus is to ensure that the local content policy provides a pull for Liberian services and products, while building human capital and business capacity for the long-term. “The policy will be progressive and will consider companies’ capacities, operational stages and their respective opportunities for local content development,” said Mr. Wisner. “It should be a market driven with mechanisms for increasing absorptive capacities and monitoring data collection for effective programming.” A statement issued over the weekend by the Commission notes that the policy will seek to define local content and Liberian business; coordinate with and be complimentary to relevant legislations; acknowledge sector-specific requirements and opportunities for local content development; and ensure percentage target for local content by sectors and operations, among others, whilst acknowledging the many steps required to rectify the current policy paradigm that has been done. The NIC statement makes specific reference to existing Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) policy, which it says has already not only targeted many challenges to business development but has also created business linkages, study report and related MSME action plan which provides sector development strategy; consolidation of related documents and the condition for a clear direction for Liberia’s private sector development. “A missing element, which has been requested in several policy documents, is market-pull for Liberian services and products and will be addressed once the local content policy is finalized,” the statement said. The NIC says that the infusion of local content, specifically local recruitment, technical and vocational training, purchases of local goods and services; and infrastructure development designed to develop the industrial capacity and skills of Liberians, are important incentives in economic development. When put in place the statement adds that the local content will increase domestically, providing goods and services at international standards and at lower prices. “More importantly, local content can introduce structures and networks, including skills that can be applied across various sectors, expanding the economic viability of Liberia and its people.” All concession agreements encourage use of local content and support valued connections between local businesses and concessionaires. These include references in the supply of goods and services produced and owned by Liberians, as well as requirements on content provided by “preferred” services. But many people say that the biggest challenge faced by domestic businesses is their inability to merge their resources and skills, so as to provide a feasible atmosphere for the production of goods and services. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…“I would rather lose… than pay a cent in a bribe” – CEO to City HallAn operating restaurant franchise in Guyana has reportedly lost close to $30 million in just over three years after several proposals were not responded to by City Hall, which they said could have be easily resolved if a bribe was given.Chief Executive Officer of Camex Restaurants Incorporated, Terence Campbell, testified on Wednesday at the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into several applications that were submitted to the City Engineer’s Department at the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) as it relates to properties in Georgetown.However, one issue that was questionable was in respect to a property at Croal Street, Stabroek, which previously housed the Sino fast food restaurant. Campbell indicated that the intention was to establish another branch of the popular Church’s Chicken in 2016.After agreements were signed with Sino fast food to take over the company and documents were finalised with the owner of the property to obtain a long-term lease, the CEO stated that the M&CC heard of the operations and he was visited by Town Clerk Royston King, Mayor Patricia Chase Green, and City Engineer Colvern Venture less than a week after. The businessman was told he had no permission to operate, even though that is not the standard procedures set out when obtaining a business place.“The Mayor, the Town Clerk and the City Engineer turned up immediately to say that the building which previously operated as Sino fast food for over two years had no permission to operate. What I find very strange is that for two years, this building operated as a restaurant but from the moment they heard that Church’s was going there, they turned up saying that you have no permission to operate,” said the businessman.As per what he was told, Campbell proceeded to submit applications to the City Engineer’s Department, which were neither approved not acknowledged. Consequently, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) was engaged and permission was given.He noted that works would been done at the fast food joint to upgrade the facilities as well as a monthly rent of over $1.2 million was paid. One year of rent was paid and the business was never opened since no permission was given by the Council. Management was later forced to terminate the lease and was also sued by Sino fast food.“We didn’t even operate for a day and I lost $20 million.”‘Pure incompetence’ and ‘gross negligence’ were the words of the businessman as he commented on the operations at the Council. He noted that some businessmen in the city are also working in collusion with the M&CC to stifle other businesses which may pose competition.“I have been told by other businessmen that the matter can be easily resolved and they’re willing to take me to functionaries so that the matter can be resolved…. I would rather lose $30 million than pay a cent in a bribe.”He further stated that since the new Council was elected with Colvern Venture serving as the City Engineer, none of his proposals were approved. He has been told that the matters could easily be fixed with a bribe, which he will never pay.“I don’t believe that since Colvern Venture has become the City Engineer that we’ve had any permission for any work whatsoever…”Interventions were taken by the then Deputy Mayor, Lionel Jaikaran, and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce but there has been no resolution to the matter.Some of the other proposals which were never approved include application for a South Ruimveldt property to commence construction, permission to extend an existing building on Camp Street and the documents for works on a residential property in Crown Street and Lamaha Gardens.
President David Granger on Wednesday accepted letters of credence from Maria Clara Duclos Carisio, accrediting her as the new Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana.During a simple ceremony at the Ministry of the Presidency, the new Ambassador pledged support from her country in several sectors. Carisio noted that many citizens from Guyana have settled in Brazil and vice versa. For this, the relationship has strengthened ever since the nations established diplomatic relations in 1968.New Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana, Maria Clara Duclos CarisioMeanwhile, President David Granger expressed that future collaborations are expected by the two countries, especially in the area of environmental sustainability. Other areas to be looked at include defence mechanisms, education, health, infrastructure, petroleum, security and environmental protection.Adding to that, it was shared that both countries are interested in the preservation of the Guyana Shield, which was dubbed as a route to environmental protection.“It is important that our two countries continue to cooperate to explore sustainable pathways of environmental protection. Guyana looks forward to future collaborations with Brazil in the field of environment and the preservation of the Guyana Shield,” he said.The Shield spreads a distance of 2.7 square kilometres and encompasses other countries such as Suriname, Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia within the South American continent.Environmental preservation comes at a time when Brazil’s forested lands burned at a record rate for several days in August. Brazil had declared a state of emergency over rising fires in the same zone. The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has recorded more than 73,000 fires this year.
Friday, Jan.21, the Flyers will kick off their second series with the Chiefs in as many weeks by hosting Horse Lake at the North Peace Arena. The game is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.The following day, Saturday, Jan.22, the Flyers will travel northeast to Slave Lake, Alberta, to wrap up the four game series with the Chiefs.Last Friday, Fort St. John began the first home-and-home series with an 8-2 home win. Saturday, the Chiefs exacted some revenge, beating the Flyers 8-6 in Horse Lake.- Advertisement -This weekend will be the fifth and sixth meeting between the two clubs, with Horse Lake leading the season series 3-1 in games.The two games with Horse Lake this weekend will be the final opportunity for the Flyers to experience AAA hockey during the regular season. Saturday will be the last game between the two teams, with the remainder of the Flyer’s games being played at the AA NPHL level.The Flyers enter the weekend games with a record of 1-5-1, but have played significantly less game than the remainder of the teams in the North Peace Hockey League.Advertisement If unable to make it to Horse Lake to cheer on the Flyers, tune into 100.1 Moose Fm for the live broadcast of the entire game. Make sure to tune in 15 minute before puck drops, for the informative pre-game show with Dustin Scafe.
The Fort St. John Petroleum Association took to the road over the weekend with contests in Dawson Creek and Spirit River. They got by Dawson Creek 3-2, and had an easy time with Spirit River 5-1.Dawson Creek opened the scoring before long and led 1-0 after one. A trio of first year midgets; Aiden Craig-Steele, Max Dobson and Reid Jacobs got things rolling afterwards figuring in on all three Fort St. John goals combining for eight points. Steele scored from Dobson and Jacobs to tie it, and then Jacobs from Steele to take the lead. With the score tied at two late in the third, Reilley Edler-Cherry came up with two huge saves setting the stage for the winning goal which came in the final two minutes of the third on the power play. Once again it was Steele from Dobson and Jacobs to round out the scoring.Sunday afternoon they took on Spirit River. Austin Craig got the nod in goal and he turned in a very strong performance making a number of difficult saves. Reid Jacobs nabbed another two goals along with Jason Andrews getting one, with all three set up by Dobson and Steele. Kyle Robertson scored from Lane Derose on the power play. Late in the game Daniel Forrest set up a streaking Jayden Piket, who sniped the short side to seal the deal on a 5-1 win. Despite the big win it wasn’t all good news for the Flyers as winger Jason Lee was injured on a high hit in the second period. He was visibly hurt and slow to leave the ice. He did not return.- Advertisement -Next up for the squad is a tournament in Whitehorse, Yukon.
It’s going to be a good new year for some sawmill workers in Chetwynd. Canfor Corporation announced on Wednesday that it will be restarting operations at its Chetwynd sawmill in the spring of 2010.Earlier this year, negotiations began with the United Steelworkers (the union representing Canfor workers) and Canfor. – Advertisement -Just recently, workers voted 73 per cent in favour of a new cost structure. This means employees voted to have a wage reduction until the economy recovers, and that there will be a profit-sharing component in place when markets improve. It was left for the Board’s decision, and on Monday, the Company announced it will approve a capital expenditure of $16 million. The mill will return to operation with a single shift this spring in a phased-in start-up. Advertisement The initial restart of the first shift in Chetwynd will directly employ approximately 70 people. When the mill is in full operation, it’s expected to employ more than 100 people.
Daniel Sturridge 1 Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge and captain Jordan Henderson could both make their comebacks in Sunday’s home clash with Norwich, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has indicated.Sturridge has been back in full training since last week after recovering from a hip operation in May, while midfielder Henderson this week underwent a specialist procedure in the United States in an attempt to cure an ongoing heel problem.And Rodgers said on Friday: “Jordan will train today so we’ll see how he comes through that – he has obviously been away and had some work done on his foot, so hopefully all will be well with that but we’ll assess it over the next 48 hours.“Daniel has been training with the team now for a week or so and again we will assess that in relation to the game.”Rodgers believes Sturridge’s reintegration could help turn the Reds’ form around after successive league defeats, and is looking forward to seeing the England man strike up an understanding with Christian Benteke.“Daniel, on his game, is one of the best there is – there are not too many who can compare with him when he is at his level,” said the Ulsterman.“When he can stretch teams like he can with his pace and the wonderful variety in his finishing, you put Christian alongside that, [Philippe] Coutinho in behind that or to the side of it, then other players support that – it is a really exciting dynamic.“We have probably been waiting for that for quite a period of time but those types of players like Daniel, with that quality, can give a totally different perspective to your team.”
Senator Jimmy Harte has warmly welcome NAMA’s plans to fast-track the acquisition of social housing and that an additional 2,000 social houses will be made available by the end of next year.The Letterkenny politician said there is €100 million of property alone under NAMA in Donegal and said he hopes there would be some social dividend out of the situation.“As a director of the North West Simon I am heartened to see that the minister is engaging directly with NAMA and as a result getting people off the housing list. “Only last month Minister O Sullivan announced over €2.2 million in funding for Donegal social housing projects in Letterkenny and Moville with the emphasis on people with disabilities and the elderly.“This is a great result for Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan and I would like to congratulate her for the great work she has done in this regard and I very much welcome the support voiced the Irish Council for Social Housing for today’s development,” he said.He added, however, that more needs to be done and he doesn’t believe there are many properties around the country that could be made available for use by families under social housing schemes.“I would also urge Nama and the various housing authorities to look at how a rent-to-buy provision could be included in the mix of solutions that are being brought forward to address housing shortages. “To my mind it is a far better and realistic situation whereby prospective first time buyers could rent a home with an option to buy the property after a couple of years than having houses vacant along with them accruing security, maintenance and other costs,” he said.HARTE WELCOMES PROGRESS ON NAMA SOCIAL HOUSING MEASURES was last modified: August 2nd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:NAMASenator Jimmy Harte