Why Is ECOWAS Bank not Headquartered in Liberia?

first_imgLiberia Missed out on hosting the headquarters of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI) because of long years of political instability in the country, EBID’s former managing director and general manager Robert C. Tubman has said. Mr. Tubman told our business desk exclusively on Monday, June 16 that the founders of EBID, which is the financial arm of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), wanted the Bank to be headquartered in Liberia. “This is the same about Ecobank which many strong-minded Liberians including myself, played key role in founding,” he said.Tubman, 75, explained that when the EBID was being transformed from the ECOWAS Fund for Co­operation, Compensation and Development which became operational in the l1979, the political situation in Liberia was bad. The multimillion dollars headquarters of both EBID and Ecobank are currently located in the Togolese capital, Lomé.The former Liberian Finance Minister added: “In order to enhance the financial resources of the Fund through the opening of its capital to non-regional partners, the Authority of Heads of State and Government at its twenty-second session held on 9 and 10 December 1999 decided to transform ECOWAS Fund into a regional holding company called ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) with two specialized subsidiaries, ECOWAS Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ECOWAS Regional Investment Bank (ERIB). The EBID Group became operational in 2003.“Again, we were still at war with ourselves during these years,” said Clr. Tubman who is current Chairman of Board of the Liberia Revenue Authority. Mr. Tubman’s predecessor, the late Romeo Horton, was the first managing director and general manager of the ECOWAS Trust Fund.Although Mr. Horton is deceased, Tubman, who celebrated his 75th birthday on Sunday, averred that he and Horton tried their utmost best to get EBID headquarter in Liberia, but not that the war was still raging.In June, 2006, the Authority of Heads of State and Government, decided to reorganize the Bank back into a single structure in order to ensure that the EBID Group’s activities are carried out under a unified command structure so as to streamline overhead costs.Clr. Tubman spoke with our business reporter few minutes after Liberia assumed the Board Chairmanship of EBID; a position he and many Liberians believe, Liberia must use wisely in order to lure the Bank’s financial support to develop the country’s shattered infrastructure. He thanked the government of Liberia, particularly, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the level of progress made thus far in maintaining peace and stability in the country.                                    The ECOWAS BankThe ECOWAS Bank is the international financial institution established by the 15 Member States of ECOWAS. It has two windows, one of which is intended to promote the private sector and the other for public sector development.The Bank’s main objective is to contribute towards the economic development of West Africa through the financing of ECOWAS projects and programs, notable among which are program relating to transport, energy, telecommunications, industry, poverty alleviation, the environment and natural resources. The ECOWAS zone is made up of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.                                    Areas of InterventionThe Bank invests primarily in basic transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure and equipment (roads, permanent structures, railways, harbor and airport infrastructure, energy production, transport and distribution infrastructure, telecommunication systems); rural development and the environment (irrigation, floodwater control, rural water projects, agriculture, livestock raising, fishing, protection of the ecosystem, capacity building); social sector (vocational training, education, health, support for decentralization, social amenities in towns); industry (agribusiness, mining, other industries, transfer of technology , technological innovation); services (financial services, information technology related services, engineering, and hotel industry, amongst others.The Bank’s loan commitment fees vary between 0.5% and 0.75% per annum. The fee for commitment by signature, according to the EBID’s president Mr. Bashir M. IFO, is between 1.5% and 5% per annum. Mr. IFO exclusively told our reporter that document processing fee of 1% flat is charged and that other fees are negotiated on a case by case basis. Meanwhile, the interest rates charged by EBID depend on the type of project and profitability. The rates vary between 1.5% and 4% per annum for public/government projects, except for private sector projects where the rates vary between 6.5% per annum to 12%. The EBID boss has said that the duration of loans depends on the nature of project and its profitability. He said loan granted by EBID could be: short term (0 to 2 years); medium t e r m (2 t o 7 year s), long term (more than 7 years). The initial authorized capital of EBID, according to the Bank, is 603 units of account representing US$945.3 million.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cape Mount Ex-Lawmaker Enters Senatorial Race

first_imgFor the second time in his political career, the former Grand Cape Mount County District #2 Representative has once again, officially declared his intention to contest the ensuing 2014 Mid-Term Senatorial Election.During a meeting with a cross session of citizens in M’baloma Town, Gola Konneh District, over the weekend, former representative, Matthew V.Z. Darblo, cautioned Cape Mountainians to give him a second chance, as he makes a bid to represent them in the Liberian Senate.Mr. Darblo told the gathering that he can better represent the county in the Senate than any other of the 12 candidates vying for lone senatorial seat.“I have decided to contest the county’s lone senatorial seat to promote development by increasing access to several of the pending projects,” Mr. Darblo assured the citizens. He believes that the county needs leaders who are developmental-oriented that will foster unity amongst its citizens.Mr. Darblo further urged residents of the county, especially the youths, to be wise, and give their support to politicians who have their interest at heart and will care for them at the national level. While representing the county Electoral District #2 in the 52nd National Legislature, Mr. Dablo, served as chairman of the Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment. He was a member on the  Public Accounts Committee and Expenditure as well as Education, and Public Administration. Prior to becoming a lawmaker in 2005, Mr. Darblo had served within the education circle and has  vast experience in Information Technology (IT). As an educator, he  served as Teaching Assistant (TA) in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Liberia; Computer Science instructor at Computer Services Incorporated; principal/administrator and instructor of Mathematics at the C. H. Dewey Central High School. He previously served as data analyst and computer operator at the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization, Resettlement, and Reintegration (NCDDRR).Meanwhile, those vying for the senatorial seat in Cape Mount are the incumbent,  Senator Abel Massaley, Simeon Taylor, James Momoh, Matthew Darblo,  Dr. Fodee Kromah and the ruling Unity Party chairman, Cllr. Varney Sherman. Others include, Henrietta Kandakai, Jesse Segbo, Mohammed Ware, Siafa James, Mohammed Dao GoGo Fahnbulleh, and Roland Perry, former reporter of the Informer Newspaper.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Lofa-Gbarpolu Boundary Dispute Ends in Gun Riot

first_imgReports from Lofa and Gbarpolu Counties say a boundary dispute has resulted in gun riots, with many people detained in Kolba City, Kolahun District.  The clash was over a long disputed boundary demarcation between Lofa and Gbarpolu Counties.There was no confirmation of injury but the report indicated that those arrested included several citizens from Lowoma, Gartima, Sasazu and Kondesu in Gbarpolu County.They were arrested allegedly for possessing single barrel guns and dozens of ammunitions and transferred to Voinjama City for further investigation.Citizens of the four Gbandi towns have rejected the boundary agreed upon by all senators, citizens and stakeholders of the two counties.The citizens of those towns have claimed that the boundary is in Kolahun District, Lofa County.In 2008, senators, chiefs, citizens, elders and other key stakeholders of Lofa and Gbarpolu Counties assembled at the boundary between the two counties and resolved to uphold all decisions they made regarding the disputed area.Other key senior citizens, who spoke to the Daily Observer in Monrovia yesterday disclosed that this is the third time such a boundary dispute has erupted.In a mobile phone interview, one Joseph K. Jallah of Kolahun District yesterday disclosed that the two neighbors are separated by the River Forndia.Civil conflict analysts contacted in Monrovia for comments on the Lofa-Gbarpolu boundary dispute underscored the urgent need for a swift resolution of the unnecessary but continuous confusion over the boundary between the two counties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Communities Worry over Delays in the Passage of the Customary Land Rights Act

first_imgMadam Wayor Tipayson, an executive of the Civil Society Working Group on Land Rights, says the continued delay to pass the Draft Land Rights Act is hindering communities’ ability to effectively protect and manage their customary lands.Madam Tipayson also observed that the delay was preventing communities from fully participating in national development.She made the comment over the weekend when she addressed journalists in the conference room of the Search for Common Ground, a local non-governmental organization.According to the CSO executive, the Act was presented to the National Legislature in 2014 for their consideration and ratification, but despite two public hearings and a number of consultations, the lawmakers went on their annual break without passing the Bill. Article 32 Section 2 states that “customary ownership is automatically formalized, with or without a deed. The moment the Land Act passes into law, customary land rights will be legally protected where the existence and ownership of customary land shall become enforceable and the effective passage of this Act.”However, Madam Tipayson alleged that the lawmakers’ failure to meaningfully address the Act “clearly demonstrates that they were prioritizing the interest of other groups over their own people.”“Indeed,” she said, “while the Legislature is currently on its annual break, the longer it takes to pass this act (would leave) the local communities vulnerable to continually suffer from land tenure insecurity, including large scale land transactions and potentially unlawful land grabs.“We are of the conviction that the Act, if enacted, provides a perfect opportunity whereby Liberians of all categories will for once enjoy rights and titles to land inhabit peace, democracy, development, and social progress.”This, according to her, will minimize the numerous land conflicts that the country continues to experience because the rights and opportunities in the document were guaranteed under the Act.She urged the National Legislature to pass the Act when they resume their duties, and to ensure passage of the core provisions of the document, which defends customary and other provisions that guarantee rights to land ownership.“We want you people to see our campaign as a platform for you to engage your lawmakers to (fulfill their promise concerning) ownership of customary lands,” she said while asking for the cooperation of the public.“It is about time that we use our diversity to stand for a cause that will improve the lives of our people and build our nation,” declared Madam Tipayson.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

FA Cup: LISCR, FC Fassel Secure Wins

first_imgStriker Trokon Myers (L) celebrates with team mates Edward Ledlum and Christopher Jackson after scoring his first goalLiberia Football Association 1st division championship contenders LISCR and FC Fassel yesterday secured advantages in the first leg of their second round matches in the ongoing FA Cup following their 3-0 wins respectively at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.LISCR, who secured their advantage in the day’s first encounter, continued their unbeaten run in both the championship and the FA Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over 3rd division side Muscat FC.A brace from striker Trokon Myers in the second half and a right foot strike from skipper Saah Nyumah in the 14th minute from outside his opponents’ penalty area were enough to secure the advantage for Coach Tapha Manneh’s boys in their first leg encounter.Striker Myers doubled his side’s advantage in the 59th minute after he netted an assist from team mate Christopher Jackson and later completed his brace after he slid in to finish forward Morris Vambo’s low ground cross form the right angle of the field.However, Paynesville based Muscat FC who were good on ball possession, seemed to be unlucky to register a goal after missing out on several clear chances in both halves.A close opportunity for 3rd division Muscat to get an equalizer 12 minutes after LISCR took the lead was missed after forward Benedict Newton’s shot from close range was denied by goalkeeper Tommy Songo.Young Muscat’s Coach Obediah Gbeh who earlier said his side was prepared for their 1st division opponents, made several changes in during the second half, but did not get the needed result.The defeat was Muscat’s first and biggest so far since the start of the season, while LISCR remain unbeaten.In the day’s last encounter, 1st division leaders FC Fassel secured their chance with a 3-0 win against 3rd division Margibi based Morris Young Tigers.A goal from center defender Alvin Marciniel through a header from a corner kick in the first half gave the Soccer Missionaries (Fassel) a one goal lead in the first half.Morris Young Tigers, who are making their debut in the competition, made few attempts on the 1st division leaders, and could have conceded more goals, but kept their defensive posture to concede fewer goals in the first half.Upon resumption Coach Sam Chebli made changes by introducing striker Elijah Clarke who was on the score sheet for the Missionaries in the previous FA Cup match against BYC and Abraham Barshell in search for additional goals.The Missionaries later increased their lead after forward Farsedu Logan and striker Clarke registered their names on the score sheet to finally clinch the 3-0 victory.Meanwhile, the competition will continue tomorrow with another 3rd division side Samira FC taking on the Church Boys of Jubilee FC in the first match, while Nimba United will go against 2nd division side Holder FC.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Amb. Noh Kye-Duk to Lecture on the Korean Peninsula at UL

first_imgThe Korean Ambassador to Liberia, Noh Kye-Duk, will give a lecture on the long-standing dispute over the Korean Peninsula that has subsisted between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic Republic of North Korea. It will take place in the auditorium of the University of Liberia (UL) on Capitol Hill in Monrovia. starting today Monday, December 19 at 4:00 p.m., a release from the university has said. The Korean Peninsula is a fault-line that separates the two Koreas. Until the end of World War II, Korea was a single political entity whose territory somehow coincided with the Korean Peninsula. Since the Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War in 1953, the northern division of the peninsula has been governed by the People’s Republic of Korea, while the southern portion has been governed by the Republic of Korea.Following Ambassador Noh’s delivery, which will also touch on Korea’s bilateral relations with Liberia, a roundtable panel which will include Professor Jonathan Taylor, vice president and executive dean of the Graduate School at the UL and Professor Monie R. Captan, former Foreign Minister of Liberia, will shed more light on the discussion. An interactive session will follow the lecture and thereafter afford faculty, students and members of the public the opportunity to ask questions or comment on the specifics of the lecture. The lecture is expected to bring together faculty and students from the UL and other institutions of higher learning as well as members of civil society organizations and government officials. The event, according to the release, is open to the public and will be moderated by Atty. Norris Tweah, vice president for UL relations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

AIIC to Begin Mechanized Farming Support Project

first_imgFlashback: AIIC members using a tractor once donated by the MOA to plow their fields.The Agriculture Infrastructures Investment Corporation (AIIC), based in Quaduboni district, Lofa County will tomorrow begin a project in Monrovia that aims to raise funds to enhance mechanized agriculture in Lofa County.The head of AIIC, Mohammed Kamara, told the Daily Observer on Wednesday that Agriculture Minister Moses Zinnah is expected to launch the project, while the National Investment Commission boss, George Wisner, will serve as key note speaker.According to Kamara, they are expected to raise at least US$188,788 that will be used to purchase tractors, power tillers and other mechanized equipment.“Considering the need to make Liberia self-sufficient in food, we have deemed it necessary to start a project that will help us introduce mechanized farming in our county. We are looking forward to raising money that will get us to move forward with the production of food,” he stated. We expect to carry out the formal launch of our support to mechanized farming the 19th of May in Foyah District.AIIC specializes in rice production and processing in Lofa County, buying paddy rice from farmers, processing it, and then supplying it to the World Food Program and the Government of Liberia.The organization’s facility has a processing capacity to produce 2 metric tons of rice a day. With support from the Liberia Agri-business Development Activity (LADA), AIIC is to shortly benefit from an industrial rice mill to produce 10 metric tons of rice a day.Meanwhile, Mr. Kamara has lauded the USAID Mission in Liberia for its support to the AIIC.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“The Sky Should be Your Limit”

first_imgC.G. Elfrieda Stewart Tamba presents learning materials to jubilant students in West Point. -LRA Commissioner General tells West Point studentsThe Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has donated assorted school materials to students of the N.V. Massaquoi Elementary and Junior High School in the borough of West Point, a suburb of Monrovia. The items included LRA branded copybooks, pencils, erasers and crayons.The items were donated to 6th graders who are 150 students as part of the entity’s Corporate Social Responsibility program.LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba said the school supplies represent the entity’s support for the students’ quest for education, while at the same time creating tax awareness through the branded items .Mrs. Tamba, who interacted with the students during the event, encouraged them to focus on their lessons if they are to achieve their dreams of securing a better future. “The sky should be your limit, so you need to keep pressing on,” she told the students.The school’s Vice Principal for Administration, Samuel Farinson, thanked the LRA for the donation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) – Advertisement –last_img read more

BYC Signs Kelvin Potis; Kemoh Kamara Joins LISCR

first_imgBarrack Young Controller continues to build their squad ahead of the new season with the additional signing on of former Watanga forward Kelvin Potis.BYC over the weekend disclosed that the former Watanga forward signed a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee with the option of further extending his contract based on performance.Potis now makes it 13 new players that have joined BYC. Recently prior to the climax of last league season, the 19-year-old put up a splendid performance for the World Wide Mission School after his institution was crowned champion of the National High School Championship.Potis won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and highest goal scorer awards in the tournament.Though his former club Watanga struggled in the 2016/2017 league season, Potis performed well from the flanks, threatening opponents including BYC at the Blue field.Potis was last season called by national team head coach James Debbah for the African Nations Championship and made his debut against Mauritania. The 19-year-old started the match and made several attempts to register his first goal for the national team, but was later substituted. Lone Star lost 2-0.Following the signing of his two-year contract, Potis, according to BYC official page said, “This was not an easy decision for me, but I am happily joining the best club in Liberia. It is a dream come true for me, I want to win games, trophies, and develop as a footballer.”Flashback: Defender Kemoh Kamara (L) alongside 2016 MVP and top goal scorer Mark Paye at the Blue Field after the presentation of their individual awards in 2016. (Photo Credit: BYC)In another transfer development, double champions LISCR FC completed the signing of central defender Terry Kamara from BYC on a three-year deal.The ‘Shipping Boys’ completed the deal on Friday after meeting the LD $ 225,000 buy-out clause.Defender Kamara, who spent two years at the Blue Field, won the best defender and Co-rookie of the year awards in 2016 after the ‘Go Blue Boys’ won the first division championship. Kamara has reunited with his former teammate Mark Paye who also joined the double champions earlier during the transfer window.The defender’s former club, BYC have however lauded him for his time at the club. “We want to extend our appreciation to Kemoh Kamara for his invaluable services rendered our club during his 2 years of service,” BYC said via their official facebook page.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) (L-R) Newly signed BYC forward Kelvin Potis and BYC Vice President and former Lone Star goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman (Photo Credit: BYC)last_img read more