The dedication last Saturday of the new, ultra-modern ELWA Hospital is by far the most important development on Liberia’s health and medical landscape since the deadly Ebola virus terrorized us two and a half years ago. Perhaps that is what made it compelling: that both President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai were in attendance at the dedication.Flown in especially for the occasion was the Rev. Franklin Graham, the new hospital’s chief financial backer, whose powerful international humanitarian organization, Samaritan Purse, was responsible for both the vision of the new modern hospital and also for the mobilization of the financial resources to make it happen.Rev. Graham, son of the eminent world evangelist, Dr. Billy Graham, thanked President Sirleaf and the Liberian government, especially the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), and the Ministries of Finance and Health for the important roles they played in helping to bring in all the equipment and supplies that contributed to the timely completion of the hospital.Finance Minister Boima Kamara and Health Minister Bernice Dahn were present at the dedication ceremonies. So were Senator Dr. Peter Coleman, Chairman of the Health and Medical Committee of the Liberian Senate, Attorney General Frederick Cherue, General Services Agency Director General Mary Broh and Monrovia City Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo.Dr. Jerry Brown, ELWA Hospital’s Medical Director, expressing confidence in its medical and scientific capacity, declared that Liberians and other residents will no longer have to travel to Ghana, South Africa, Europe or America for every urgent health or medical problem.“We have the diagnostic and medical capacity to treat most of Liberia’s medical problems,” he declared.Indeed, one of the hospital’s senior medical personnel, speaking of its modern laboratory facilities, told the Daily Observer during the tour that followed the dedication, “What took us over one and a half hours to do in the past, now takes us three minutes to complete.”What a staggering contrast to the tragic inadequacies of Liberia’s leading health and medical referral facility, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK), whose laboratory has been down for so long that patients have had to be referred to outside facilities, including Dr. Taylor Neal’s Poly Clinic, for lab analysis and diagnosis.Few know why. For few years ago the JFK boasted of state of the art laboratory facilities donated by the Egyptian government. But ah, Liberia, where the JFK itself, the then ultra-modern medical facility donated to Liberia in 1961 through the generosity of President John F. Kennedy, has been allowed to deteriorate to such a low state.Today, and even over the past 10 years, some of our most senior political leaders, including the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. E.B. McClain, have had to be flown to South Africa and elsewhere abroad for specialized medical attention. It was there that he unfortunately died. So did the legendary political and church strategist, Willis Knuckles who, after he took critically ill in July 2014, had to leave the same JFK for Ghana, where he died.The point is that we in Liberia know how to build; we also know how to receive massive foreign aid of all kinds.But— and this is a very big but—the maintenance. We know how to build, but to maintain is an entirely different matter!We, however, pray and trust that Dr. Jerry Brown will keep his promise to maintain the new ELWA hospital and ever improve upon it so that it will forever remain a magnificent facility, ready to respond to any health or medical situation.One of the most admirable and encouraging features that delighted the President, Vice President and the entire audience on Saturday was the revelation that the entire highly impressive modern complex was designed and built by a wholly Liberian-owned firm, C.J. Construction Inc., headed by Mr. James Johnson, Senior Managing Partner.In his historical overview of the project, Samaritan Purse’s Country Director Kendell Kauffeldt disclosed that the choice of C.J. Construction to do the work was due to Rev. Franklin Graham’s insistence “that the contract be awarded to a Liberian firm.”We extend exceeding thanks and appreciation to Rev. Graham for this vote of confidence in Liberian ability. We thank God for Rev. Graham, and pray that others in authority, especially in Liberia, will always render similar encouragement to our contractors.We further urge all Liberian contractors to execute faithfully and diligently all contracts that come their way, following the example of C.J. Construction Inc.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Due to lack of evidence, Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on Friday dismissed the case against former General Manager of the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), Nizam Hassan and his co-accused Felicia De’Souza-Madramootoo, who is the wife of an engineer attached to the Agriculture Ministry. Thus far, a total of 34 witnesses were called by the prosecution to support the allegations of fraud against the duo.Former General Manager of the Guyana Marketing Corporation, Nizam HassanFemale co-accused, Felicia De’Souza-MadramootooOn November 7, 2016, the plethora of forensic audits that had been ordered by Head of State David Granger had claimed Hassan as its first victim.The former General Manager of the New Guyana Marketing Corporation and his co-accused, Felicia De’Souza-Madramootoo, were slapped with what has been described as a ‘multimillion-dollar’ fraud.De’Souza-Madramootoo’s husband, Hanniel Madramootoo – who is a project engineer within the Agriculture Ministry – his brother Philip Madramootoo and friend Nizam Ramkisson – both Directors of Constantine Engineering and Construction Limited of Trinidad and Tobago – were also jointly charged.However, only Hassan and the female co-conspirator appeared in court at the time and arrest warrants were issued for the others – who were said to be in Trinidad and Tobago.Hassan and De’Souza-Madramootoo were charged with intent to defraud together with three others by continuously approving payments for substandard and faulty works during the rehabilitation of the Guyana Marketing Corporation building at Robb and Alexander Streets, Georgetown.The duo was not required to plead to the indictable charge.During the course of the audit into the operations of GMC, it was found that based on the selection of three vouchers related to the construction of the GMC’s office building for testing, that incorrect building materials were used.Additional auditing procedures were deemed necessary and a request was made to have all payment vouchers made available for further testing.The Auditors said it was communicated by Owen Nestor, GMC’s accountant, that none of the other payment vouchers related to the construction of the GMC’s office building could be found.It was also communicated by Nestor that Hassan may have been the last person who requested all of the payment vouchers of the construction.The accountants had recommended that a determination be made as to establish what level of disciplinary actions should be taken and that the Board of Directors should instruct GMC’s management to make every effort to locate the missing vouchers.Nestor, in reporting on his findings to the Finance Ministry, had complained that the process was “deliberately frustrated by the non-response and non-commitment extended by Mr Nizam Hassan, GMC’s General Manager and the lack of commitment by GMC’s Accounting department’s staff.” It was found that many vouchers and back-ups were not provided, either on a timely basis or not at all. “My conclusion is that the accounting practice at GMC shows that the General Manager and the Accountant did not provide any meaningful fiduciary responsibility when any payment originated from the Agriculture Minister or the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. In other words, GMC’s General Manager and the Accountant acted more like rubber stamps when payments dealt with transactions originating from the Ministry of Agriculture,” the Auditor declared.
EVERY week, the Los Angeles City Council waives fees for events, most of them nonprofit fairs and community functions that couldn’t afford the permits. But the council also routinely waives fees and costs for events such as Academy Awards that are for profit. For Sunday’s event, the city waived a combination of $1 million in fees dand costs for city services, such as traffic cops and street closures. Many say the city benefits from the Oscars. They are right, but so do the Academy and the TV network that airs it – and they benefit quite handsomely. The truth is, Hollywood’s biggest annual show isn’t going anywhere, and the Academy knows it. And the waived city fees and costs could easily have been made up with a commercial spot or two during the long program. At a time when the mayor is looking to cut services because of budget problems, profit-making companies ought to pay their fair share of city services. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!