LET’S LECTURE: What Can We Learn from NOCAL’s Predicament?

first_imgHow did NOCAL ever get into the pickle it is in? I keep asking myself. Part of the answer is in the governance arrangements that attend our state-owned enterprises. When Steve Tolbert set up public corporations in the 1970s, it was his intention that they would be a contributor, not a burden, on the public exchequer. The National Port Authority used to contribute millions of dollars to the government back then. But today, most of our public corporations survive thanks only to subsidies from the government.State-owned enterprises, or “public corporations” as we incorrectly refer to them (a public corporation is a corporation that floats shares on a stock exchange for sale to the public), are supposed to be self-sustaining businesses. But that’s not the way they are viewed by our politicians and indeed by much of the public. They are viewed, and treated, as extensions of the government, as part of the political spoil system. People are appointed to management positions in our public corporations who have little or no management or even business experience. Is it a wonder, then, that they fail?If we want our public corporations to succeed, we have start with a reform of our governance arrangements. Under current arrangements, the President of Liberia appoints both the board of directors and the senior management of our public corporations. That is the problem right there. The President represents the shareholders of our public corporations, who are us, the Liberian people. In the real world, the appointment powers of the shareholders of a corporation are limited to the board of the directors. It is the board of directors, not the shareholders, who appoint senior management.So, that is the first reform that is needed. The President should not appoint the managing directors and deputy managing directors of public corporations. That should be done by the board of directors. The reason is simple. The President is too far removed from the day-to-day workings of a public corporation to know whether the management is performing satisfactorily or not. The board is held accountable for the performance of the management team of a public corporation. Well, how can they effectively perform this oversight role when they do not have the power to hire and fire the senior managers? Under current arrangements all a cynical managing director has to do is just to suck up to the President and he/she can get away with murder. If they knew that they could be fired by their board, managing directors would pay much more attention to their boards.Next, the board of directors of a business should consist primarily of business people, not politicians, not clergymen, nor civil society types or cronies of the President. When I took over as managing director of LPRC, I insisted with the President that I did not want any ministers or politicians on my board. She acquiesced, and till this day LPRC is the only public corporation with no ministers or politicians on its board. The language of business is financial statements—-balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements. That is how businesses keep score. To be able to exercise proper oversight, directors need to be able to read and interpret financial statements. If they cannot, then what are they doing on the board?Then we come to the question of the calibre of managers that are appointed. We need men and women of sterling character to head our public corporations. And they need to have strength of character. They need to be able to say no, even to a President. And that brings me back to NOCAL. Randolph McClain, the chief executive officer of NOCAL is no dummy. He is an alumnus of the Steve Tolbert School of Management. I served with him the Mesurado Industrial Complex in the 1980s. He is a chemical engineer. He invented a detergent called “Eze” that we used to produce and sell along with Omo. Some years after the 1980 coup d’etat he went to work for DuPont and toiled in the DuPont vineyard for decades. DuPont is not some two-bit company. It is a marquee organization, founded by the DuPont family who own the State of Delaware. So, how could Randolph McClain allow the shenanigans that went on at NOCAL to go on? Those things would never have been tolerated at DuPont.Then there is the chairman of NOCAL, Cllr Seward Cooper. Seward is again no dummy. In the 1970s he was a student leader of no mean proportions. He was upright and strong. He too spent decades working for a marquee organization, the African Development Bank. Why did he not take a stand?When I was at LPRC, I acquired the nickname “Dr. No” amongst certain people at Fish Market because I did not have a problem saying no if I was asked to do something that I felt was unethical or wrong. My admonition to NOCAL’s CEO and chairman and all public servants is that there is no job in the world which is so important that keeping it should cause you to compromise your integrity or say “yes” to any directive, even if it’s from a President. That is the lesson here..The writer is a Certified Public Accountant and businessman. He can be reached at .Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Knife-wielding teen charged for double robbery

first_imgA knife-wielding teenager who attacked and robbed two persons in Georgetown was on Wednesday arraigned with the crime when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Eighteen-year-old Samuel Forde denied the allegations which stated that while being in the company of others and being armed, he robbed Sarah Brown of her handbag and cash valued at $58,000 on July 16, 2018. He was also accused of robbing Nicholas Brown of his cellphone on the said day at the same location.Police Prosecutor Thornhill objected to bail being granted to the defendant based on the seriousness and prevalence of the incident. Nevertheless, Magistrate Azore granted bail in the sum of $100,000.Forde is scheduled to make his second appearance on September 26.last_img

Everton, Manchester City and Stoke set to see off Championship opponents in League Cup – Coral Daily Download

first_imgDave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Coral spokesman looks ahead to Tuesday night’s League Cup quarter-final action, as Everton, Manchester City and Stoke bid to see off Championship opponents.Everton travel to Middlesbrough, Manchester City host Hull and Stoke welcome Sheffield Wednesday, and you can get 5/1 on the three Premier League sides winning.He also reveals Andy Murray is now the 6/5 favourite to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year after leading Great Britain to Davis Cup glory.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img

SUPER MEG ON WAY HOME WITH HOST OF OLYMPIC MEDALS

first_imgBRILLIANT Meg Carr is pictured with her sisters Katie, Hannah, Annie, Molly and Nell after winning FOUR medals at the Special Olympics in LimerickGymnast Meg, from Hawthorne Heights in Letterkenny, won an astonishing three gold and one silver.That’s one very proud bunch of sisters! Well done Meg! SUPER MEG ON WAY HOME WITH HOST OF OLYMPIC MEDALS was last modified: June 15th, 2014 by John2Share 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:donegalletterkennyMeg CarrSpecial Olympicslast_img read more

‘What is love?’ – See what happens when Michael Carey asks the age-old question

first_imgTV presenter Michael Carey from Letterkenny has created a heart-warming video with the results of his survey into love on Valentine’s Day. Michael who presents on TG4’s online hub Bloc, has dared to ask one of life’s biggest questions of all – What is love? Céard is grá ann?He talked to Irish speakers of all ages to compile a series of beautiful accounts of the feeling and experience of love. Parallels were drawn between love and friendship, while it was also described as an unbreakable connection.“Love can make you feel rich in your heart” one lady says.When people are asked ‘How do you know you are in love?’, the responses were all about the heart and that indescribable feeling that comes with it.The sweet sentimentality of the video comes from the many voices sharing their experiences with love, and in one case, the absence of true love. “I’d say I’m always in love. I fall in love all the time. But it’s a good thing,’ was one stand-out response.Take a couple of minutes to watch this video today, which is sure to inspire you to remind your nearest and dearest how much you love them. Click here to watch the video on Facebook, where English captions are available in the settings box: https://www.facebook.com/BLOCTG4/videos/10155798602186075/‘What is love?’ – See what happens when Michael Carey asks the age-old question was last modified: February 12th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:lovemichael careyTG4Valentines Daylast_img read more

USDA seeks partner proposals to protect wetlands

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $15 million to help eligible conservation partners leverage local investments to provide technical assistance and financial resources for wetlands protection and improvements on private and Tribal agricultural land nationwide.The Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) is one way state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and Tribal governments collaborate with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to increase the number of voluntary conservation projects for targeted, high-priority wetland protection, restoration and enhancement. Local and regional WREP partners match federal funding and technical assistance to increase the assistance they can provide to eligible private landowners interested in enrolling their agricultural land into conservation wetland easements. WREP is a special enrollment option under USDA’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).“USDA is committed to protecting and enhancing our nation’s wetlands, which are critical to the quality of our nation’s waters, wildlife and landscapes,” said NRCS Chief Jason Weller. “We are looking to our partners for innovative project proposals so we can expand our work on critical wetlands and yield results that make project participants proud.”Wetland reserve easements allow landowners to enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. The voluntary nature of NRCS easement programs allows effective integration of wetland restoration on working landscapes, providing benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program, as well as benefits to their communities.USDA is now accepting proposals for funding. Proposals must be submitted to NRCS state offices by May 16, 2016. More information is available on the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program webpage.last_img read more

PMO calls up Parrikar on mining lease

first_imgPanaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said the Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) called him to enquire about the economic impact of Supreme Court’s decision to cancel 88 renewed mining leases in Goa recently. Speaking at a function, Mr. Parrikar said, “I was asked to prepare a report and if need be meet (PM).” Describing Mr. Modi as a leader with a vision, Mr. Parrikar said, “I have seen how he works… I saw what is the concept of (his) vision,” Mr. Parrikar said. Later, speaking to presspersons at the sidelines of the funcrtion, he said views of all MLAs, political parties and stakeholders would be taken into account to decide on the future course of action over resumption of mining in the State. On February 7, the Supreme Court cancelled all iron ore mining leases in Goa which were renewed by the State government in 2015 and ordered that the mining tracts should be leased afresh, to new licencees after obtaining new environmental clearances.The order also directed that all ore extraction activity on the cancelled leases should cease by March 15.last_img read more

Man beaten to death in Jodhpur

first_imgA man, who entered a house on suspicious intentions, was beaten to death by villagers in Lavera Kalan, in Jodhpur’s Bhopalgarh district late on Tuesday night. The victim, Rampal Jat, 30, was stated to be an employee of a gas agency.Police have arrested five persons, including two women, in connection with the incident. While Rampal’s father, in his complaint lodged with the police, claimed that his son had gone to the village to attend a complaint of gas leak, villagers doubted his intentions because there was no one except a woman in the house when he came.The Lavera Kalan village is predominantly inhabited by the Bawariya community. The villagers allegedly attacked Rampal with sticks and other objects and left him to die on the spot. When the police reached the spot, Rampal had succumbed to his injuries.Police have launched an investigation after arresting the five accused – Shravan Ram, Kamal Kishore, Ramprakash, Vimla and Chayati Devi – identified in the first information report. Questions relating to the victim’s entry into the village in the late hours of night were also being looked into.Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has expressed anguish over the incident. “It has once again proved there is no law and order left in Rajasthan, as people are taking the law in their hands almost everyday,” he tweeted and said such a trend was “very worrying and unfortunate”.last_img read more

Indian-Origin Woman Faked Brain Cancer, Conned Family For 2.5 Lakh Pounds

first_imgAn Indian-origin woman who admitted to lying to her family and friends about suffering from terminal brain cancer to con them out of 250,000 pounds was sentenced to four years in prison by a UK court on Friday.Read it at NDTV Related Itemslast_img