Dear Editor,The Local Government Commission (LGC) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2013, under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration. In the exercise of its functions, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any authority.The financial situation at the Local Government Commission is most atrocious and abominable. The staff and Commissioners are starved of finance. We are already halfway in the month of February and the staff are yet to receive January salaries and the Commissioners are awaiting their January emoluments. To date, neither Capital nor Current allocations as passed by the National Assembly in Budget 2019, have been paid over to the LGC.At the statutory meeting of the Commission on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, the Commission suspended the standing orders so as to make way to discuss the unpaid salaries and emoluments for January 2019.From the very beginning and the commencement of its operations, the Local Government Commission has experienced financial hostility from the Communities Ministry, and particularly Minister Ronald Bulkan. Members of the Commission are insisting that the Commission is a constitutional agency while the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change outfit in the Government is of the view that the Commission is subject to the whims and fancies of the Communities Ministry.Section 17 of the Act clearly states, “The chairperson and members of the Commission shall receive such emoluments as may be provided for in the annual budget of the Commission, approved by the National Assembly.Section 18 states: “The expenses of the Commission shall be paid out of monies provided by Parliament.Section22 (2) states: ‘The remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment of the secretary and other officers and employees of the Commission shall be determined by the Commission.Section 24 (1) states: “The Commission shall determine its own annual budget for submission to the Minister of Finance for inclusion in the annual budget to the National Assembly.The Local Government Commission is an autonomous organisation and the Bulkan administration must allow the agency to function. Starving the LGC of finance and other basics funds for the utility services is most vindictive and unacceptable. The allocation must be made available to the Commission for them to execute their programme.Sincerely,Neil Kumar
Mr. Alex Cummings is not only a truly outstanding Liberian but also a great citizen of the world. He retired last week from a position which placed him at the pinnacle of one of the world’s great multinational corporations, Coca Cola. In his 18 years of service at Coca Cola, he rose to the position of Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, which made him the company’s top executive. Before then he had served as Head of Coca Cola’s Africa operations, stationed first in Lagos, then in London as well as Johannesburg. When Alex retired last week, Mr. Muhtar Kent, Coca Cola’s Chief Executive Officer, said “Mr. Cummings’ legacy is a leader who focused on growth and made us more efficient and effective. He also has a passion for people and a vision for building sustainable communities as part of our local business.”What a great tribute to an international corporate servant, who happens to be a Liberian!Thankfully, the Daily Observer carried yesterday the story of Mr. Cummings’ retirement, including this glowing quotation from his boss, Mr. Kent. Our hope is that all Liberians have read or will read the story and take inspiration from it as they chart their future, both in the public and private sectors. In his service to Coca Cola, Alex Cummings set a perfect example surely not only for Liberians but for young people the world over. To serve a multinational corporation with such distinction and leave with such a great and glowing tribute is an example that people all over the world are called to emulate. There were indeed talented people of many nationalities throughout the world that could have been chosen to hold the position that this young Liberian business executive was offered in 2008. Thank God for his appointment and for all the roles he played at Coca Cola in the past 18 years, retiring with honor and distinction. What can young people all over the world, especially those in Mr. Cummings’ home country, Liberia, learn from this? The first thing they should learn is honesty. Would Cummings have even been hired by Coca Cola, or even Pillsbury, a global flour producer which he served in senior positions before joining Coca Cola, if he had not been an honest man? Not by sight!The second thing our young people should learn from Mr. Cummings is efficiency, effectiveness and hard work. These three-fold qualities are among the hallmarks of every successful professional servant, whether in the public or private sector. Remember, there are people who are highly efficient, but not necessarily effective. What made Alex Cummings both efficient and effective? There were two things: first, hard work and second, what Muhtar Kent called Alex’s “passion for people.” Indeed, there are many people who know a lot of book and who are also highly proficient at what they do. But they are not necessarily effective—why? Quite often because they lack people skills—the ability to get along with people—any kind of people. Mr. Kent said Alex Cummings had “a passion for people,” which means he got along very well with people, especially the people he had to work with to make his job at Coca Cola successful and the company profitable. Remember Mr. Kent said Alex was “a leader who focused on growth and has made us more efficient and effective.” Coca Cola could not have accomplished such an enviable record, staying on top in the soft drink business, in the face of stiff competition from company like Pepsi, its nearest rival, and many others. How did Alex Cummings do this? He had “a passion for people.” He knew that despite the immense financial, industrial and other resources at Coca Cola’s disposal, its most important asset was its people—the employees who, following leaders like Alex Cummings in whom they had implicit confidence, went on and gave their very best to Coca Cola to make it the efficient, effective, profitable and sustainable company it is.One other important attribute of Mr. Cummings is his humility. None of the people who worked for him ever considered him a “big boss,” though indeed he was. But Alex was a humble man and that most certainly earned him the admiration, respect and trust of his coworkers. We call on all Liberian youth and even those in middle age and older, and those throughout the world, to emulate the noble example of this great international corporate servant, Alexander B. Cummings. Those who do will certainly be highly successful, possibly even more successful than he. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A drinking spree ended in murder at an East Coast Demerara (ECD) home on Monday afternoon when a sibling knifed his older brother to death.Dead is 47-year-old Satnarine Jattan called “Dalim” of Lot 471 Charlotte Street, Enterprise, ECD.Reports are that Jattan and his younger brother were consuming alcohol together at the residence when an argument ensued.Their mother, who was at home at that time, was inside of the house and shouted a stern warning at her two sons, urging them to desist from arguing.According to a police source, the men suddenly stopped talking and the mother became suspicious and as such ventured outside to check on them. However, the woman stumbled upon Dalim’s body, which was on the floor near their bathroom door. She said that he was unresponsive and she raised an alarm.However, her other child, the suspect, arrived at the stairway leading to the house and then walked out of the yard, without a backward glance this newspaper was told.She said that as she began to scream for help, neighbours rushed to her aid and the police were contacted.Dalim’s body was found with one visible wound at his abdomen and was subsequently taken to the CC Nicholson Hospital in Nabacalis, ECD, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.According to the police source, the now dead man’s brother is in Police custody assisting with the investigations. He has allegedly admitted to the police to killing his older brother.