Athletes leave Cameron Blazers

first_img “He (Cameron) has a strong personal relationship with (Javere) Bell in particular, and I know that he wishes him all the best and would want to see the very best from him wherever he decides to go or whatever decision he takes,” added Anderson, who is also an official at the Cameron Blazers club. “The focus this year is to keep a small group and focus on individuals, especially in the quarter-mile events. The determination is to focus all the energy towards getting everyone in the group to a world-beater level,” Anderson said. “Mr Cameron is happy with the present make-up of the group. There is a nice mix of youth and experience, and the efforts will be geared towards ensuring that the excitement of the youth is guided by the knowledge of those who are more experienced.” In addition to Hyde and James, the group also consists of the likes of Kaliese Spencer and Christine Day. Noted coach Bert Cameron has offered best wishes to his long-time charge Javere Bell and Bobby-Gaye Wilkins-Gooden after the pair’s decision to part ways with his Cameron Blazers set-up ahead of the new season. Bell, who travelled to Rio de Janeiro as a member of Jamaica’s Olympic contingent, is believed to be headed to the Racers Track Club, with Wilkins-Gooden reportedly joining the Akan outfit. Marvin Anderson, one of Cameron’s close advisers, speaking on behalf of the veteran coach, confirmed the departures, while pointing out the club’s focus going forward. Founded in 2012 by Cameron, the 1983 world champion over 400m, the club has enjoyed moderate success, with last season bringing the latest high point at the World Under-20 Championships, where Jaheel Hyde retained his 400m hurdles title, with Tiffany James also claiming gold in the women’s 400m. Notwithstanding, there have been certain letdowns as well, a point that Anderson admitted is not lost on Cameron. “Along the way, there have been some disappointments, and when that happens, people will have to evaluate the situation, and in doing so, he (Cameron) was informed that Javere Bell will be moving on,” Anderson said. “Also, in July, Bobby-Gaye Wilkins-Gooden informed him that she would be moving on.” Wilkins-Gooden, a Pan American and NACAC medallist in the 400m and 4x400m, has been part of the Cameron Blazers Club for the better part of two years but has failed to make headway in her career. Cameron has been guiding Bell, who won the national 400m title in 2013 and qualified for the semi-finals at the World Championships in Moscow a few weeks later, for the last five seasons. STRONG RELATIONSHIPlast_img read more

Health Minister-designate Vows to Absorb Health Workers on GOL Payroll

first_imgThe Minister of Health-designate, Dr. Bernice Dahn, has hit the ground running to make peace with health workers by vowing to do all in her capacity, if confirmed by the Senate, to absorb health workers into the Government’s payroll system.This has been one of the contentious issues between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Workers’ Association of Liberia (NHWAL). Health workers, through their president, Mr. Joseph Tamba, have said that they want all of their colleagues to be included on the payroll. More than 2000 public health workers are not on the GOL payroll although some of them receive other incentives.Dr. Dahn made the commitment when she officially closed the three-day Health System Assessment and Investment Plan Consensus Meeting, which was being held at the Paynesville City Hall.    The Minister-designate’s first public pronouncement, just hours after being appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was about the health workers who had threatened through their leadership to oppose her appointment. She would have to be confirmed by the Senate before performing the functions of the Health Minister-proper.Dr. Dahn, who has served as Deputy Minister for Health Services for the last eight years, requested Senator Dr. (MD) Peter S. Coleman and Representative Johnson Toe Chea to grant a team from the Ministry to convey to lawmakers the importance of putting more money into the health budget so that health workers can be included on government’s payroll.“We will do all we can to get them on the payroll. Even if it means sitting in hot offices at the Ministry just to get them on the payroll, that will be done. We are willing to make the sacrifices in order to get our health workers on the payroll,” Health Minister-designate Dahn assured everyone in the hall.As she left the stage, she received a standing ovation from the conferees, including international and local health partners.Dr. Dahn’s statement has been received in good faith by Mr. Joseph Tamba, president, NHWAL.  As his personal response, he stated, “I want to thank Dr. Dahn for this initiative. I look forward to see it coming to pass.” He, however, added that the health workers’ association was waiting to see what happens.Speaking earlier, Senator Dr. Peter Coleman said discussion on the issue of extra funding to put all the health workers on payroll is now going to be easy for him and other lawmakers who advocate for them (health workers) to their fellow lawmakers.Dr.  Coleman, a former Minister of Health and Social Welfare, further stated that the deadly Ebola virus disease has taught a lesson that there is a need to give health workers good pay.In his remarks, Rep. Johnson Toe Chea also reiterated the need for health workers to be adequately compensated in line with their jobs because their lives are always at risk.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Can Cummings Save Liberia?’ asks Forbes Magazine

first_imgCummings: “I’m entering Liberian politics with clean hands, without political scores to settle, free from any corruption charges or allegations…”-I’m entering Liberian politics with clean hands, without political scores to settle, free from any corruption charges or allegationsAlternative National Congress (ANC) standard bearer Alexander Cummings has clarified reports that he has been out of the country for most of his adult life and noted that despite his travels abroad and working for international companies, “I’ve always returned to Liberia, where I managed a series of philanthropic efforts.”In a FORBES Magazine interview, asking if Cummings can save Liberia, Mr. Cummings said he had always planned on living full time in Liberia after his retirement from Coca-Cola and his decision to run for president came a few years ago when he was discussing with his family and friends the best way he could contribute to Liberia.“We discussed the challenges facing Liberia, primarily the high level of youth unemployment and underemployment, which I have said is a national security risk. However, with proper investments in things like vocational and technical training, the youth can be transformed into a national asset,” he said.“Liberia has come a long way in the last 12 years. It has been safe and peaceful over that period of time. Indeed, Liberia has never been as free as it has been over the last decade. On the economic front, however, Liberia still faces many challenges that will only get worse if we continue down the same path.”He said the upcoming elections are vital and will be the first peaceful transition of power from one democratically elected government to another in nearly 75 years. “It is an opportunity for Liberia to cement its democratic progress. We hope a transition from the Unity Party to the Alternative National Congress will also establish Liberia’s ability to transition from one party to another, peacefully, as we’ve seen in Ghana, Nigeria and elsewhere.”Cummings said what sets him apart from the other 19 candidates is that “They are all legacy politicians, current and former senators, and government officials. The Vice President has been in his office for 12 years and was in government for many years before that, with few (if any) accomplishments to which he can point. Senator Weah has been in office since 2014 and hasn’t proposed or sponsored any legislation.“As a presidential candidate in 2005 and vice-presidential candidate in 2011, Mr. Weah hasn’t so much as set up a football academy in Liberia. The other candidates have all been involved in Liberian politics for many years and have had an opportunity to change Liberia. Unfortunately, they have failed. I’m entering Liberian politics with clean hands, without political scores to settle, free from any corruption charges or allegations, and having largely funded my campaign out-of-pocket, free from campaign debts and the patronage system. I have the business experience and know how to jumpstart the Liberian economy. I know how to create jobs and I have managed budgets many times the size of Liberia’s national budget. My sole purpose in running is to bring my experience to transform Liberia.”He said the Alternative National Congress has a clear agenda for Liberia. “In relation to what the government of President Sirleaf has done, we can do more to jumpstart and grow the economy, to create jobs for our young people, combat corruption, cut down on government waste and address the dire infrastructure deficit in the areas of roads, water, and power and internet connectivity.“The Sirleaf administration has done a great deal for Liberia in keeping the peace for the past 12 years, establishing strong democratic institutions, freedom of speech, etc. We will reduce the salaries and allowances of senior government officials, use those savings to increase the pay of our civil servants, strengthen the capacity and independence of our anti-corruption institutions, privatize infrastructure development, simplify the tax code and expand the tax base, with the goal of increasing the government budget from around US$600M today to around US$2B at the end of my first term.”Cummings said the Liberian economy has faced significant challenges in recent years, including the Ebola outbreak and the drop in commodity prices, but if elected, his administration will immediately tackle waste and corruption in government and redeploy those resources into more productive areas.“We need to approach job creation from a short term and long term perspective. The needs are immediate, so right away we begin putting young Liberians to work in their communities by providing credit to small businesses where private capital isn’t available, and making strategic investments in agriculture and infrastructure to unlock the full potential of the Liberian agriculture sector, which is our largest employer. We can also begin making investments in teacher training, vocational and adult education that will pay dividends in the long term and empower our unemployed, underemployed or unemployable citizens to take advantage of (or create their own) economic opportunities down the road.”Cummings said some of the wages and allowances for senior government officials and legislators have gotten completely out of control and the allowances for ministers vary by position, but some ministers get US$15,000 a month in salary and allowances. “My administration would cut that salary and allowance in half, and double the pay of a teacher making it US$100 a month. We need to reduce our spending at the top and increase the salaries of teachers, nurses, police officers, and other civil servants. Also, all 69 ANC legislative aspirants have signed a pledge to reduce their salary and wages by 50 percent, as that decision would obviously require legislative action.”He said his administration will reduce the size of “our bureaucracy and automate some of our government systems, including payroll, so we can operate more efficiently and transparently. We need to strengthen the capacity and independence of our integrity institutions, including the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC), and the Internal Auditing Agency (IAA). President Sirleaf has also proposed to establish a special court to fast track corruption cases, which is an idea I support.”Forbes is an American business magazine headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more