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BIN Commissioner Visits Lofa’s Borders

first_imgThe head of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Commissioner Lemuel Reeves, Monday, April 14, traveled to Lofa County to visit “every functioning border,” in that county.Speaking to our reporter in an exclusive interview at his BIN office last Tuesday, April 8, Commissioner Reeves explained that they were working closely with the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare to protect the public; especially around the border regions where the current Ebola virus outbreak in the country began.According to him, “there will be two border visitation teams; one will leave for the Southeastern region, and I will take the other team to Lofa where we will inspect those borders and come up with recommendations for the Health Ministry in the fight against this [Ebola] virus.”He expressed his opinion that closing the borders would not solve the problem of the virus being spread and added “We are working with the MOH and our other partners to protect the country against the spread of the virus while keeping the borders safe.”Mr. Reeves said BIN officers at various borders have received protective gear from the Health Ministry.He said that the country’s borders were very porous, with an unofficial estimate of over 130 illegal pathways being used by people from neighboring countries.“The visits to the various borders in the region are important because we need to know what is happening in those areas and what major things we can work on to stop the Ebola virus from spreading,” The Commissioner explained.According to him, BIN has been working closely with chiefs, villagers, and other community residents to protect the unofficial routes of entry into the country. He said that some villagers have been able to notify officers at the borders about illegal crossings taking place. As a result of this, measures have been put in place to watch the borders effectively.The Commissioner commended all of BIN’s partners, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He also commended the GoL, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, for ensuring that BIN is capacitated to protect the borders of Liberia and its people.“We have a total of 176 borders guarded by Liberian security personnel. Last year only 36 were fully operational, and we added an additional nine to increase it to 45. We are making sure we add 15 every year so the number will be gradually increased by 2017,” he stated.Commissioner Reeves said the BIN was low on vehicles to run its many operations on the borders of the country.“We managed to get some bikes through the office of the Vice President of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai, in 2010. These vehicles are no longer in good condition, and we still have to carry out regular border patrols to ensure the best protection for the nation,” he concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Poor sugar-consuming public

first_imgDear Editor,Reference is drawn to the article captioned “Local sugar price increases” that was carried in Guyana Times on February 13, 2018, wherein GuySuCo’s acting CEO, Paul Bhim, confirmed that the price of sugar on the local market has been increased since early February. The CEO further stated that the price “has not been increased for about eight or nine years. So, we had just finished reviewing the prices on the local market and we thought it was opportune time to increase”.Editor, the CEO needs to advise the consuming public on who is “we” that reviewed the price and determined the increase, and secondly why now is considered the “opportune time to increase” the price of sugar; a time when almost 7000 sugar workers are out of a job, struggling to make ends meet.There must have been valid reason why for the past eight or nine years that either the Government, its Board or corporate management decided against increasing the price of sugar. The CEO opined that “the increase has been active for about three weeks already and we haven’t had a single complaint about it. I haven’t seen anything or anyone coming to GuySuCo”.It was only earlier this week, in a Guyana Times article, that a housewife at Canje, Rose Hall lamented that with her husband being out of a job through the closure of the Rose Hall Estate, they could only afford one meal and the other being “sugar water” per day. Sugar, therefore, become a luxury consumable product for this family. For sure, I don’t think this family could afford to travel to the CEO’s office to complain about the increase in the price of sugar.The CEO, in the said article, makes it appear that the increase is insignificant, which is rather misleading. Let’s look at what the increase means to the sugar company’s revenue. GuySuCo sells approximately 28,000 metric tonnes of sugar to the local market, which is equivalent to 560,000 (50)kg bags. The CEO said the price has been increased from $4900 to $5145 per 50kg bag; an increase of $245. It means therefore, that GuySuCo will rake in $137 million in additional revenue from an increase in price that the CEO described as insignificant.This increased revenue is not from any strategic marketing initiative, but from the backs of the consuming public.If the company really wants to look at conserving on cost, it needs to critically look at its high overhead expenses, including its head-office costs, and not extracting its revenue from the poor sugar-consuming public.Yours faithfully,Selwyn Narinedattlast_img read more

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