first_imgOne of the underlying causes responsible for the constant student unrests on the campuses of the University of Liberia and other higher institutions of learning in the country has been attributed to political interferences, according to Prof. Geegbae A. Geegbae, Dean of the Business College of the University of Liberia.The Economics Professor said political interferences in terms of admissions, mobilization of youth to get involved in politics at the expense of their studies have serious repercussions for education. He also stated that these constant unwholesome actions on the part of student prolong their stay on campuses.Though Prof. Geegbae failed to delve further into the nitty-gritty of the political interferences, our reporter said it has been established in time past that external political factors from some officials of government have led students to stage riots in the so-called name of advocating for social-justice for the ‘voiceless masses.’Prof. Geegbae made the assertions when he served as guest speaker at the graduation of the over 250 participants from the 2014 cycle of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA) over weekend.He spoke on the topic, ‘The Challenge of Providing Adequate Professional Training for Public and Private Sector Employees for Efficient Service Delivery in Liberia’s Reform Agenda: The Role of LIPA.’The UL Dean of Business College further stated that once an institution of higher learning, like the UL, shifts from an educational or professional mode to a political mode, it becomes difficult to get it back to its original state.“They set trends that are unhealthy for growth. It is important and necessary to develop norms and values that prevent political interferences in academic matters,” Prof. Geegbae said.For his part, the Executive Director of LIPA, Oblayon Blayon Nyemah, Sr., said from the background of civil service reform, the civil service has been in disarray, while patronage permeated every sector of our public life making it difficult, if not impossible to deliver efficient services to the Liberian people.He said the post-conflict government inherited a moribund civil service; personnel were ill-trained, inadequately compensated and as such de-motivated and therefore the service seized to be the main machinery of the government bureaucracy as far as service delivery is concerned.“However, the plethora of reform initiatives undertaken by the new civil service administration, complemented by the tripartite coordination of the Governance Commission and LIPA, signals a renewed commitment to reinvent the machinery of civil service bureaucracy,” Mr. Nyemah said.The conferral officer of the 2014 First Training Cycle graduates, Amb. Commany Wesseh said Liberian manpower is worrisome because poor foundation and most of them bribe their way through to get degrees.Amb. Wesseh, who is the Minister of State without Portfolio, indicated that most university graduates do not know the different between the pronoun ‘I’ and the plural ‘are.’He urged graduates of the 2014 First Training Cycle to see themselves as new servants but must stop from clerical positions instead of Assistant Ministers.“It is better to start from the foundation in your offices than Director or Assistant Ministers, because if you are sacked you won’t know a damned thing,” Mr. Wesseh said.He added: “Don’t also be a Senator as soon you finished school, it’s better to rise to any position.”Meanwhile, registration for the 2014 2nd Training Cycle is in process and would end on Monday, 4 August 2014.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In a compromise that avoided a lawsuit and showdown over affordable-housing requirements in Warner Center, a developer agreed Friday to include 42 lower-rent apartments in a proposed 438-unit complex. The deal is far less than the 109 affordable apartments the city had sought from Simms Commercial Development. The city also wanted to require Simms to pay $1 million in traffic fees and make street improvements, all in the name of traffic reduction. But Councilman Dennis Zine, who represents the area, said he agreed to the compromise after City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo told him the city was on shaky legal ground. “I’m reluctantly accepting it,” Zine said. “If it was my option, it would be denied and we would maintain the commercials and industrial in that place.” For more than two years, Ronald Simms has sought to bulldoze the site of the Valley Indoor Swap Meet at 6700 Eaton Ave. and build a 438-unit complex. But the project stalled in 2005 as city leaders tried to slow a building boom in Warner Center. Nearly 3,000 new residential units were approved in the neighborhood in less than two years, raising concern that the area would lose its jobs-housing balance and be inundated by traffic. To slow down residential construction while the city rewrites the Warner Center Specific Plan, the City Council voted to require that after the center hit 3,000 residential units, developers would pay traffic impact fees and set aside 25 percent of any new residential units as affordable. Simms argued that the requirement was expensive and illegal because the city can’t show that offering 109 affordable apartments would reduce traffic congestion. Under the agreement finalized Friday, Simms will set aside 42 affordable units — based on 20 percent of the 210 units that exceed Warner Center’s 3,000-unit cap. Simms also will pay only around $50,000 in traffic fees because he will get credit for traffic lights and street improvements he’s building at the site. “We have a compromise that not everybody is happy with, but it is a compromise. There will be affordable housing, there will be a trip-fee payment,” said Ben Reznik, an attorney representing Simms. “He just felt he needed to get it behind him. He felt the system didn’t treat him fairly.” All other new residential projects in Warner Center will still have to provide 25 percent affordable housing. Simms’ affordable units will rent for $1,463 for a one-bedroom apartment and be available to people who make 120 percent of the county’s median income. That amounts to $58,000 for a single person and $83,000 for a family of four. “All I’m trying to do is keep the balance. I want this area to be affordable to the working people,” Zine said. “The associates at Macy’s and Nordstrom are not making sufficient dollars to rent the apartments that are currently established in Warner Center. The rents are too high.” Indoor Valley Swap Meet vendors also protested against the project, saying the city would lose space for small-business owners. Vendor Richard Lee said he’s been at the swap meet for 14 years and his children just started businesses there. The residential project will “replace 300 to 400 vendors and businesses with 400 apartments for new families,” he said. “There’s a big human element to this.”— Kerry Cavanaugh, (818) 713-3746kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.comlast_img read more