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Capital Flight Bleeds Liberia’s Economy

Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
-Authorities Find Flimsy Justification  
-As Hardship Rages In Liberia 
It appears the raging hardship which ordinary Liberians have excruciatingly endured under the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regime  in that last few years has reached a point to draw international attention.  
Representatives of two distinct international groups, including the International Monitoring Fund (IMF) and the United States Embassy near Monrovia, have for the time made their voices clear on the prevailing economic situation in the country, although the Liberian authorities are providing what critics describe as “flimsy” justification to economic the crisis, while at the same time promising to calm the situation in the future. 
The Public Agenda Newspaper highlights and Reports some of the comments from the groups and the reaction of the Liberian Government as well as other reasons which critics or ordinary people believe are the root causes of the prevailing hardship in the country, other than the reasons being provided by the Liberian authorities. 
A Team of IMF official recently visited Liberia and made observation on a number of things, including the issue of the perennial budget shortfall which has exacerbated suffering in the country and is undermining Liberia’s infrastructural development.
According to the IMF Team, budget implementation through December 2013 was constrained by revenue shortfall. “The overall fiscal deficit is still projected to reach 3.8 per cent of GDP in 2014,” something the Team noted was envisaged at the time of its the last review, as the Liberian authorities were able to reduce spending.
However, the IMF added in a rather diplomatic tone that the Liberian authorities were strongly committed to preserving current expenditure savings and to implementing decisive measures to raise revenue collection, including addressing the accumulation of taxes in the concession sector and at the same time collect fees owed by state entities. 
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Cellcom’s ‘O LA-LA’ Takes Five To Paris

Cellcom GSM Headquarter
-Makes Liberians Enjoy Benefit Of Communications  
“Cellcom the number 1 GSM Company in Liberia”, as it is always advertised, has sent another batch five lucky winners to Paris, France.
Presenting the plane tickets to the five lucky couples on Tuesday in Monrovia, the Corporate Communications Strategist, Mr. Kimmie Weeks,  Cellcom was proud of the winners who only bought two dual sim phones for US$25.00us under the Cellcom “O LA-LA” Paris promotion.
Mr. Weeks said, the winners’ trip to France was going to be incredible since they will accommodated in the best hotel and the most romantic city of Paris.
He disclosed that the “O LA – LA” promotion winners have no connection with Cellcom, the entity remains committed to the Liberian people.
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UNMIL Aircraft In Accident

UNMIL Aircraft
-Destroys Building, Wounds Two
An aircraft belonging to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was Tuesday involved in an accident, which culminated into the airliner making an emergency landing in the Thinkers’ Village Community outside Monrovia, few minutes before noon, the Liberia News Agency has reported. 
The helicopter, with nine passengers and four crew members on board, was en route from Spriggs Payne Airport to Fishtown, River Gee County, as part of UNMIL’s regular shuttle flight. 
One passenger and one crew member sustained minor injuries. During the landing, the aircraft damaged a house, without causing injury to any of its residents or any other members of the local population. The Liberia National Police and UNMIL Security have secured the area. 
UNMIL has launched an investigation to establish the cause of the incident.

MRTU Craves For Modern Road Transport Terminal

MRTU Secretary Mr. Abu Diallo and Pres. Abdulai Kamara
-Wants GOL Assistance
The Liberia Chapter of the Mano River Transport Union (MRTU) is asking the Government of Liberia (GoL) to assist it with a land space to construct a state of the art road transport terminal in the country.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper on Tuesday at the MRTU Headquarters on Bushrod Island, outside Monrovia, MRTU Secretary General, Mr. Abu Diallo stated that when said terminal constructed here, it will reduce the number of difficulties the transport system of Liberia is faced with, adding that the construction of said terminal will bring relieve to passengers, drivers, vehicle owners and pedestrians as well.
He averred that when constructed, the terminal will be a major pick-up and dropout point for passengers and drivers where their goods will be labeled and tagged for proper identification, to avoid theft or misplacement.
Mr. Diallo indicated that all vehicles plying the Mano River Union Countries; Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Liberia, will have a specific license that will ensure that the drivers do not take their vehicles to places that are not enshrined in their schedule sheet upon departure from the terminal.
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DEA Confiscates Over L$600,000 Worth Of Marijuana

The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has uncovered and confiscated five bags of marijuana with a street value of over L$ 600,000 in the ELWA Community, in Paynesville City, outside Monrovia.
Making the disclosure to journalists at a press conference last weekend in Monrovia,  DEA Director Anthony Suoh, said authorities of the agency got the tip-off about the marijuana from some of its agents last Saturday morning.
He divulged that the DEA agents disclosed that the drugs were hidden in the Red Light Community by some notorious drug smugglers and criminals, but while on a search, the DEA got “credible hints” that the substances were moved to the ELWA Community.
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Ellen Hooked For Tax Evasion

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
-Former AG Morlu, ll Provides Evidence 
The Liberian Government recently launched a rigorous tax collection exercise perhaps in an effort to address the issue of perpetual alleged budget shortfall that has been impeding progress in the country for the last few years under the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regime.
But it appears those charged with the responsibility to execute the tax collection regime are not brave enough to appear in front of the door stairs of others, including Pres. Sirleaf to question her about her alleged failure to pay taxes on other sources of income, including the Nobel Prize amount.   
 However, as the Public Agenda Reports, former Liberia’s revolutionary Auditor-General, John Morlu, ll has exposed Government’s charade in the collection of taxes by shielding principal state actors while at the same time amounting pressure and intense intimidation on ordinary people and institutions to pay taxes.  
 “What we need to do going forward is to focus our attention on the structural issues that will face the next administration.  Tax and expenditure policies are a key to wealth distribution in any nation, as they can reorder the behavior of rational people.” This is one of the comments of the former Auditor General whose fight against corruption in Liberia is still resounding. 
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