The Central Bank of Liberia has opened its seventh Rural Financial Institution in Sanniquellie, Nimba County with local business entrepreneurs and county officials praising the CBL Governor, Dr. Mills Jones and staff for their economic and financial inclusion nationwide.The opening of the Nimba Rural Community Finance Institution (NRCFI) in Sanniquellie makes it the second financial institution constructed by the CBL and the Afriland First Bank in that County, the first one located in Karnplay, Gbelleyger District in Nimba County.The CBL, under Dr. Jones’ leadership, had inaugurated and opened five similar financial institutions in Karnplay, Gbeh-lay Geh District, Nimba County; Barclayville, Grand Kru County; Fish Town, River Gee County; Bopolu, Gbarpolu County; and Cestos City, River Cess County.These financial entities have since been bringing relief to government employees, businesses and other citizens in terms of moving to distant areas to get banking services including money transfer services.NRCFI is under the management of the Afriland First BankPresenting the banking license to the chairperson of the board of NRCFI, the CBL Governor urged citizens to utilize the facility by banking their money and paying back money credited to enable others to benefit.Gov. Jones declared, “We have to make the lives of the people of Rivercess County better and simple economics says, when you save you invest,” adding, “it is good to save your money for economic growth.”He noted that the CBL and Afriland Bank have done it with the creation of the rural financial institution, but it is the determination and hard work of the people that will bring growth and improve livelihoods.Earlier, Mr. Thomas King, Sr. Analyst, Microfinance and Financial Inclusion Unit of the CBL, who introduced the program, noted that the opening of the NRCFI would ease the problem of the residents to go to distant areas such as Tappita, Saclepea, Ganta and nearby villages to encash their salary checks, savings account, direct deposit and to utilize money transfer services such as MoneyGram or Western Union.At the dedicatory ceremony in Sanniquellie, traditional leaders praised the CBL and its leadership including the chairperson Board of Directors of the Afriland First Bank, Mrs. K. Margaret Korkpor, wife of Liberia’s Chief Justice, Francis Korkpor, for their tireless efforts in providing another banking institution to them.For her part, Mrs. Korkpor urged Nimbaians to make use of the facility by saving their money. She also promised them that the bank under her supervision as chairperson will provide better services to them.Also speaking, Nimba County Development Superintendent, Dorr Cooper cautioned Nimbaians against using the bank as a political tool by the people of the county noting that development should now be the inner objective of all Nimba citizens.At the same time, the traditional leaders vowed to support and sustain through the buying of shares and economic and financial interaction.Meanwhile, Hamadou Bayo, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Afriland First Bank, which provided technical assistance prior to the opening of the NRCFI, said the bank will serve all the financial transactions of the people of that county.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
27 April 2014In its first two decades of freedom, South Africa has have moved closer to its dream of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous country – and “we must not deny or downplay these achievements, regardless of our political differences”, President Jacob Zuma told the nation on Sunday.Addressing the main Freedom Day event at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Zuma paid tribute both to the various actors and groupings who sacrificed to win the country its freedom 20 years ago, and to the different sectors of society that had, since then, played a part in creating a South Africa that was in every respect “a much better place to live in”.Measured against the goals the country had set itself under Nelson Mandela in 1994 – including deepening democracy and promoting a culture of human rights, meeting basic needs and developing human resources, building the economy and creating jobs – South Africa had done well, Zuma said.“We should congratulate ourselves for all this hard work.”The President listed the country’s achievements in education, healthcare, social security, delivery of housing, water and electricity, women’s rights and youth development.Mandela had introduced free health care for pregnant women to help ensure that South African children were born healthy, and the government had continued to build on this: today, 8-million children do not have to pay school fees, 9-million children receive meals at school, more than 11-million orphans and vulnerable children benefit from social grants, and the state spends over R1.3-billion per annum on early childhood development centres, as well as R15 per day per child from poor households to prepare them for primary education.“Our plan is that by 2030, South Africa should have a comprehensive system of social protection that includes social security grants, mandatory retirement savings, risk benefits (such as unemployment, death and disability benefits) and voluntary retirement savings.”While the country still had some way to go to eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment, Zuma said, the National Development Plan (NDP) had been developed over the last five years in order to address this.“The next decade of freedom must be one in which we work together to advance economic transformation.“We will continue to work with the business sector to advance broad-based black economic empowerment and affirmative action, in order to change the ownership, control and management of the economy.“We will also, working together, continue to focus on making improvements in five priorities – job creation, health, education, rural development and land reform, and the fight against crime and corruption.“There is a lot of work to be done, but we will succeed if we work together.”Zuma concluded by reminding South Africans that the right to vote “was gained through relentless struggles and sacrifices.“Therefore, on the 7th of May, let us go out in our millions to vote and celebrate our hard-won freedom and democracy. Let us vote to consolidate democracy and all the achievements of our young nation.“And, as we did in 1994 and in subsequent elections, let us deliver peaceful, free and fair elections.”SAinfo reporter
An Arizona public utility has voted to impose new charges on customers who generate some of their own electricity with photovoltaic (PV) systems, arguing the extra income will help pay for grid infrastructure and maintenance, ThinkProgress reports.Directors of the Salt River Project (SRP) voted in favor of the new fee late last month despite the appearance of some 500 protesters at their meeting in Tempe.Chief Financial Executive Aidan McSheffrey said that the utility has no choice but to modernize the grid and improve reliability. But in a letter to SRP, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive promised to sue the utility for violating state and federal antitrust laws.ThinkProgress said the additional “demand charge” would be based on a solar customer’s peak power demand during the month and would be imposed no matter how much power the customer provided to the grid. Solar advocates get some concessionsThe utility had originally proposed that the 15,000 existing solar customers in the state keep their current rates for 10 years before being switched to the new plan. But in the end, directors agreed to push that out to 20 years in response to customers who had calculated savings on their investments with a longer time line.SRP also decided to allow customers who signed solar contracts before December 8, 2014 to keep the current rate plan for 20 years, ThinkProgress reports.Finally, the utility said that it would use a 30-minute period of peak power demand rather than 15 minutes to determine the new demand charge.Still, it’s not enough to deter SolarCity, which had urged SRP a week before the vote to withdraw the plan.Rive wrote the new fee is “an unabashed penalty on customers who want to go solar and a deliberate effort to stop new solar installations.”ThinkProgress adds that solar customers in neighboring New Mexico are looking at a similar proposal. There, the state’s largest electric utility proposed late last year a $30 monthly fee for solar customers in order to connect to the grid.