Clergyman Wants Gov’t Introduce Vacation Jobs

first_imgBishop Cuffee wants MoE creates vacation job for students as programs to encourage them enroll during next semester A Liberian educator and clergyman Bishop James G.Cuffee, Sr. has called on authorities of the Ministry of Education (MoE) to introduce vacation jobs, specifically for students to enable them pay their school fees.The clergyman also wants government allot a budget for such a project as encouragement for the students, whose parents are under immense economic pressure to enroll them.Bishop Cuffee is the founder of the Bishop Cuffee Institute in Lower Virginia, Montserrado County. He said if MoE introduces such a program to promote vacation jobs, students would be encouraged to take up the opportunities so that in the end, they will pay their school fees, including other instructional materials.Bishop Cuffee is also the national chairman of the Apostolic World Christian Fellowship (AWCF-Liberia chapter Incorporated).Cuffee made recommendations recently at a program marking the 24th graduation exercises of the elementary division of the Bishop Cuffee Institute in Virginia, where he served as the keynote speaker.He said that if the MoE takes his recommendation into consideration, it would enable students to enroll by themselves and relieve parents/guardians of the overhead economic burden so that they would be self-reliant, not loitering in every street corner.Cuffee meanwhile called on MoE to revisit the present curriculum so as to match it with present-day teaching methods, including the introduction of laboratories, environmental science and other subjects in the sciences.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Shortages triggered food cost spike in 2016 – report

first_imgThe increase in food prices experienced last year is expected to persist in 2017.Last year, the domestic basket of food cost increased by 4.2 per cent, reflecting mainly an increase in the prices of vegetables, condiments and spices, and fruit products.Table showing the Consumer Price Index for food prices across three consecutive yearsThe increases were registered as 19.5 per cent, 18.3 per cent and 12.1 per cent respectively, according to Bank of Guyana’s Annual Report 2016.According to the document, the spike in food cost was triggered by agricultural shortages from adverse weather conditions. The rise in food prices contributed to the increase in the inflation rate, which was recorded at 1.4 per cent at the end of 2016.Additionally, there was a marginal increase in the price index of housing by 0.02 per cent due to the rise in fuel and power by 0.2 per cent.On the other hand, the price indexes of clothing, footwear, repairs, furniture, transport and communications as well as the services of education and miscellaneous goods fell by 3.1 per cent, 2.4 per cent, 0.6 per cent, 0.4 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 0.003 per cent respectively.The report noted that the transportation category experienced a smaller decline in personal transport of 4.7 per cent relative to a decline of 10.3 per cent at end of the same period in the previous year.Nonetheless, the report said the economy is projected to grow by 3.8 per cent in 2017.“This forecast is on account of growth in the mining and quarrying sector by 2.7 per cent as a result of a projected expansion in gold declarations by 1.7 per cent. The agriculture sector (including sugar processing and rice milling) is expected to rebound with 2.5 per cent growth as a result of estimated increases in output of rice and other crops by 10.4 per cent and 4.4 per cent respectively. The services sector is expected to grow by 3.0 per cent due to greater activities in financial and insurance, transportation and storage and wholesale and retail trade by 5.8 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively. The construction industry is expected to grow by 13.5 per cent,” the document stated.Consequently, the inflation rate is forecasted at 2.5 per cent from moderate increases in food and fuel prices.According to the Monthly Economic Bulletin report prepared by the Economic Policy Analysis Unit (EPAU) of the Finance Ministry’s Office of the Budget, inflation in Guyana has tracked inflation in the United States, so rising US inflation may put upward pressure on prices in Guyana, partly as a result of rising prices for US imports.last_img read more

Infrastructure planning key in oil preparations – US energy consultant

first_imgUS-based energy, oil and gas expert Edwin CallenderAs Guyana continues to prepare for a booming oil and gas industry, the Government is being urged to develop its infrastructure.Energy Consultant from the Callender Law Firm in Houston, Texas, Edwin Callender, underscored the importance of infrastructure planning during an Oil and Gas Business Training Conference on Thursday at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown.He explained that in preparing Guyana for the oil and gas sector, the country needs to be able to participate in infrastructural planning to ensure that catastrophes do not arise in the near future.“You have to consider the environmental impacts and the power plants and hydro power. Of course, everyone knows Guyana means land of many waters and so that should not be abandoned because it is a renewable source of energy and it is very clean.”According to Callender, there is already too much congestion on the major roadways and this will only get worse if the Government does not plan to address it from now.“People coming down the East Bank, the East Coast, the traffic jams are really terrible. If you had additional industry put into this same general area because people live here what is going to happen? It would be really, really terrible…so a lot of thought has to be put into it the industrial park, the pipe lines where they are going to go, the liquid hydro-carbon storage, processing and handling facilities and where those are going to go.”The Energy Consultant stated that another key factor that must not be overlooked is the development and the modernization of the national grid.He pointed out that, although focus is being placed on the benefits will reap from a booming oil and gas sector, the management and improvement of the grid is essential in stabilizing the advancements in the infrastructural development of the country.“These are all the things that should be considered and need to be considered and dealt with in a consorted, strategic way. A piecemeal approach to this business is not going to cut it. There has to be some kind of central strategic unit either in the Government, or chartered by the Government, that does that planning and, of course, comprised of Guyanese experts dealing with all of these matters.”This two-day conference is being hosted by the Callender Law Firm for the second time in two years. Plans are on-going to ensure that this oil and gas and energy business training conference is done on an annual basis.Meanwhile, Guyana is now home to the world’s largest new deep-water oil discovery, with principle explorer ExxonMobil pushing for the development of the oil reserves and production scheduled to begin in 2020.last_img read more

Toyota takes crown from GM as world’s No. 1 in sales

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TOKYO – Toyota Camry, take a bow. Prius, bask in the limelight. Strong demand for those models helped propel the Japanese carmaker onto the throne as the world’s largest auto seller – at least for the first quarter of 2007. Through a shrewd combination of investing in environment-friendly vehicles, offering sharp new models and wooing drivers with brand power, Toyota has toppled GM from the top global sales spot for the first time ever, sales figured released on Tuesday show. Whether it becomes the world’s No. 1 automaker depends on annual worldwide vehicle production, rather than sales, and final bragging rights for that won’t be decided until production numbers are tallied for the whole year. But analysts say Toyota is advancing precisely in those areas that General Motors Corp. has fallen behind, making it likely that Toyota will snatch from GM the title it has held for 76 years. Toyota Motor Corp. sold 2.35 million vehicles worldwide in the January-March period, surpassing the 2.26 million vehicles GM sold in the quarter, according to preliminary figures. In 2006, Toyota’s global output rose 10 percent to 9.018 million vehicles, while GM and its affiliates produced 9.18 million vehicles worldwide – a gap of about 162,000. In the first quarter, Toyota made 2.37 million vehicles worldwide, while GM has only given a planned production number of 2.34 million vehicles. But Toyota has long beaten GM in profitability, racking up record profits for the past four years, with $11.8 billion profit for the fiscal year through March 2006. GM lost $2 billion last year. Koji Endo, auto analyst with Credit Suisse in Tokyo, believes the trend of Toyota outdoing GM is very difficult to reverse. “Toyota sales are booming because of its good image around the world about reliability and ecological technology,” he said. “It’s just the opposite for GM, and its image is deteriorating.” Toyota’s fuel-efficient cars, such as the Corolla, Yaris and gas-electric hybrid Prius, are big hits because of surging gas prices. General Motors, meanwhile, has been forced to scale back production in some regions to tackle a turnaround. GM said although Toyota won the first quarter, the fight for global leadership is not over for the year. A company spokesman said it would not chase market share solely to recapture the lead from Toyota, and it has no special plan to retake the lead. “We also had a record first quarter globally. We set sales records in three out of our four regions,” said spokesman John McDonald. “We’ve got our first quarter underneath our belt. Let’s see what the rest of the year holds for us. We’re going to fight for every sale,” he said. The cycle of good news keeps getting better for Toyota, however, as it can use its profits to keep growing. With the company doing so well, morale is high at Toyota, while GM tends to be dragged down by battles with its union, Endo said. But Endo also warned that increased size also brings other problems like trying to ensure quality and manage a sprawling network of manufacturing and sales. “As your volume gets bigger and bigger, in many cases efficiency tends to drop,” he said. “There might be a risk of being over-stretched.” Toyota was founded in 1937 by the Toyoda family, whose members continue to play key roles and are a symbol of emotional unity for the company and its employees. Perhaps more famous than the Toyoda family are the company’s innovators, such as Taiichi Ohno, credited with inventing just-in-time production to reduce inventory, and the philosophy of worker-empowerment called “kaizen,” allowing workers to keep improving production methods and hold the critical power of shutting down the assembly line at any time. Companies around the world, including those outside the auto industry, have adopted Toyota’s methods. Universities, both in and outside Japan, study the Toyota method. Toyota is also well-known for nurturing worker loyalty by offering lifetime employment. The last time Toyota resorted to massive job cuts was during hard times in 1950. GM, meanwhile, has been recently negotiating severance packages with thousands of workers in an effort to turn around its North American operations. Modesty is also a Toyota trademark, and executives have repeatedly played down the prospects of beating GM as the world’s top producer of cars and light trucks. Asked that question last week in Detroit, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe said: “You will never know until all the numbers are in.” Instead, he said Toyota must continue to improve its quality from the top down to remain a leader in the auto industry. “We’re still developing in many regions of the world. I don’t regard that as a success yet,” he said. GM doesn’t give yearly forecasts, but Toyota is shooting for global output of 9.42 million vehicles and sales of 9.34 million units. While Toyota appears on course to supplant General Motors this year, GM’s moves to boost overseas production could keep it in the running. The company’s sales in China jumped 32 percent last year to 876,747 units, making it the market leader there, and it is also building a new factory in India, another market with tremendous potential. But analysts note that Toyota’s success required long-term planning and years of hard work. “Winning didn’t happen overnight,” said Koichi Shimokawa, business administration professor at Tokai Gakuen University. “Japanese makers built their business, slowly but surely, accumulating technology and developing good cars.” last_img read more