Authorities at the Ganta Port of Entry in Nimba County say that the news of the Ebola Virus has drastically slowed activity (business and trade) between Liberia and Guinea, causing low revenue intake at the usually-busy border.The Chief Assessor at the Custom Collectorate, Josiah Washington, told the Daily Observer recently that prior to the spread of the Ebola news, people were moving in and out of the two neighboring countries doing a lot of business. However, upon hearing that the disease was contagious and had been ‘killing people in Guinea,’ people of both countries slowed down their activities.“The news is creating fear in people; they are hardly moving about as in the past. As we speak, only one vehicle has crossed from Guinea to Liberia today, and this has a serious negative consequence on revenue intake at this border,” Mr. Washington said.Though he did not say how much the intake per day or month at this port of entry usually is, Mr. Washington indicated that the amount recently realized, is far below what came in before the Ebola outbreak.He had no suggestion as to what could be done to restore the generation of revenue at the border; he did say that Ebola issue is health-related and only Ministry of Health & Social Welfare can give assurance to people to do away with the fear associated with news of the deadly Virus.The spread of the news of Ebola has not only caused low revenue intake for the Custom Collectorate at the Ganta border; it has stirred fear amongst those working at the border.Speaking to reporters, the head of joint security at the port of entry, Maj. Betty Benson, said fear has gripped them as the news continues to hit them.According to Maj. Benson, they have been cautioned to use masks over their noses and wear gloves to avoid contacting the skin of others; that, she added, increases fear amongst them as their work requires interacting with people.“Our fear reduced a bit when Francis Ketteh (MD) told us not to avoid people but take preventive measures by observing hygienic methods. But the news is so scary; we are afraid and skeptical about dealing with the few people that use this route to go in and out of Liberia,” Maj. Benson said.Also speaking, the Port Health Officer at the border, Milton Suah said they are only at the border because it is a duty area where they are assigned, but not much work is going on because people are not moving in and out as compared to the past.Mr. Suah intoned that movement of people has come to a standstill as a result of the news of Ebola outbreak.A source told the Daily Observer that workers no longer use the latrine built at the border, but use the bush to defecate because they do not want to contract the Ebola Virus.News about Ebola began spreading in Liberia in March this year when suspected cases were discovered in Guinea.After a few days it was reported in Liberia that suspected cases had been reported from Lofa County. Specimens of about seven persons had been taken to France, and out of the seven, two had proved positive.Since then, spread of the news of the dreaded disease has increased, with the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare cautioning people to avoid eating Bats and bush-meat, which are presumed to have the virus.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
– as Bank secures stay of execution in remaining $20M paymentThe Appeal Court of Guyana has upheld the High Court’s awarding of over $59 million in pension benefits to former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Building Society (NBS), Maurice Arjoon, more than 10 years after he was dismissed from his post. However, the remaining $20 million for which the High Court had also determined that Arjoon should receive was not awarded and will form part of substantive appeal as the Bank secured a stay of execution againstDismissed former NBS CEO, Maurice Arjoonthe former CEO’s judgment.These determinations were made by Appeal Court Justice, Rishi Persaud, who on Wednesday ruled that there was no basis for a stay of execution in relation to the former CEO’s more than $59 million lump sum which was described as the pension amount. Arjoon’s Attorney, Sanjeev Datadin explained that this means that NBS has to pay the former CEO’s pension. The $20,249,000 for which NBS obtained the stay, relates to $4.1 million for pay in lieu of notice, in accordance with Clause 10 of Arjoon’s contract and $16.1 million for severance benefits.Guyana Times understands that now the stay of proceedings is complete, the record will have to be assembled and when the record is assembled, then the substantive appeal will continue. Wednesday’s matter was heard in chambers and lawyer for NBS, Ashton Chase indicated to this publication that a date for the continuation of proceedings will be determined in the future. In the meantime, Datadin is optimistic that his client will receive his pension.“Presumably New Building Society is going to pay my client,” the Attorney noted.The back and forth for this case has been ongoing for years. The former CEO took NBS to court for his outstanding pension and other benefits in 2011. Arjoon had originally sued the lending agency for some $550 million in damages on the following grounds: that he had been wrongfully dismissed from his post, and that his former employer had withheld pension and other benefits due to him. The former top official was fired from his position 10 years ago in connection with a Magistrate’s court matter wherein he, NBS Operations Manager Kent Vincent and NBS Assistant Mortgage Manager Kissoon Baldeo were all accused of conspiracy to defraud the NBS of $69 million. The court matter was eventually dismissed, and Arjoon and the co-defendants took the financial institution to court.High Court Judge, Justice Brassington Reynolds on July 17 ruled in the dismissed CEO’s favour, awarding him more than $79 million in outstanding payments and benefits. The court also ruled that he should be paid a monthly pension of $372,498 from July 1 onwards. The Judge further ordered that the former CEO should receive financial compensation for the damages he had suffered; and moreover, that he was entitled to his pension and severance benefits, in accordance with provisions stipulated in the laws of Guyana.The NBS had contended that an unauthorised withdrawal of nearly $70 million had been made from an account that its client Bibi Shamina Khan held. The NBS’s issue with the withdrawal was that it was made through a Power of Attorney, and the company had implicated Arjoon for misconduct. The court in its determination contended that the NBS had failed to provide evidence that supported its claim of misconduct, whether serious or otherwise.Arjoon, who told media operatives that he was sick, had claimed that he was set-up on the fraud allegations because he allegedly refusal to approve a loan of some $2 billion applied for in 2006. He had also noted that the investigation into the fraud allegations was conducted later that same year, implicating him as CEO, as well as the co-defendants.