Nimba Officials Tussle over Scrap Bid

first_imgAmidst waves of Ebola fight across the country, there is a serious tussle among officials of Nimba County over the recent scrap bid that was awarded to the North Star Company.According to Nimba Legislative Caucus’s Chairman, Senator Thomas Grupee, the recent scrap bid awarded to the North Star Company was done single handedly by Superintendent Fong Zuagele and his collaborators.He accused the county leadership of awarding a scrap contract to North Star without informing them, stressing that they had earlier agreed to award the contract to Western Steel (a Ghanaian Firm) that earlier won the first bid and published in December last year.Senator Grupee said if anything was wrong with the first bid and new bid was required, it would have been a concern for both local leadership and the caucus.Instead, Senator Grupee said the superintendent and his lieutenants cancelled the first bid and put out a new bid without informing them.The first bid was opened on 31st December 2013 and the result was announced in June 2014, but due to some wrangling among the officials, many believed there was a conflict of interest as some groups pushed for North Star while the other pushed for Western Steel.When the bid result was announced, some concern scrap buyers association under the umbrella “Concern Scrap Buyers Association of Nimba” rejected the decision by the Nimba County Authority to award the scrap contract to the Ghanaian Scraping Firm, Western Steel, saying the bid over stayed and therefore it was no longer fair.In a letter of complaint addressed to the Public Procurement and Concession Commission dated June 6, 2014 which the copy is with the Daily Observer, the Nimba Scrapers say their objection to the decision by the Nimba Administration to award the contract to Ghanaian Company was because the bidding process was not transparent.In their letter which contained eight counts, they say the bid process was done under the influence/interference of the lawmakers.“Long before the bid was announced, some of our lawmakers had visited Ghana upon the invitation of the Ghanaian Company and at the company expense,” they said in their letter.In April this year, the head of the scrap buyers, Dennis Maneh raised concern explaining that the Public Procurement and Concession Commission/PPCC stipulated days for bidding is 60 and for the scraps, but bidding in Nimba County went beyond the time frame and that the county leadership releases the result immediately.This controversial scrap bid led to the expulsion of Senator Prince Johnson from the Caucus after he accused his colleagues of receiving “Brown envelope” from the Ghanaian Firm to award them the contract.The scrap issue has been in confusion since it was turned to Nimba by Arcelor Mittal over a year ago even before the coming of Fong Zuagele as Superintendent of Nimba.Prior to the bidding process last year, several Nimba officials, including some members of caucus and Superintendent Christiana Dagadu, County Inspector Reginald Mehn secretly visited Ghana; something that brought feeling of unfairness among Nimbaians.During their visit, it was announced by some lawmakers that  Western Steel promised to build a mini steel plant in Nimba if they be awarded the bid so as to create jobs for the locals, but many scrapers believed that the quantity of scraps in Nimba was small for steel plant.The scrutiny of the first bidding process that gave the contract to the Ghanaian Company was presided over by  Nimba Assistant Superintendent for Development, Teeko Yorlay, but he continues to remain mute whenever he is contacted by media.He justifies that he is not clothed with the authority to speak, claiming that he has already done his it left with Superintendent.With this new tussle; Teeko Yorlay has been battling in defense of the so-called new bid, which is said to have been awarded to North Star.He has been arguing that the contract was awarded to North Star, because they agreed to purchase a ton of scrap for US $ 78.00, give US$ 1.6 million and construct two schools worth over US$ 200, 000 while Western Steel bided to buy the scrap for US$ 77.00 a ton and build a mini plant.He argued that the highest bid won the bid and therefore they decided to give the contract to North Star (a Liberian/Indian Firm) because what they offered was greater than Western steel.Critics alleged Teeko Yorlay to have received a “Brown envelope” along with a Toyota Jeep from North Star so as to award them the contract, something yet to be verified.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Early childhood growth patterns affect respiratory health

first_img Source: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 31 2018Children’s growth in the first three years of life affects the development of their lungs and the risk of asthma at 10 years of age. This is the main conclusion of a new study carried out by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, and Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.Early infancy is a critical age for the subsequent development of respiratory diseases in childhood and later life. Recent studies have shown that excessive weight gain in the first years of life can be associated with lower lung function and a higher risk of childhood asthma.Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeThe new study, published in Thorax, examined whether early childhood growth patterns–ascertained by taking repeated weight and height measurements during the first three years of the child’s life–affected respiratory health at the age of 10 years. The growth patterns analysed were peak height and weight growth velocities, which occur at around one month of age, and body mass index at adiposity peak, which occurs at around nine months of age.The study tracked 4,435 children in the Netherlands participating in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study, from birth until 10 years of age. The participants’ weight and height were measured multiple times during the first three years of life. At age 10 years, spirometry was performed to assess the children’s lung function and the parents answered a questionnaire designed to determine whether their child had been diagnosed with asthma by a physician.”The findings show that the infants with the highest weight gain velocity and body mass index had lower lung function at 10 years of age,” commented Maribel Casas, researcher at ISGlobal and Erasmus MC and lead author of the study. “Specifically, we observed that these children had a lower function related to the smaller airways in relation to their total lung volume. Although we did not observe any relationship between height and weight growth and the risk of asthma, this disproportionate development of lung function could be a risk factor for the development of respiratory disease.”The study also found that “the later the children reached their peak body mass index, the better their lung function and, in the case of boys, the lower the risk of asthma,” explained Casas.”These results confirm that early childhood growth plays an important role in lung development.”last_img read more