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

This Humanoid Robot Could Replace Construction Workers

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. It’s not a question of if or when robots will join the workforce—but whose jobs they will take.Japan’s Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) developed a prototype humanoid aimed at eventually replacing human laborers.The HRP-5P bot stands 6 feet tall, with two arms, two legs, and an impressive squat.It is the latest in a growing family of androids, which began in 1998 with HRP-1, and most recently saw HRP-2 Reinforcement participate in the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge.Over the last two decades, AIST has achieved semi-autonomous execution of tasks “such as irregular terrain walking and valve turning based on measurements,” according to a translated press release.But when tested on heavy work—such as construction of a wall of gypsum board—their robots “lacked physical ability … sufficient to simulate human motion in a complicated environment.”“Therefore, AIST decided to develop a humanoid robot HRP-5P with physical abilities capable of substituting human hard work,” the Institute said.Methodical and precise, the cyborg isn’t going to win any races. In fact, it would probably slow production to a crawl. But with uber-flexible joints and a lack of emotional attachments, it will surely be effective.Japan’s declining birthrate and aging population both point to an unstable future—one in which industries like construction will fall into “serious manual shortages,” AIST said, adding that “It is urgent to solve this problem by robot technology.”There is also the concern about people working in dangerous environments, with heavy equipment and materials—heavy enough to cause long-term damage in case of an accident.“Humanoid robots have a body structure similar to human beings,” the Institute said, adding that “it is possible” to swap people for machines “without changing the working environment.”Moving forward, engineers plan to promote HRP-5P as an autonomous research and development platform, which could one day replace people at work sites of buildings, houses, aircraft, and ships.Folks visiting this month’s World Robot Expo 2018 in Tokyo can visit AIST to catch a glimpse of the prototype humanoid.Humanoid colleagues may not be all they’re cracked up to be, though. Check out Geek’s roundup of 11 robots that are going to steal your jobs, and stay up to date on the latest cyborg news here. Robot Dog Astro Can Sit, Lie Down, and Save LivesYou Can’t Squish This Cockroach-Inspired Robot center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more