‘Outstanding Soldier’

first_imgThe Government of Liberia (GOL) last Friday paid respect to the fallen Nigerian General Suraj Alao Abdurrahman, former Commanding Officer-In-Charge (COIC) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), who died on January 28 after a brief illness in New York while undergoing medical treatment.The Nigerian General served the AFL from June 2007 to February 2014 at which time he was instrumental in the formation of a new disciplined AFL, which subsequently produced a Liberian Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankahn.The well-attended memorial service by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) served as a sign of appreciation and respect to the late General Abdurrahman for the work he did for the AFL. The GoL invited his family from Nigeria to attend the Memorial Service where several institutions were in attendance and also paid tributes to the fallen African soldier.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as head of the government and partners were also present at the Memorial Service held at the Monrovia City Hall.President Sirleaf who is also the Commander-in-Chief (C-I-C) of the AFL, while paying a tribute to the late Abdurrahman, told the families of the late soldier that it was with heavy hearts that Liberians gathered to pay homage to a great friend; stressing that the country remembers him for the quality of leadership and regimentation he imbued in personnel of the AFL.C-I-C Sirelaf described the late General Abdurrahman as an exemplary officer of Nigeria and acknowledged that he will be missed for his enriched military experience, exceptional leadership and unmatched commitment he brought in the discharge of his time-consuming assignment.She emphasized that this won him the respect of the Government and people of Liberia as well as the Chief of Defense Staff of the sub-regional organization, ECOWAS, at the same time bringing honor to his country, Nigeria; adding, “He was a dedicated public servant, an outstanding soldier.President Sirleaf expressed the hope and prayed that the wife of the late General Abdurrahman, Haja Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman and his beloved children will find solace in the collective prayers of all. They were all present at the occasion of Friday in Monrovia.Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai recalled that, “As a military man, he was very hard working, prepared, always willing and ready to teach his colleagues and always told us that the best self-esteem that you can give a soldier is adequate training, which at his turning over last February to the newly promoted Chief of Staff (COS) of the AFL, Gen. Abdurrahman said he was happy to have helped the new Army, and has no doubt that, as a ‘force for good’, it can carry out its duties well.”Nigeria Ambassador to Liberia, Chigozie F. Obi-Nnadozie, indicated that the late Gen. Abdurrahman’s services to Liberia as the COIC of the AFL was one that made her proud as her country’s Ambassador to Liberia.She thanked the Liberian Government and people for the opportunity and support given the late general and his family.In special remarks of appreciation, the widow of the late Gen. Abdurrahman, Haja Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman, thanked President Sirleaf, the Government and people of Liberia, Defense Minister Brown Samukai, AFL Chief of Staff Ziankahn for the massive support her husband received when he served as AFL COIC.She also thanked them for organizing the memorial service in her husband’s honor, saying, “we will forever remember this event as we live on with our grief and Liberia will continue to be my second home,” she noted.She stressed that the family considers Liberia as their second home and expressed joy that her husband could contribute to the country’s recovery through his service to the AFL at the time his service was most needed.The late Abdurrahman assumed command of the AFL in June 2007, succeeding fellow Nigerian, the late Lieutenant/General Luka Yusuf, who also died shortly after leaving his post as COIC of the AFL.Several personalities and institutions including the Diplomatic Corps; United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL); Chief of Defense Staff of the Nigerian Army; Ministry of National Defense led by Minister Brownie J. Samukai; Armed Forces of Liberia led by the Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Daniel Zeahnkan; Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan; River Gee Senator Conmany Wesseh; and Montserrado County Representative Munah Pelham Youngblood as well as politician Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh, among others, paid tributes to the fallen Nigerian solider.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Housing crisis reflected in loans

first_img“So if a card holder is showing signs of distress, the lender can scale him back from a $15,000 line of credit to $7,500 and limit its exposure,” McBride said. “It’s not like a mortgage, where the money is out there; it’s lent.” Another reason the changes to consumer loans have been small so far is that markets related to consumer credit haven’t been as riled as those tied to mortgages, where growing defaults have prompted investors to shun mortgage-backed securities and have sent several dozen mortgage companies into bankruptcy. Because credit cards have not seen substantial increases in delinquencies, “we haven’t seen deterioration in the performance in credit card asset-backed securities,” said Cynthia Ullrich, a senior director in Fitch Ratings asset-backed securities group. Still, investors concerned about mortgage problems have demanded a slightly higher return on securities backed by credit card receivables in recent weeks to make up for a higher perceived risk, Wall Street analysts said. Those higher costs in the secondary market are being passed on to consumers, Chessen said, noting that financial institutions have the tools to raise rates for riskier customers while holding them down for those with better credit scores. Arnold, of CardRatings.com, said one card issuer has held the rate on its cards at 10.99 percent for customers with the best credit ratings; but those with poorer ratings will be paying interest of 18.99 percent, up from 17.99 percent just a few weeks ago, he said. “In terms of rates, the fallout from the subprime mortgage market has financial institutions practicing risk-based pricing,” he said. Although JP Morgan Chase’s Dimon discussed the steps his bank is taking, other credit card issuers were loath to reveal their credit terms. Asked about current conditions, Bank of America Corp. in Charlotte, N.C., said it “maintained consistent underwriting standards” and evaluated each credit application on the individual’s merits. USAA in San Antonio said it was monitoring the market “and will make changes if necessary,” and Discover Financial Services said delinquency rates remained at a record low so it hadn’t changed business practices.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! One card issuer, for example, has reduced its introductory period for zero percent interest from “six months” to “up to six months,” Arnold said. Others are doing away with zero percent offers and going to teaser rates as high as 5.9 percent, Arnold said. James Chessen, chief economist with the American Bankers Association trade group in Washington, D.C., said of lenders: “We’ve also heard they’re taking a more careful look at people with less-than-stellar credit. There’s the feeling that the risk may have been underpriced in the past.” But the changes in consumer credit products are not anywhere near as extreme as those involving mortgages. The dollar amounts involved in credit lines and consumer loans are much smaller – often a fraction of a typical mortgage – and defaults haven’t been as worrisome. “What’s driving what’s happening in the mortgage market is the increase in delinquencies,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com in North Palm Beach, Fla. “These other products haven’t shown that surge, and they have protections in place.” Credit card issuers, for example, can raise the rate on a customer’s card with little notice or shut off the line of credit at any point, he said. NEW YORK – The stream of credit offers that have filled consumers’ mailboxes in recent years might be slowing just a bit. Although credit card issuers and other companies that lend to consumers have escaped the barrage of defaults that mortgage lenders have suffered, they’re nonetheless being more careful about whom they lend to, and under what terms. Some card issuers are raising interest rates, while others are cutting back offers to less-creditworthy customers or lowering credit limits. Personal and auto loans are also going through changes. Credit card companies and other lenders are extremely reluctant to reveal the changes they’re making, for competitive reasons. But Jamie Dimon, the president and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., told a recent conference with analysts that his bank, one of the nation’s largest card issuers, was cutting back on teaser rates and balance transfers and looking instead to profit from greater growth in existing accounts. “Lenders are obviously doing some tightening to protect themselves,” said Curtis Arnold, founder of CardRatings.com of Little Rock, Ark. Arnold said he was seeing “pretty subtle – but significant – changes” in credit card offerings. last_img read more