Finally, 72,750 on GoL Payroll; From 70,400 in Jan 2018

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Minister Samuel D. Tweah (pictured) explained that the significant share in the increase of the wage of central government came from the health pool drive of US$11 million.

-But Sen Morais challenges Min Tweah over number of people currently employed

In what appeared to be a rebuttal to Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah’s disclosure of the number of persons employed by this Government, Senator H. Dan Morais on Thursday, September 5, 2019, told Senate plenary that government has employed additional 14,800 on its payroll, and not 1,200 as claimed the Minister.

Senator Morais, cross-examining the Finance Minister who has been on the witness stand for three days, reminded him (Tweah) that, based on his own survey, “the grand total of employees to include public and civil servants at this moment is about 71,800.”

The Maryland County Senator furthered that in 20 months, “if we can be truthful and honest to ourselves, we could graduate from where are. I took what you presented us on Tuesday home and put it under the microscope and I noticed from my simple arithmetic, and from a document sourced from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the IMF and the World Bank, that this thing though partially true, there are lots of omissions.”

Senator Morais, a former Superintendent and Minister of Internal Affairs, put it to Minister Tweah that, after all the interventions, “this government, under your watch has employed an additional 14,800 persons instead of 1,000, instead of 2000 or 3000.”

Morais continued: “Taken from your own analysis, by January 2018, total monthly wage bill for the public sector, including civil servants hovered between 21.6 million to 22.5 million.”

Still grilling the embattled Minister, Senator Morais further observed that by the end of fiscal year 2017/2018, “total public sector compensation increased to US$308.6 million, this is principally credited to the government policy of additional employment and pay increases. By this time, as of June 2019, this is what we have — a payroll with approximately, including civil servants, 72,000, instead of what is being presented to us.”

The soft but outspoken Senator further put it that the total number of public sector workers as of January 2018 stood at 57,000, including public servants of 44,000, “but when you tie that to what you have done over the last two years, the variance and employment we see here says you have employed 14,800 new persons to our payroll, that’s what our figure shows.”

However, responding to the Senator’s cross-examination, Minister Tweah firstly bragged that, besides being an economist, he graduated Magna Cum Laude in mathematics from the University of Liberia. He displayed through power-point what he claimed to be the authoritative figure from central government which shows that 70,000 workers as of January 2018 in all of the government systems, which includes 43,000 civil servants plus 25,000 people on general allowance, central government.

Minister Tweah explained that the significant share in the increase of the wage of central government came from the health pool drive of US$11 million; and the government hired the rest of the people. “It is not mathematically possible in any one fiscal year for this central government to employ 14,800 persons on payroll.”

The heated argument to determine the correct number of government employees as of January 2018 to June 2019, ensued between Minister Tweah and Senator Morais.

Senator Morais then reminded Minister Tweah that the IMF intervention came about when that institution observed that the government wage analysis/bill was way up, it suggested that it needs to be harmonized. “Let’s be fair and honest to ourselves in how we treat this matter; Ghanaians years ago stood in line to buy sardines, what we are using now as our litmus test, but they were honest and fair to themselves; once we identify our problem and speak to it, we can find a way to solve it. If we have added 14,800 persons,,let’s defend why we added 14,800, we can’t stay in the state of denial.”

Meanwhile, the Minister was relieved from the witness stand, through a motion proffered by Senator J. Alphonso Gaye.

10 COMMENTS

  1. we need a private consultant to investigate these allegations of financial improprieties. the disparity in the figures are too distant from 3000 to 14000. we need an independent audit

    • They will not agree to do an audit. Commonsense tells you that you need to first assess your human resource needs when you take over a new organization. Also, they would have known those that are ripe for retirement and also identify ghost names. The spaces created could have been used to recruit competent personnel.

  2. To put this drama in a nutshell, the entire employment exercise since Weah’s ascension to power has been politicized to give him an edge on public opinion.

    What do I mean about this? The most recent episode involving the heated election between Mr. Abu Kamara and Ms. Telia Urey for the District #15 representative slot, can attest to this statement.

    Public opinion and growing uneasiness among Weah’s CDC followers was diminishing fast. And so he had to re-energize his base to keep the party momentum and his popularity high among them if Abu was to win this election.

    So, the plan that Weah and his strategists came up with then was to infuse the government’s payroll with more CDC partisans. The entire process was done and is still being done disregarding their educational background and training. Senator Saah Joseph was the one chosen for this job.

    Accordingly, Senator Joseph hired and dumped droves of CDC partisans on the government’s payroll following the weeks before the contentious election in order to allay the threats of those disenchanted CDC supporters.

    Of late, the public has learned that Senator Joseph is continuing his hiring spree of people, particularly those who wear the CDC badges or carry on them some form of CDC insignia.

    This behavior is a clear violation of IMF warnings, which mentioned among other things that certain accommodative practices are not unsustainable, are counterproductive to national development, and they must stop. Where does Senator Joseph derive his intransigence to continue this practice?

    Senator Joseph would not have demonstrated such a shameless audacity without the backing of the president.

    Alluding to one of the Daily Observer’s headlines concerning Weah’s recent economic conference: The headlines say, “Dialogue Outcomes to be backed by Political will.”

    No independent audit neither GOL oriented audit will straighten the financial impasse without the political will. And where does it need to come from? It has to come from the president.

  3. I am surprised at the way you wrote the story. You wrote more of what the senator said than what the minister provided. Your writing is leaned more on the side of the senator, in my opinion, as if to say that the senator cannot lie. In my opinion, you were biased in your writing. Anyone who did not watch the video and reading this story, will jump to the conclusion that the senator has the facts and that the minister was lying. In critical writing, you need to go beyond the obvious. One question to consider would be if the senator is speaking from an informed source, why did not he point out the reference? To say that ‘I have documents from the Ministry of Finance and Development and the World Bank, etc., is not enough. You need to speak to the specifics. To cross examine a witness, is to disprove his/her testimony. To do that, you must present facts
    and not speculations. You as a journalist should have gone further by urging the senator to provide the reference he was citing so that you could do social justice by providing the information to the public, the jurors, to determine who is telling the truth. As a matter of fact, the minster was presenting from an authoritative source, which was displaced for all to see and make a determination. Consider this question: The ministry of Finance and development Planning and the National Legislature, who is an authoritative source when it comes to government’s employment data? I will urge you that when you are writing for public consumption, do not be subjective in style of writing; be objective (open minded). Do not also be judgemental in the way you present an argument.

  4. This piece written by the Daily Observer re-enforces one point. And it is that whenever people demand information from their government, but the information received is fewer than what is expected, rumors and innuendos will eventually kick in. Such is the case with the minister and the current investigation that is going on.

    Mr. Tweah’s name has been soiled as the result of an infamous financial scandal (25 million dollars) that was allocated for a GOL mop-up exercise. And as the story goes, the citizens have been demanding explanations from him for months as to how he conducted the exercise, since it did not achieve the intended objectives.

    Unfortunately, the more the citizens ask the minister for an answer, the more he confounds them with circumlocutions, ambiguities, or deafening silence.

    Other factors that have given impetus to the rumors that are circulated about him are the findings from investigations including both independent and government auditing agencies, which have revealed that some level of inconsistencies did exist in the manner in which the minister planned and implemented the exercise.

    To me this piece is an expository element intended to report what transpired during the hearing. And it appears to me from what I am gathering from it, that the public was entertained to yet another flip-flopping scenario.

  5. Tweah says he’s an Economist. From where? You mean having a war time UL degree in Economics where those with first degrees were your professors? Tweah started a Masters degree in the US in Economics but did not finish it. Making big mouth that graduated with Magna Cum Laude in mathematics. Once again, all your instructors were first degree holders and people were bribing here left and right and you are boasting of it. Tweah, please be honest with yourself my man.

  6. It’s one thing to be highly educated and quite another, to have common sense. One thing that is cleared, Liberia’s Government payroll is over bloated and have always been. Instead of Government spending money to stimulate the economy, they hire people who sometimes do nothing. Yet, they are paid. As an ex-civil servent in Liberia, I know that; for sure. I suppose, in this day and age, Liberia should have a computerized system; to monitor hiring and firing by government. Such computer comes with a memory/stoage bank that determine-instantly, the number of employees on government’s payroll. *Pardon me. LoL! There are times when employees are fired. Yet, remain on payroll. Almost forgot that part. **A learned man does not boast about his education. He shows and we see the good results of his education… ***In most cases, only “QUACKS” boast of themselves.

  7. I believe the salary harmonization exercise was meant to force the government to reduce its budgetary salary expenditures.

    So, the government is cutting salaries BUT, at the same time hiring more unqualified CDC partisans…!

    Maybe somebody forgot to tell Mr. Mathematician that SALARY HARMONIZATION needs to be implemented in parallel with HIRING FREEZE…
    ——————-

  8. New CDC employees have been hired recently? If so, could you supply your readers with a few list of names of those who have been brought on board by the CDC government?

    Hiring freeze compliments harmonization? It’s a logical suggestion. But, the if there are previous incompetent people who were employed, they must go. The new people (if you’re right) will replace the previous incompetents.

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