Huge Wage Bill Disparities in Public Sector

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Senator Jonathan Kaipay of Grand Bassa County.

-Senate to Invite Minister Samuel Tweah, CSA Director General

Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay on Thursday, January 17, 2019, requested Senate plenary to invite Samuel Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, and the Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA) to address the critical issue of “the huge wage bill disparities in the public sector.”

According to information in the possession of this newspaper, there are 73,208 persons on the CSA wage bill. Of the number presented above, 233 are presidential appointees, which constitute a monthly dollars value of US$1.05 million.”

In his letter dated January 17, 2019, Senator Kaipay said a research he conducted discovered that 28,760 persons out of the 73,208 persons are receiving “general allowance,” which constitutes a monthly dollar value of US$13.57 million. “At the same time, 44,210 persons, who are duly recognized civil servants, are receiving basic salaries, which constitute a monthly dollars value of US$7.3 million.”

“Mr. Potempore and colleagues, I believe, unequivocally, that these disparities require clarification from the heads of the two requisite institutions before this august body,” Senator Kaipay noted.

Considering the economic challenges faced by the Liberian people, “the CDC-led government must conscientiously and convincingly commit itself to promote the pro-poor agenda in the interest of all Liberians,” Kaipay said.

He then expressed his strongest conviction “that the equitable distribution or appropriation of wages and benefits for public servants, including government officials, remain of paramount concern under the agenda.”

The communication was unanimously sent to the committees on Autonomous Commissions, Ways, Means, Finance and Budget to report to plenary within two weeks.

Meanwhile, Augustine Chea, the recently declared winner by the National Elections Commission of the Sinoe County by-election, was on Thursday, January 17, inducted into office by the secretary of the Senate.

By that ceremony, Chea occupies the seat vacated by former Senator Joseph Nagbe , who now serves on the Supreme Court Bench as Associate Justice.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It is unquestionably marvelous for Senator Kaipay to be concerned about the scarcity of the country’s meager resources. According to Kaipay, a research he undertook shows that “28,760 persons out of the 73,208 persons are receiving general allowance which constitutes a monthly dollar of $13.57 million”. Obviously, the Senator is unhappy. The Senator strongly believes that a lot of spending by the CDC government is excessive. In order words, Kaipay wants the CDC government to retrench on too much spening. Although I am not too sure about Kaipay’s allegation, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

    A contentious area:
    Since Kaipay is very concerned about too much spending by the government, why is he not concerned about the exorbitant salaries and perks he and his colleagues receive monthly from the Liberian taxpayers? Is there a sense of hypocrisy here?

    Let’s take a look. In 2018 while visiting the US, VP Jewel-Taylor stated unequivocally that lawmakers in Liberia are paid $10,000 per month or $120,000 per year. Like all of us, Jewel-Taylor does have her share of inequities, but on the upside, she is a straight shooter. She’s not noted for telling falsehoods! Given that scenario, let’s do a mini calculation of the amount of money and perks raked in yearly by the Senators in Liberia. The following analysis is important because that’s precisely where Kaipay’s concern should have begun.

    Liberia is bifurcated into 15 counties. Since each county comprises 2 senators, we’ve got a grand total of 30 because 2 × 15 = 30.
    So, since each Senator earns $120,000 US, the yearly income of the 30 Senators is $3,600.000.
    1. Just imagine: 73,000 CSE (civil servant employees) ….$13.57 million bucks and
    2. 30 Senators…..$3.6 million bucks. Had I added in the Representatives, the $3.6 million figure would have been higher!

    Now the perks…..(Estimated numbers)
    Again, since there are 30 Liberian Senators, there’s got to be 30 government-supplied automobiles. On the basis of an estimate, each automobile has cost the Liberian government $45,000. So let’s do the math….45,000 × 30 =
    $13,500,000. I will not bother to compute gasoline cost or telephone free air time. Neither did I bother to compute the yearly income of the elected Representatives. Just the 30 Senators!

    Kaipay is concerned about too much spending. But yet, a bulk of the country’s spending, goes to the lawmakers of which Kaipay is one. Kaipay needs to re-examine his attack on CDC. He and his colleagues are doing well economically. For sure, Kaipay’s generosity can be embraced if he and his senate colleagues could work out a 50% pay cut deal.

    As Liberians struggle to see another decade, the interest of the nation must be made to be priority number one. Kaipay and his colleagues can definitely help.
    Too much politicking!

  2. What’s the intent and purpose of this analysis and what’s is it hoped to achieved other than a caculated attack on Senator Kaipay by paid agent of this criminal regime, engaged in broad day looting of the people’s resources? While is it now a crime in Liberia to question corruption and other criminal activities by members of the current Liberian Government? In a democratic establishment, it should be expected that those elected to represent the people’s collective interests have the legal rights to speak up and speak out about corruption, inequalities and other criminal activities in the institutions of governance, in an effort to bring sanctity to government institutions and streamline wasteful spending. Unwarranted attacks such as this and those against Representatives Lawrence, Kolubah and Nagbae Sloh are ill-advised and will not help to improve and strengthen our democratic system.

  3. General Tony Leewaye,

    First of all, I am not a paid agent of the government of Mr. Weah. Never have and never will! Please be notified that a person does not have to be a paid agent of any leader in order to analyze a political activity. General if you would, permit me to ask this question…..Because of your blatant defense of Kaipay, would it be fair for me to label you as Kaipay’s secret service agent? I am appalled by your antics. There you are accusing George Weah of presiding over a criminal regime. How dare you? I didn’t come close to labeling Kaipay as a slouch. Or did I? You know very well that Weah earned his money before he ran for the presidency. How does he come close to being a manager of a criminal regime? Like Kaipay, wasn’t Weah duly elected by the loving people of Liberia? General, you’ve punched below the waist. We need to dialogue intelligently. I understand that you’re opposed to Weah politically. Well, guess what? There’s no need to be vituperative just because you’ve got a political difference with someone with whom you disagree. It’s just a suggestion, not a sermon.

    It is an altruism that Senators and Representatives in Liberia get paid very well. But while each lawmaker gets paid $120,000 per annum, our students do not have computers at their schools. In addition to not having computers, students who go to school in the boondocks of Liberia do not have photocopy machines neither do they have their full set of textbooks. General, don’t you think that the lawmakers can take a pay cut in order to assist the youth of Liberia?

    Furthermore, it seems to me that Kaipay is concerned about a bloated government payroll and possibly a situation that involves ghost payrollers. Kaipay didn’t say that. It’s my interpretation of what I gleaned from his verbal attack on George Weah. Well, a good place to start from is on the Hill where Kaipay and his colleagues get paid $10,000 per month. In addition to being paid such a gigantic salary, the lawmakers get free autimobiles, free gas, free telephone air time, a good retirement package, etc. Liberia is a poor country. It’s okay for Kaipay and all lawmakers to politicize, but, too much talk is a waste of time. We need action!

    Lastly, I am not anti Kaipay or any lawmaker. If I think that a lawmaker is out of touch with reality, I will point out his or her area of vulnerability.

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