President George M. Weah has hailed the passage of the ‘National Remuneration Standardization Act of 2019,’ which all civil servants suffered salaries and benefits of which the President has considered as the first-ever legislative action in Liberian history.
The President said the Lawmakers showed their courage, wisdom, and determination to trim the Government’s wage bill. As a result of the bill, many civil servants have angrily called the process a ‘browbeat’ in a fierce criticism that lasted for five months, June – October 2019.
The President on Monday, January 13, 2020, during the formal opening program of the 3rd Session of the 54th Legislature, thanked the House of Representatives and Senate for the passage of many bills but made specific reference to the law resulting in the harmonization of government salaries and benefits.
The House of Representatives approved 58 laws, while the Senate passed approved about 60 in the 2nd Sitting last year.
The National Remuneration Standardization Act of 2019 was passed by both Houses, which simply aims at ensuring that salaries, allowances, and benefits across government are uniformed and equitable for work done.
“I would like to thank you sincerely for your hard work during the just-ended 2nd Session, where you enacted many important bills in support of our efforts to deliver to the high expectations of our People. One of such Acts, which I believe is worthy of note here, is the law resulting in the harmonization of Government salaries,” the President said.
“For the very first time in our legislative history, you showed the courage, wisdom, and determination to trim the Government’s wage bill, and we applaud you for that. However, I would like to call your attention to the fact that there are still a few bills pending before you which require your urgent attention and action so that we can continue to make progress.”
As members of the House and Senate resumed work yesterday, the President urged the lawmakers to come back with renewed vigor, strong determination, unrelenting commitment, and a dedicated spirit to do the work of the Liberian People.
“You will require all of these characteristics to make 2020 the most productive year since the 54th Legislature commenced its duties.”
He added: “From my perspective, this year 2020, which marks the turn of the decade, is the most critical year since my incumbency. It is the year when we will consolidate our gains and launch Liberia upwards and onwards on a solid platform of policies and practical programs that will begin to turn our economy around.”
Earlier, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers from Jeremiah 29:11, which the Lord says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is what the true Lord has for all committed servants of the people.”
He said as they have taken the role of national leadership, they to strive with all of their energies and mental efforts to become channels of nation-building, peace, unity, economic growth, and development.
“It is imperative that we help in providing a brighter future for our struggling masses and generation to come. The responsibility is inescapably ours. Without a doubt, we need to restore our great society. Constructive or positive legislative re-alignments are necessary in the process,” said Speaker Chambers.
He added: “Now, than ever before, concrete steps must be taken for the visualization of sound economic growth. Economic growth is key to the nation’s transformative agenda. We all have thoughts of the undertaking and/or funding progressive priority projects for all of our people. This can only happen under a vibrant economy for a vibrant economy is critical for the proper funding of people-centered projects.”
The House Speaker also indicated that in order for Liberia to experience economic growth, the country should put first and then individually and collectively, all hands should be on deck.
“This requires the process of expanding the Nation’s productive capacity and diversifying the economy by introducing structural changes necessary for sustainable growth…Some areas that can profoundly and impactfully improve or expand our economy and guarantee service delivery to our people include the forest, fishing, water and mining sectors. Briefly, some of the areas to accelerate economic growth will be highlighted below. They are the Forest, fishery, and mining sectors,” Speaker Chambers noted.
Speaker Chambers argued that there is an urgent need for critical reforms in the laws managing the forest, fishery, and mining.”
“Esteemed Colleagues! When the economy is stable, society will certainly develop. Therefore, as direct representatives of the people dedicated to speedy national economic recovery, our concentration should be creating the environment for an enhanced business-friendly climate. Our crystallized cognitive ability will lead us successfully,” he added.