President Weah Hails ‘Salary, Benefits Cut Law’

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President George Manneh Weah

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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Therefore as direct Representatives of the regime in the National Legislature, we were called to attend an extraordinary session by the Executive and were given large brown envelopes for the Christmas and New Year for passing into law the harmonization budget that saw salaries cut for government employees. No big deal here . They were called back and were paid to quickly passed some legislations into law without any debate for the signature of the President, sure , they all have a market price to be bought. Going once, going twice , it is sold, and ready for the regime’s signature.

  2. For further comment/s/, we would like to see the bills and their contents.
    However, note that salaries are structured in ranges and grades. Though doing the same job, note that an uneducated driver may not earn the same salary as a drive with a high school diploma. Equally so, a manager with a local degree may not earn the same salary with someone who earned their degree from a prestigious university in the USA; it may be a source of demotivation hence little or no output.

    Salaries are earned based on performances. This harmonization, I hope you guys know what you ae doing, may be a serious source of further brain drain. Can’t you read here how some people found it scurrilous to have come home to serve their country they cynically love? We don’t want people finding it scurrilous to come to Liberia to work. We want them to see it as a duty and pride because they can afford to see their children through good schools and decent life with conducive infrastructure.

    Anyway, come what may for the next 4 years, Cummings and “apologists” will fix things overnight, as Trump has done to the American economy (Nasdaq has gained more than 11 hundred points in just 3 years, wow! Qui dit mieux?)

  3. My gripe is that the lawmakers of Liberia, shouldn’t be paid the high salaries and perks they receive. On the other hand, they work, and therefore the lawmakers deserve to be paid. But their incomes are way too high to be made in the world’s 7th poorest country.

    It’s been reported that a county Representative earns $15,000 monthly, that’s in US dollars. Their Senate counterparts earn $16,000 per month, also in US dollars! Ironically, the figures may be incorrect or overblown, knowing the Liberian rumor mill. But the point is that from time to time, there’s been no lawmaker who came out to dispute the amount of money they earn. So there’s got to be a validity.

    The only time two Liberian lawmakers tried to defend themselves was in 2019. Without mentioning names, one of them….a female lawmaker said this, “we get this money. But we end up giving some of our earnings to our constituents”. Said the second lawmaker, (a guy)…… “Well, some of us are building schools in our region”.

    In complete disagreement with the female lawmaker….. it’s okay to be magnanimous. But if any lawmaker wants to be generous, create jobs. Don’t use the taxpayers’ money to show generosity. With regard to the “ungentleman”, it was never ever stipulated in the Constitution of Liberia for lawmakers to build schools. So there we have it. What’s about the perks? Just imagine fellow compatriots. There are 96 lawmakers in Liberia. Sixty-six of them are Representatives and thirty of them are Senators. Just do the math at your leisure time. If the average cost of one automobile is $40,000, how much will it cost the poor government of Liberia if 96 automobiles have been purchased? (96 x $40,000)

    One of the ways in which money will be saved is for the lawmakers of Liberia to take a pay cut!

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