What President Weah’s 25% Salary Reduction Means

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President Weah giving his State of the Nation Address speech at the Capitol Building. (Photo by: Nick N. Seebeh.)

GOL could save at least US$5.5 million if VP, 54th Legislature Participate. Will they? 

President George Weah received a thunderous round of applause from the 54th Legislature when he announced yesterday, during his first Annual Address to that august body, that he would reduce his monthly salary and benefits by 25 percent.

Having vowed to govern strictly in line with the Liberian Constitution and the oath he took to uphold, protect and defend the country, President Weah said proceeds generated from the cut in his pay “will be deposited to the Consolidated Fund for allocation and appropriation where necessary.”

Consolidated Fund or Consolidated Revenue is the term used in many countries to describe the main bank account of the government.

He then threw up a challenge to members of the Senate and House of Representatives to follow suit in the interest of the Liberian people.

“In the main time, I will urge you ladies and gentlemen to follow my lead in the interest of our constituents,” Weah added.

 

It is not clear whether President Weah is receiving the same salary and benefits allotments as his predecessor, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who, according to her income and assets declaration released in 2017, recorded a gross annual salary of L$1,684,500 and an annual allowance of US$72,000.

The 25% reduction, as promised by President Weah, would amount to L$421,125 (US$3,346.78 at CBL rate of L$125.83/US$1) and US$18,000 deducted from his annual salary and allowances, respectively. Bundled together, Weah’s annual reductions would amount to US$21,346.78.

According to the 2015-2016 National Budget, the salaries and benefits for all members of the House of Representatives combined amounts to US$15,761,542; while the Senators combined receive a total of $6,091,267, bringing the total salaries and benefits of both houses to US$21,852,809.

Following President Weah’s lead, as he suggested to the 54th Legislature, the 25% reduction in combined salaries, based on the total salaries and benefits allotments between the two Houses, would amount to a hefty US$5,463,202.25.

If President Weah succeeds in getting the 54th Legislature to reduce their own salaries by 25% as he has done, the total savings between himself and all 103 members of the august body would amount to nearly $5.5 million, especially if the Vice President’s 25% is included.

“With the assessment that I gave you earlier of the poor condition of our economy, I believe that it is appropriate that we should all make sacrifices in the interest of our country,” the President told the Legislature.

According to Article 60 of the Liberian Constitution, the salaries of the President and the Vice President are established by the Legislature, and cannot be increased or reduced during the period for which they are elected. So the public is yet to understand how the 25 percent deduction President Weah’s salary will be carried out in the absence of approval from the Legislature.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. The President is only talking about his $75,000 US base salary. He will make another 3,250,000 ( Yes. 3 million two hundred and fifty thousand USD). So really, he is not doing a damn thing. They are all the same rogues. Why try to fool the Liberia People?

  2. Henry Dahn, please try to listen or read the President speech again. Maybe you did not understand exactly what the President said. Is 25 % cut in salary and benefits the same as base salary only?

  3. The president did not tell us anything during the campaign so at this time whatever he says is to our hearing only. Besides, we thought he had enough money from the football profession and so he could bring some of it to add to our national budget.

    Asking others to wave their salaries is like making other people to look ugly before our illiterate people.

    Reducing taxes on imports could help reduce the hardship on our people.

  4. Bravo; to His Excellence President Weah, for the said 25% salary deduction, today in his willing mind, he pronounce the deduction of his 25$% salary, is an example to all of our various constituencies Representatives and Senators elects to follow in the footsteps of the Head of state, to prove their love and willingness that they too promise us to reduce the poverty rates in our various electoral districts.

    Every time, we as electorates and including both Representatives and Senators jointly shit all of our country problems on the president, not knowing the significant role of the Representatives and Senators, which is vital to the improvement of our country, provided if they come up with necessary Bills or law that will be in the interest of their citizens.

    To all my fellows Liberians, President Weah, told us in his Inaugural speech, that we should judge him not for the eloquence’s of his speeches, but by quality of his decisions he will made, that will help improve the livelihood of his peoples, if the equal branches of the Liberia government will jointly supports his ideas, now he has made the lead, let us all sit and watch our various constituencies representatives elects and see their willingness and way forward in improving the lives of the people in the various electoral districts.

    Ammada Awaitu!

  5. President Weah’s 25% salary deduction pronouncement yesterday in his first address to the nation at the capitol is a clear manifestation of his inaugural’s speech. Where he assert that we (Liberian) should not judge him by the eloquence’s of his speeches instead the qualities of the decisions he will make. BRAVO Pres. Weah. The ball is now in the court of our direct representatives (The Legislatures), cabinet ministers, and the VP to follow.

  6. President Weah is not the first elected official to reduce his salary. When President Weah was in the Senate, Senator Oscar Cooper of MarGibi County proposed salaries reduction of 20% to his colleagues,but they refused to accept his proposal
    Therefore,he reduced 20% out of his salary and denoting it education.
    Now, he receiving the praises​ of what he opposed few years ago. Anyway Wiseman changes!. The Praises should go to Senator Oscar Cooper for initiating this process.

  7. Establish a system of “Check and Balance”, and lowering salaries will not be an issue. An audit of the all funds received by the members of the House of Representatives (which includes the Senate) must be done periodically to check if these honorable men and women are appropriating funds in the best interest of their constituents. Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t these Honorable men and women get stipends to run their districts? If so, each person should have an office and hire folks and not make it a one man operation. We should not be too concerned about salary deductions. We should be concerned about how high those salaries are for PUBLIC SERVANTS. I am hoping that is what they are.

  8. 25% reduction in SALARY is a good start but not ENOUGH looking at Legislators and high Government Officials’ monthly salaries plus BENEFITS. I would like to see 40% payroll REDUCTION of all MINISTERS and LEGISLATORS in Government. The Government needs to employ more hearth Care providers. It is wrong for qualified Registered NURSES to be unemployed and working in HOSPITALS without pay. This is inhumane and should not be happening in LIBERIA. The question is, how do they take care of their CHILDREN?

    • Dr. G; it’s catch 22. Your suggestions require MONEY. Liberia is broked. A look at Liberia’s annual BUDGET says alot. There are solutions. Yes! It will take some time. “There are No quick FIXES…”

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