Liberia: Coalition for Democratic Change, Weah-led Government, Stop Toying with the Economy

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PERHAPS, PRESIDENT George Manneh Weah and his team responsible for fixing the economy need to be stripped of all amenities and privileges, denied access to their bank accounts and left without a penny for weeks, then they would understand what Liberians mean by the economy is hard.

IT IS BECOMING unbearable for even the average Liberians lest to say those down the economic ladder. Not only are prices of basic commodities and food skyrocketing, money to purchase them is also scarce, even if you have it in the bank.

THE LIFE OF Liberians has become such that they live stranded on a daily basis. Stranded for all the basic necessities of life. Even remittances from abroad cannot reach them because the banks cannot disburse. This should be a national security concern.

THERE MAY be a combination of factors responsible for the ever-dwindling state of the economy as it is taking forever to recover only because plans to resuscitate the economy is being undermined by some elements within the ruling establishment.

OVER THE last weeks now, both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have been on the backs of the George Weah-led government to make significant fiscal adjustment by mobilizing additional domestic revenue and rationalizing spending, especially in the wage bill, while securing needed fiscal space for social and capital spending. 

TO THE CONTRARY, the administration appears to be struggling to enforce the mandate from the IMF due to what sources tell FrontPageAfrica amounts to massive pressure from partisans and ruling party hierarchy as well as lawmakers, who have been sending names of relatives, friends and loved ones for jobs.

IN THE PROCESS, those piling on the pressure are rejecting the efforts being made to slash the wage bill and retrench workers, and instead pressing the CBL to keep scores of partisans brought to the bank by former Governor Nathaniel Patray. The RIA is faced with a similar dilemma.

THE WAGE issue is resurrecting amid emerging reports that some 25 new employees were sent to the Roberts International Airport on Monday to begin work with salaries ranging from US$800 to $2,000 adding more burden to the cash-strapped airport.

THE 25 NEW employees were reportedly hired on the news that Air France is expected to resume flights to Liberia in the early part of next year. 

MULTIPLE SOURCES confirmed to FPA that the RIA recently retired a few employees in a bid to cut cost. But shortly after, an additional 25 new names were sent for job, on the assumption of the Air France arrival next year. 

THIS ACT ON the part of the ruling party and some influential folks within the government that has landed us at where we are today. The entire nation is a witness to the mass hiring carried out by the young government at the time just another the inaugural ceremony of President Weah which bloated the payroll.

EVERYONE is a witness to the flagrant disregard to the Constitution and other statutes just to create accommodation for the hiring of relatives, loved ones and friends.

SADLY, TO REMEDY the situation, the government introduced the harmonization exercise – reducing existing workers’ salaries to afford salaries for new hires. A robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario. 

IRRESPECTIVE of the multiple complaints coming from the affected employees amid lack of money in the country to pay civil servants, this government seems not have learnt its lesson.

CONTINUOUS HIRING without a budget to handle salaries would only continue to put pressure on the meagre resources which should be geared towards social and capital spending. 

IT IS HIGH TIME that President Weah and members of his political party and government stop playing politics with the economy, heed to the IMF’s advice and implement sound economic policies void of politics for the betterment of the lives of Liberians

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