Liberia: Government Needs Additional US$42m to Subsidize Salary

Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Chie

Monrovia – Senate Pro-Temp Albert Chie has disclosed that the government of Liberia needs an additional $US42 million besides the Internal Revenue collection to solve the current salary issue. He made the disclosure Monday when he met staffers of the Legislatures.

Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]

Last week staffers had threatened to protest in demand of four months’ salary due them by the Government of Liberia. In a memo circulated the staffer’s leadership called on their colleagues to assemble on the grounds of the capitol on October 25, 2019.

It is believed that the protest did not happen because of the Pro-Temp who is the administrative head of the senate asked protesting staffers to abandon their action for a meeting on Monday. 

In a meeting with the staffers on Monday, the Pro Temp  assured that staffers that they will shortly receive their salaries for August and September as the checks are almost ready.

Amid a wave of anger and disappointment on Capitol Hill regarding delays in the salary of a Senate staffers, the Senate leader called on employees of the First Branch of government to remain calm as the leadership is working out modality to ensure the settlement of Monthly salaries and benefits.

Pro Temp Chie acknowledged that the government is indebted to them nearly four months now, but blamed the lack of payment on the Country’s current economic downturns.

‘Money Just Not There’

“The government is so constrained, and the money is just not there, so we are appealing to you to remain peaceful, this situation will be solved shortly” he assured.

Addressing the delayed in the salary of employees, the Grand Kru County Lawmaker indicated that the harmonization by the government is the major contributing factor of the delay, adding” We had to accept for my budget and the salary and benefits of Senators be slashed. So, we took the bullets for you as Leaders”.

He furthered  stated that though staffers, employees are agitated due to the facts that the government has not  pay them their    salaries want them to equally be appreciative that the salary slash did not affect them. “We the Senators took the bullets for you by cutting our salaries. You need to give us credit for that” he claimed.

Pro Temp Chie went on to state that it’s of no secret that the current economic downturn is a result of the deadly EBOLA outbreak in 2014 and added that the situation has become worse due to drop in revenue, as well as a lack of donor support to the budget. “There is hope because we are doing everything possible to get into the IMF program. We have done everything with respect to the benchmark of the IMF”, he said. 

According to the Pro Temp, the government has done everything possible to attract foreign aids and loans, and that there is hope that the economy will weather the current storm.

On the issue of impending protest by employees of the Legislature, Senator Chie averred that the growing waves of protests are harming the Country. “The More our citizens protest, the more investors will stay away, because no one wants to invest in a country that is unstable”

He used the gathering to commend the employees for being calm and not engaging in protest.

On the issue of other internal problems facing employees, the Pro-Tempore admitted that he as a Leader takes the blame and assured that he will be more involved in addressing the plight of the staffers. “I take the blame because there has been a serious gap in information sharing on our activities, I assure you that things will be improved onward”