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Liberia: Min. Samuel Tweah Denies Bloating Payroll, Says CDC Added Only 1,200 Employees

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Monrovia – Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah has told members of the Senate that the Government of President George Weah has only added 1,200 employees to the payroll and not 20,000 as being speculated.

Minister Tweah on Tuesday, September 3, also stated that in addition to that figure, they inherited 2000 additional employees in the health sector that were paid under the Pool Fund program by the World Bank.

 “It is a wrong notion that this government added 2000 employees to the payroll. This government employed 1200 aside from those who are Presidential appointees.”

According to Minister Tweah, up to June 2019, the total number of civil servants was 43,000 and works are being done on the database to establish the total number of civil servants currently on the payroll of the government.

“The Executive sets pay standards under the civil service system. The budget under consideration has compensation that is reflective of a reformed process. The law says that if the budget is not paid, the Minister has the authorization to ensure that government runs and part of that running is to pay salaries.”

According to Minister Tweah, through the measure, the salaries of 9,000 civil servants who were “overpaid” are being reduced, while 15,000 civil servants experienced an increase in their salaries. He further alleged that 55,000 government workers’ pay remains constant. 

He said: “50,000 civil servants are not affected by this harmonization, 15,000 of those almost are going up and 9,000 are coming down who were paid high. Absolutely teachers are not affected here. Security people are benefitting. Doctors are benefitting. The 54th Legislature, along with the President raised doctors’ salaries.”

The Finance & Development Planning Minister made the assertions before the Senate on Tuesday, September 3. He had been invited by that body to clarify whether civil servants’ wages are being cut and whether the Executive, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) was now implementing the salary harmonization measure.

Under the advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government embarked on a wide range of macroeconomic reforms affecting both monetary and fiscal policies.

The harmonization of the wage bill is one of the measures that is being introduced by the George Weah-led administration. Under this measure, civil servants are expected to receive one salary and the issue of discretionary allowances will be cancelled. 

Additionally, the government said its harmonization process is expected to increase civil servants’ salaries of the health and security sectors, who had been grossly underpaid.

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