Liberia: Council of Patriots Recommends Alternatives to GOL’s “Fake Harmonization Scheme”

share on:
Henry Pedro Costa (left) and other members of the Council of Patriots, including Mo Ali (far right)

Monrovia – The Council of Patriots (COP) is recommending that the Government of Liberia halts its “fake harmonization scheme” intended to mitigate the nation’s struggling economy.

According to
the COP, which was the group that organized, inarguably the largest
anti-government protest in the history of this nation on June 7, 2019, Liberians
are about to see a huge pay cut of over 63%.
“Sadly, this
is going to be the second cut in less than a year and it coincides with 26.5%
food inflation and an overall inflation of 23.3% putting us among the countries
with highest rates of inflation in a year,” read Henry Pedro Costa, one of two
spokesmen of the COP, Wednesday, June 19. “In short, food inflation means the
price for the things we can eat including rice, oil, pepper, etc will go by
26.5%. When things prices are going up, it doesn’t make a broader sense to
reduce salaries. When you reduce salaries, you are undermining the people’s
ability to spend.”

Among their demands,
COP wants the government put “an immediate freeze on all new employment across
the government to stop ballooning the payroll; remove from the payroll the
thousands of unqualified partisans recruited but actually have no work to do in
those ministries and agencies; do a payroll audit with the aim of having an
actual appreciation of the size of the payroll and identifying and removing
ghosts from the payroll.”

Other things
they want the adhere to immediately include: “GoL should then do skills audit
determining current capacity with the goal of removing the unqualified folks
taking paychecks and Centralize all employment related matters relating to
civil servants through Civil Service Agency.”

ALSO READ   Civil Society Group Honors Rep. Mensah

Costa and
other COP members emphasized that the Liberian people did not elect the ruling
Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) to pay its (CDC) partisans. “Only a few
people work for the government-so it is wrong for the government to use all the
taxes to just pay a few people because they are loyal to the President.
Governments are expected to provide services when they collect taxes on our
behalf. As we speak, all the hospitals can’t even receive their monthly supply
of drugs and other medical consumables, fuel among several things. In some
cases, patients have to buy fuel for the running of the hospitals.”

Costa
emphasized that since they submitted their June 7 protest petition to President
George Manneh Weah, through the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, “We
have not even received an acknowledgement of receipt. We want our supporters to
know that we will respond to the government’s adamant posture when the deadline
expires. Today is Day 8 of that deadline with 20 more days remaining.”

BELOW IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE PRESS STATEMENT

Fellow
Liberians currently tuned in to listen and watch this special message,
distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate, we want to welcome you
and thank you for the confidence reposed in us to speak on your behalf.  

Today’s
statement focuses on several issues bordering on the state of our governance to
which we find extremely concerning and need our immediate action. We will first
speak to the so-called payroll harmonization intended to reduce salary of civil
servants and other professional Liberians for the accommodation of thousands of
unqualified and inexperience partisans of the ruling party. The Council of
Patriots understands that many If the ability to spend is being reduced, you
are putting strains on the economy especially hurting cost of living, hurting
small and medium enterprises and overall increasing the suffering of the very
poor people the pro-poor agenda is meant to help.

The civil
servants and the other Liberians employed with the government should not be
made to bear the pain for the government’s own problem it created. In January
2018, they met a wage bill of US297M dollars and instead of taking actual steps
in reducing the wage bill, they employed their unqualified partisans and gave them
salaries higher than the real professionals they met in the civil service and
in government. COP understands that the wage bill hovers today around US350M
dollars when we include the public corporations. Instead of reducing the
salaries under the fake harmonization scheme, we are recommending the
following:

       GoL should put an immediate freeze on all
new employment across the government to stop ballooning the payroll.

Related Posts

       Remove from the payroll the thousands of
unqualified partisans recruited but actually have no work to do in those
ministries and agencies.

       GoL should then do a payroll audit with
the aim of having an actual appreciation of the size of the payroll and
identifying and removing ghosts from the payroll.

       GoL should then do skills audit determining
current capacity with the goal of removing the unqualified folks taking
paychecks and

       Centralize all employment related matters
relating to civil servants through Civil Service Agency.

Furthermore, we like to emphasize that the Liberian people did not elect the CDC to pay its partisans. Only a few people work for the government-so it is wrong for the government to use all the taxes to just pay a few people because they are loyal to the president. Governments are expected to provide services when they collect taxes on our behalf. As we speak, all the hospitals can’t even receive their monthly supply of drugs and other medical consumables, fuel among several things. In some cases, patients have to buy fuel for the running of the hospitals. This is wrong.

Before we
close, it is important to mention here that we find it very surprising that
since the submission of the petition to the President’s office on June 11,
2019, signed for by Vera Parker, a staff of the Ministry of State for
Presidential Affairs, we have not even received an acknowledgement of receipt.
We want our supporters to know that we will respond to the government’s adamant
posture when the deadline expires. Today is Day 8 of that deadline with 20 more
days remaining. We are counting the days and we will get there again on Protest
Day 2 and unending days of protest until the demands are met. The president
doesn’t need roundtable to do the following:

       Publishing his asset declaration form
filed with the GAC/LACC

       Restructuring of the TEMT and conduct a
criminal investigation in the misuse of the 25M mop up funds

       Application of the same energy used to
remove Kabineh Ja’neh to get his folks to pass into law the domestic violence
bill and publicly commit to adequately funding Criminal Court E

       Make a bold declaration of auditing the
legislature this year and halting the attempts by his party lawmakers to make
rape offenses bailable,

       Removal of the suspension on Punch FM
license among several others.

The Council
of Patriots will remain unwavering and unrelenting in Saving the State. Thanks
for coming and we will take some questions.


Post Views:
5

Leave A Comment Below
Tags:
share on: