The advent of the Coalition for Democratic Change government bumped into the country’s worse economic times particularly underpinned by the unauthorized printing of floods of banknotes triggering inflation. In the face of it, the Government has made huge investment in public infrastructures, particularly roads, coastal defense projects and market buildings. All this is compounded by creeping drought in international budget support. The combination of these factors have inhibited the capacity of the central government to pay its employees regularly as was the case almost consistently during the previous regime. After a bit of struggle with the irregular salary payment situation, it seems all is yet for the George Weah administration to pay salaries timely and regularly, as The Analyst reports.
This should be big good news for Liberians working in the public sector. Multiple credible sources are unanimous about signs of hope of rejuvenation of Government’s salary payment scheme.
In the words of one of the sources, “The long-awaited July salary has started taking effect since last week Wednesday,” signs that regularity is now returning to the payment of monthly salaries for civil servants.
For the past few months, there has been a slight inconsistency in the payment of civil servant salaries due to reform and other macroeconomics activities.
A credible source at the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning told The Analyst that the delay was a result of the harmonization of the wage bill which was formerly divided into salaries and allowances.
Under the new harmonization structure, civil servants will only be paid salaries and not allowances.
According to a source at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the automation of the process was a contributory aspect to the delay in paying employees their July salaries.
The source also noted that as of August 2019, salaries payment for government employees will be fully regularized and paid on a timely basis.
Another workable solution that will shortly see the removal of ghost names from the payroll is the institutionalization of the National Identity Registration (NIR).
Under this new regime, all civil servants will be required to provide their NIR to the banks before withdrawing monies from their account.
This new method which is based on international best practices will help reduce the overcrowding of government’s payroll which for the last several years has been between 27-29 million every month.
Employees of government constitute a larger percentage of the labor force and that regular payment of salaries can in a great way help to stimulate the supply and demand mechanism of the economy. With a regularized salary, employees can also have access credit to take care of most of their domestic needs including payment of rent and school fees and other consumables.