As long last, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has increased civil servants salary by US$25.00 across the board.
She said this amount will be added to the current pay of these government workers retroactively, covering the period of seven months back in July 2012. The Liberian leader made the disclosure on Monday, January 28, 2013 when she delivered her annual message to the joint session of the House of Representatives and Senate at the Capitol Building, seat of the Liberian Legislature in Monrovia.
The annual address is in fulfillment of Chapter Five Article (58) of the Liberian Constitution. The constitution is regarded as the organic law of the country. Amongst other things, Chapter Five, Article (58) of the Liberian Constitution states that each year, both Houses of Representatives and Senate Shall convene in a joint session for the purpose of receiving the annual message from the President of the Republic of Liberia.
President Johnson-Sirleaf spoke on wide range of issues, including youth employment, education, health, electricity and safe drinking, regional security amongst others. Speaking further, the Liberian leader blamed the delay in the increment of civil service salary on poor road network and weather condition, which she said, prevented the Government payroll audit team from moving swiftly across the country to complete Government audit on time.
She said the salary increment will also cover the security sector, including the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
She said she has instructed the Ministry of Finance to begin the increment within ten days. Although the government payroll audit has not been concluded, President Johnson-Sirleaf stated that the money was part of the savings realized from preliminary payroll verification.
Said Madam President: "As we move toward greater decentralization of government operations, civil servant assigned to the rural areas have become very critical to the function of government, therefore efforts to improve their condition of employment remain the focus of our public policy. This is why in our first term, we have continued to improve the condition of employment for those in the public service."
She furthered: We have endeavored to increase civil servant salary to improve their capacity to obtain their jobs and ensure that they retire with dignity after devoting their productive years to their country. The record will show that since 2007, the lowest paid civil servants have earned their monthly income rise from the low of US$15.00 to the minimum of US$100.00 today. We have made particular effort in adjusting the salaries of teachers, health workers, security personnel and our men and women of our armed forces..."
Madam Sirleaf among other things added: "This fiscal year is the first time since the beginning of our first administration that we did not increase civil servant pay. This is primarily because there is a need to clean up the payroll. The payroll verification exercise envisaged at the passage of the budget year is still underway. Delay by the prolonged raining season and challenging road condition which prevented the Civil Service Agency, Ministry of Finance team from reaching places where majority of our teachers and health workers and rural based civil servants work and reside..."