19 February 2013

Liberia: Ellen Demands Employment Records

Unlike the past where employment figures were released based on the national level, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has demanded employment statistics from the Ministry of Labor on a county basis.

The President said this time around, she will expect the Ministry of Labor to report employment statistics per county and sectors rather than reporting on a national level. She noted that doing so will help government to properly direct future employment programs to most needed counties.

Though it's still unclear what prompted the President's anticipated request, a recent Wikipedia report on the country's economy listed it as one of the world's poorest nations, with a formal employment rate of only 15%, heavily depending on foreign aid, foreign direct investment and exports of natural resources such as iron ore, rubber and timber.

The report also put Liberia's GDP per capita peaked in 1980 at US$496, when it was comparable to Egypt's at the time. In 2011, the country's nominal GDP was US$1.154 billion, while nominal GDP per capita stood at US$297, the third-lowest in the world.

"We expect the Ministry of Labor to report employment statistics per county and sectors rather than reporting on a national level," an MOL prelease issued Monday, February 18, 2013, quoted President Sirleaf as saying when she addressed a group of Gbarpolu citizens over the weekend at the dedication ceremony of the Ministry of Labor's regional office in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County.

The President said such a report, when released, would help government to properly direct future employment programmes to most needed counties.

At the dedicatory event, President Sirleaf also commended the Ministry of Labor for the construction of the office and assured the people of Gbarpolu that the office will be used to track employment in the county and promptly respond to labor issues in Liberia

The release quoted Deputy Labor Minister for Planning and Manpower Development, Atty. Neto Zarzar Lighe as promising the locals that the new regional office will be used to enhance the workings of Labour Ministry in the county.

As part of the government's decentralization program, Deputy Minister Lighe disclosed that the Ministry of Labor has embarked on the construction of 14 local offices throughout the country.

"The dedication of the Ministry of Labour Regional Office in Gbarpolu County is the second dedication of labor offices in the country in less than two months," the release pointed out.

"In late December 2012, the first dedication of MOL office took place in Voinjama City, Lofa County- a ceremony that was performed by Labor Minister Hon. Vabah K. Gayflor," the release indicated.

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