Heritage (Monrovia)

8 August 2014

Liberia: Lawmaker Wants Civil Servants Paid for Two Months

In the wake of the state of emergency, Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff has underscored the need for two-month salary advancement to be paid to civil servants in Liberia.

She said Liberians, especially civil servants must have food to sustain themselves in the wake of the state of emergency declared by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and therefore, government must see reason to pay for two months civil servants and "encourage all private institutions to do the same."

Her comment was contained in a communication addressed to the plenary of the House of Senate and read on Thursday, August 7, 2014.

Plenary is the highest decision making body of the Liberian Senate.

In her communication, the Montserrado County lawmaker noted that "most Liberians live on less than two United States Dollars a day and also depend on everyday hustle for the survivability of their families."

"As we are adhering to all these preventive measures, it is important to note that our people must have food to sustain themselves. Having said that, I herewith recommend to the Plenary for further recommendation to the Executive Branch that as we await the passage of the budget, that the government pay in lieu two months using one-twelfth of all civil servants and encourage all private institutions to do the same.

We must stand together as patriotic Liberians with a united front to fight this deadly Ebola virus; and with the help of God almighty that the lives of our people and country will be saved," she stated.

Speaking to reporters, Sen. Sheriff said many Liberians "live below the average line of poverty" and therefore, it is prudent for civil servants to be given their salaries while they are "staying home."

She mentioned that the prices of various commodities on the Liberian market are gradually increasing.

She stated that government must now be prepared to help "facilitate in lieu monthly payments for at least two months to the citizens."

The Montserrado County lawmaker also suggested that the Government of Liberia (GOL) "request donations from other countries as it relates to food products" to help the citizens.

She said the situation on hand is a national emergency, and as such, "a lot of things can be put aside to galvanize the necessary resources to pay civil servants for the period of two months."

"Almost everybody in Liberia does not have a job and so, we need to start making some donations like rice, oil and others essential things to help prevent our people from getting sicker," she added.

Meanwhile, the communication from Sen. Doe-Sheriff has been sent to the Senate Committee on Ways, Means and Finance to report back to plenary next sitting.

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