7 August 2017

Liberia's State Broadcasters Threaten Cut in Broadcast Hours

Photo: Liberian Broadcasting Corporation
Liberian Broadcasting Corporation's headquarter

Monrovia — Workers of the state Radio (LBS) have threatened to cut broadcast coverage during these elections due to low budgetary allotment by lawmakers for that entity.

The workers through their Union President Moses Dorbor made the threat Monday during a news conference.

During the Press conference Workers of the LBS through their leadership expressed disappointment over the low budgetary allotment to the system in the fiscal year 2017/2018.

The workers said in a statement said, despite appeal during the budget hearing, the crafters of the national budget allotted about seven hundred fifty thousand U.S. dollars ($750,000 us) to the Liberia Broadcasting System for the 2017/18 Fiscal year for operations and salary issues.

"The amount represents a significant reduction of the previous budgets allotted to the LBS which has failed to address salary adjustment or increment in the past, the statement said."

The state broadcasters claimed that they who work as the National Broadcaster remained the least paid amongst government workers, and have not had the opportunity of salary increment since 2005/6.

"LBS, a national entity that focuses on propagating government policies and programs, pay its reporters for example a monthly salary of $9000.00 Liberian dollars.

"Employees face difficulties in traveling to and from work and assignment areas due to the low budget, which has incapacitated the Management in purchasing vehicles for reporters, radio staff, technicians and other staff.

"The LBS employees have over the years committed their lives to promoting the government and its key actors but continue to be overlooked in the budget preparation, something workers see as disappointing," the worker Union President said.

The LBS workers also said, low budgetary allotment to LBS continues to keep the employees amongst the lowest income earners in the country as the System management has said time and again that it cannot increase salaries of the workers because of the amount of money given.

The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers Union expressed grave disappointments over the failure of the National Legislature to raise the budget of the State Broadcaster to a considerable level to enable the entity effectively discharge its statutory duty.

The move by the lawmakers according to the workers amounts to denying the Liberian people access to adequate information and education, especially during this critical period in our nation history where we are about to witness a key transition that has not taken place for about seven decades.

"Therefore, while it is true that we are not politicians, it is important that we make the Liberian people understand of the unfolding development surrounding the funding gap of LBS operations."

"This budget shortfall will adversely affect elections.

"Once again we want to emphatically say that we are disappointed in our lawmakers to the highest degree for failing to raise the LBS budget to enhance effective dissemination of cardinal information to Liberians during this critical electoral period and at the same time improve workers welfare," the statement added.

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