Weah Ends Salary Bonanza All Ministers, SOEs, Agencies Chiefs Restricted to US$7,800 Earning

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President George Weah has ordered that effective fiscal year 2018/19, which commences 1 July this year all heads of government ministries and agencies, state owned enterprises and autonomous agencies will not earn above US$7,800 as gross monthly salary and benefits.

Presidential Press Secretary Sam Mannah told the New Democrat via phone that the President reached the decision following Wednesday, April 25, cabinet meeting in the capital Monrovia.

Besides the ministers and agencies heads’ salary ceiling of US$7,800 will further be subjected to a 10 % deduction, Mr. Mannah said. This means the head of government’s institutions will be left with $7,020 with possibility of income tax deduction. Officials in the Executive earning between US$2,500 to 7,000 will face a 7.5% salary cut, while those with salary ranging from US$1,000 to 1,500 will experience 3.5% reduction.

The salary cut policy is intended to standardize remunerations of appointed officials within the Executive branch of government and to enhance government’s flagship pro-poor agenda, a statement posted on the presidential website emasion.gov.lr said.

“No longer will any official of government including heads of autonomous agencies make $10,000.00USD or $15,000.00USD respectively.

“This reduction across the board will only affect approximately 4,140 employees; including civil servants that make above 1,000 USD. The decision by Cabinet will take effect in the pending 2018/2019 fiscal budget”.

Weah in January announced a 25% cut in his salary and benefits.

The President has also directed that State Owned Enterprises should submit its budget to his office for approval to avoid fraud, waste and abuse in government. The Public Finance Management Act of 2009 backs this directive.

There were public outcries during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in relation to the windfall salary of officials. Some Sirleaf officials were earning US$25,000 to 30,000 monthly. Attempt to effect a 40-50 percent cut in August 2015 was unsuccessful.

Writes Festus Poquie