Dear Government of Liberia,
We, a group of concerned citizens of the Republic of Liberia, having heard and read that you did not increase civil servants’ salary in the 2012/2013 fiscal budget just prepared and submitted to the lawmakers, write to ask why it happened and to make other comments in that direction.
Although you guys are now saying that you and the lawmakers are discussing what to do about increasing civil servants’ salary, it is hard to believe or understand why you would prepare the budget and not do anything about increasing their salary. Did you forget, or did you do it deliberately?
As you very well know, the cost of living in this country is very high, and too many people are suffering. Civil servants’ take-home pay cannot take them home. It is a known fact. That’s why it surprises many of us that you prepared the budget without putting in anything about their salary. What were you thinking?
Increasing civil servants’ salary for five consecutively years before the 2011 presidential and legislative elections was one of the points that the Unity Party and its supporters campaigned on. They campaigned that it was a necessary step that improved the lot of the people. And it is logical to argue that some people voted for President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf because of that increment. So, how come you forgot about it in the 2012/2013 budget? What happened?
Don’t forget, also, that many Unity Party functionaries, including former Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, promised the Liberian people and civil servants that civil servants’ salary would continue to increase – and would increase even more – under the second Ellen-led government. It was said doing the 2011 campaign season. How come you forgot about it in the 2012/2013 budget? Are you finished with the people because the elections are finished, and President Sirleaf has been re-elected?
In most instances, because there is a lot on the plate of many individuals or institutions, it is possible to overlook certain points or issues that should not be overlooked. In other words, oversights do occur. We all do forget. Is this what really happened? Did you forget that there is a need to increase civil servants’ salary? If yes, then how could you forget about such an important 2011 campaign point? Is it because the elections are over and, if the rules are followed, your head, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, will no longer be contesting.
If you didn’t forget but intentionally decided not to increase the salary of civil servants, then you blundered – and blundered big time, especially considering the fact that civil servants make peanuts, while the officials of the Government of Liberia, our government – a government that is supposed to be the government of the people, by the people and for the people – make thousands of United States dollars per month, excluding gas slips, scratch cards, transportation, and many other benefits. One can clearly see the neglect of the people and the gap existing between the “gbarpleh” and the sharks. Shame on the GOL!
GOL, how could you be that insensitively brave to choose not to increase their salary, which has its least at US100, and focus on the salaries of lawmakers who make US$7,000 and ministers who make US$4,000? How could you do that, GOL?
Are you saying that those with such huge salaries work harder than those paid US$100? Are you saying that they work more in the interest of the country and its people than those paid US$100? Are those making US$7,000 and US$4,000 more committed to the cause of the people than those paid US$100?
By the way, if there is any forgetfulness in all this, whose fault is it? Could it be President Sirleaf who, perhaps, should have been the main person to tell the budget preparers the need to increase civil servants’ salary, or should it be those responsible to prepare the budget?
To conclude this letter, we, the group of citizens mentioned earlier, wish to say that the failure of GOL to increase servants’ salary in the 2012/2013 fiscal budget is not only insensitive, it is troubling. We hope our decision-makers will focus on increasing civil servants’ salary rather than increasing their own salaries or eating.
Yours very sincerely,