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Editorial: The Government Must Further Explain

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A few weeks ago, the President of Liberia announced the commencement of   a vacation job program for the young people as part of her administration’s youth empowerment program.

The exercise may also be directed at testing efforts toward the creation of about twenty-thousand jobs annually for the young people as promised by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during the October 11, 2011 presidential and legislative elections. In fulfillment of the announcement by the President a few weeks ago, more than 50, 000 young people of all walks of life are seen giving face-lift to Monrovia and its environs, including Paynesville.

The ongoing vacation job program under the auspices of the Government of Liberia is being implemented through the Monrovia City Corporation and that of the       Paynesville City Corporation. Initially, it had been said that each of the workers would be paid a hundred U.S Dollars, but later reduced to US$81.00 probably due to circumstances beyond the control of the administration.

A part payment of this amount may be paid to the young people on Thursday to propel them to the Christmas celebration. This is a program highly commendable of the Government of Liberia. The fact that most of the young people are being kept very busied doing something to earn a living for the season; there is truly a need to hail the administration for such a move.

As we hail the President and her administration for this national endeavor, care must also be exercised so that civil servants will not also be apprehensive about the good that is being done for the young people. Already, complaints are being made by civil servants against the deductions of (US$6.00) from their salaries to facilitate the vacation job program.

We had thought that, as suggested, there would have been deductions of between US$100.00 and US$300.00 from the allowances, gasoline and scratch-cards of all cabinet ministers and their deputies and assistants, as well as heads of public corporations and autonomous agencies and their deputies and line managers, commissioners and other senior government officials to facilitate the program.

But to our surprise, it has spilled over to the ordinary civil servants whose salaries are very little. Such deductions should have affected the senior officials of government only and not civil servants because of the very huge disparities between the two groups.

Moreover, other than what these senior officials of government officially receive at the end of each month, there are extra benefits accrued outside of their official allotments. While the administration is being appreciated for assisting our young brothers and sisters, it must not also create another short-circuit within the civil service.

Civil servants must be left alone out of these financial efforts targeted at facilitating the vacation job program. If and only if such concerns are confirmed information, there must be an embargo. And if such information is problematic, the government through the Ministry of Finance must further explain to “clear the air”.

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