Health workers in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, Southeast Liberia are calling for government’s intervention in the wake of the closure of Ecobank Liberia branch in Zwedru last Friday, 15 April where they were being paid monthly.
The President of the National Health Workers of Liberia, George Williams, is calling on government to intervene immediately to enable them continuously get their monthly salary thru direct deposit.
Mr. Williams said it will be too strenuous for health workers to leave their area of assignment to come to Monrovia for salary and the only commercial bank in the county thru which they get their salary, has shutdown.
ccording to him, the bank did not close abruptly as the Government of Liberia, particularly the Ministry of Health is aware of the closure, but yet nothing is being done. Mr. Willaims said besides Ecobank Liberia Limited, the Central Bank of Liberia also has a branch in Zwedru, but all government salaries are being thru commercial banks, and they only have Ecobank account numbers.
He also explained that Ecobank has a branch in Ganta, Nimba County that is very far from them, lamenting it will be very costly for them to travel from Zwedru to Nimbajust to withdraw salary from their respective accounts because the transport fare will cost them almost half of their monthly salary; and often the bank’s system is down so it would be at their own risk to go as far as Nimba only to be told by the bank the system is down.
For his part, the Director for Communications at the Ministry of Health,Sorbor George, told this paper that the issue about Ecobank’s closure is beyond the ministry, adding that it is government’s matter and the government will find a way to handle it.
Mr. George says the closure by the bank is not only affecting health workers in Zwedruasemployees of other government entities based in the provincial city similarly get paid thru Ecobank, which is a private business.
It is known what led to the bank’s closure, but since 2006, the Government of Liberia had introduced a system thru which civil servants’ salaries are paid thru direct deposit in various commercial banks. Most of the commercial banks in Monrovia however, are yet to open branches in all 15 counties.
By Ethel A. Tweh-Editing by Jonathan Browne