By Kruah Thompson
Disenchanted enumerators of the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) gathered at the institution’s head office on Capitol Hill Monday, 23 January 2023 to demand payment of their alleged arrears.
The protesters claimed that 75% of the money they worked for as contractors is yet to be paid to them.
They told the journalists that their contract sheet with LIGIS states that after the completion of data collection and submission of all necessary material, they would have received their pay immediately.
But they claimed that since they submitted their work roughly three months ago, they have not received any money.
They called on the Government of Liberia to intervene in the case. The protesters also threatened to take action against LISGIS if the institution doesn’t act accordingly.
Zauzay Kollie, one of the enumerators from Duport Road indicated that from 5 November 2023 up to now, all they keep hearing from the administration is “y’all come back in two weeks.”
He added that it has gone more than two weeks, and they have not received their payment as promised by the LISGIS administration.
He also revealed that when they were doing the work, they were under high tension from the leadership to complete the work in less than a month.
According to him, 25% of the total money was brought forward to him.
However, he said since the start of the payment for the remaining 75% in November, some of the contractors have received their full payment.
But he claimed that LIGIS has failed to pay some of them their remaining 75%.
Also speaking, Selekie M. Tulay, a supervisor from the Borough of New Kru Town said when the information got to them, they decided to reach LISGIS Headquarters.
He said they were told that the administration had to verify the information to establish where the problem was.
Tulay claimed that they were later notified that probably the numbers they provided were not working in line with Eccobank.
Additionally, Kwatolbor Kwame Teah, one of the supervisors from Buu-Yao District, Nimba County, said five of his enumerators have received their pay, but he hasn’t received a dime from LIGIS.
He added that the only option he had was to protest and demand his money.
He warned that they will not leave LISGIS compound until their money is given.
LISGIS Acting Director General Lawrence George argued that some of the individuals who are claiming pay are people who did not work at all.
George said when an enumerator is assigned, that person goes to work and completes the enumeration process and turns his gadget over to the supervisor.
He explained that when that is done, the data will be synchronized and sent to the data center.
He continued that the data center validates what the enumerator has done and that person will be certificated for payment.
He however suggested that there is a possibility that someone could be on the team and not get paid.
He also said that the mobile wallet size may be below the threshold.
“So from the bank, the mobile money account will not receive pay and they will send back the alert,” he noted.