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Waive salaries, benefits for Ebola – Rep. Recommends

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A Montserrado County Electoral District Number11 Representative has emphasized the urgent need for Liberian Lawmakers to waive their salaries and benefits for the month of September to the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus.

Representative J. Gabriel Nyenka told a news conference, yesterday afternoon on the grounds of the Capitol Building in Monrovia, that both the representatives and senators must waive their salaries and benefits to the process of combating the Ebola virus in order to give the government and international community the signal that Liberia, as a nation, was determine to combat the epidemic.

“Consistent with Article 72 of the Constitution, let each government official, beginning with us at the Legislature, waive this September salaries and allowances to help pay health workers who are abandoning the fight and protesting for their salaries.

In addition to our September pay, we need to find a way to pay all civil servants and encourage other private employers to pay for October, in advance, and then ask everyone to stay home for three weeks with the exception of Health Workers, Security Personnel, Journalists, etc.,” the Liberian Lawmaker said.

Representative Nyenka, who also announced his resignation from the ruling Unity Party during the news conference, noted that as a way of motivating health workers, the government should quickly insure them and give each health worker US$1000.00 as hazard stipend and continue to provide for their siblings in case of death.

He also recommended that all government vehicles that may be deemed necessary for the fight be seized as was suggested, but slowly being enforced. “Let us move with speed to seize such requisite vehicles for the urgent purpose of mobility,” he added.

Rep. Nyenka, who is the chairman of the house’s committee on claims and petitions, indicated that pending the imposition of the 21-day “Smart Quarantine” as proposed by the president, “we need to announce a preparatory period of one week so that all of us can gather some basic necessities and food stuff for the 21 day- smart quarantine, noting:  “In order to facilitate the uncongested mobility of our people during the one week preparatory period, we need to put all the N.T.A. buses, as well as all others owned by ministries and agencies in the street to move our people back and forth on a free-of-charge basis.”

“Our security personnel must scrupulously monitor compliance to avoid congestion on the buses,” he noted.

According to him, the government should call off the curfew and empower communities to employ the community-based   approach by working directly with the leaders on the ground to serve as watch teams, task force, call centers and contact tracers for both the health team and the National Task Force, under the supervision of the Liberia National Police.

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