MONROVIA – The Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Lester Tenny, says Liberia, under the stewardship of President George Weah, has recorded an inflation of rate of 6.9 percent from the 28 percent that was inherited, noting that this is one of the lowest inflation rate in the sub-region.
“However, in the presence of global calamity, we still maintained economic stability. We tried to avoid what we called the twin evil. Twin evil is basically high inflation and high unemployment. Liberia has the lowest inflation rate.
“Now, let me tell you what inflation does. Inflation directly slides disposable income. It is something that directly has a negative impact on disposable income to the extent that it damages income,” the UL professor stated.
Tenny said as it stands, the people have more purchasing power as a result of low inflation, adding that goods and services are more stable now as compared to the time the current administration came to power about six years ago.
“So inflation itself destabilizes the micro-economy to the disadvantage of the impoverished society. Therefore, maintaining stable and low inflation was one of the miraculous interventions that the Minister of Finance did.”
Dr. Tenny disclosed that in the midst of the global pandemic two years after the President assumed the leadership of the country and when the world economy was on the brink of collapse, the Economic Management Team of Liberia headed by Finance Minister Samuel Tweah instituted measures to stabilize the country’s economy by minimizing high inflation inherited by the current administration.
Speaking as a special guest on the LBS Super Morning Show in Monrovia on Monday, Dr. Tenny observed that the government took several measures to reduce and maintain inflation.
He referenced some of the steps as the government reduced the civil service wage bill which, he noted, was one of the prerequisites that tended to mitigate the adverse effect of inflation.
The UL professor further noted that the inherited wage bill in the form of a balloon was an uncontrollable figure, giving rise to different forms of interventions that tended to address inflation, adding that the harmonization and rationalization of the government’s wage bill was a complete success in mitigating the huge wage bill.
“There were ministers earning twenty thousand, while other ministers were earning ten thousand, so the government decided to regularize and harmonize the wages,” the UL Dean observed.
He described the harmonization of the wage bill as “significant,” stressing that harmonization has brought total equilibrium from one ministry to another and other government entities to another.
Tenny asserted that it is the rationalization of the wage that gave rise to stability in the salary bill, stating that it brought “a herculean wage bill to equilibrium” and up surged those at the bottom of the pyramid, disclosing that it augmented those people whose salaries were low and reduced those who were amassing huge salaries to a set standard in order to bring transparency in government.
The professor unveiled: “People who were earning US$45 were at the lowest level of the pyramid are now earning around US$150, US$175 and US$200. Nurses, for example, were earning US$50 dollar per month. Now, no nurse in public employment earns less than US$250 a month.
“Harmonization actually benefits people at the lowest of the wage pyramid and creates an equilibrium for those in the upper echelon. The government was able to set a sustainable wage bill. That was very important in ensuring micro-fiscal stability.”
Meanwhile, the Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at the state-owned University has also extolled President Weah for delving into resolving the road constraints, saying that road construction has played a pivotal role in fostering development in any country.
Tenny said every year, through the construction industry, over twenty-three thousand Liberians get employment with those construction companies, carrying out roads constitution, adding that this number is done on an annual basis.
“If you multiply the 23, 000 by six years, you will note that this government has employed over one hundred thousand persons just in the construction area alone. You will be surprised to know that more roads are being constructed in the rural areas than the urban areas,” Dr. Tenny pointed out.
Commenting on President Weah’s reelection, the professor said that the President will be re-elected based on the numerous developments and works being undertaken by this administration, saying that those infrastructural developments are the ones that will speak to the people and that the President doesn’t have to go about campaigning for his re-election.
However, the former Superintendent of Grand Bassa County, Janjay Baikpeh, who phoned in also buttressed Dr. Teeny and admitted that when the CDC government came to power, Superintendents were earning around US$3,500, adding that the President, in his vision to transform the country through infrastructures and to showcase transparency in the state, through the Ministry of Finance harmonized all Superintendents salary.
He further noted that even the issuance of gas slips was stopped, citing that the Liberian leader said the Superintendents should buy their own gas, noting that this helped to carry out numerous developments across the country.
He revealed that at first when the President said that to them (Superintendents), they were all annoyed, but right now they can see real developments, describing the current officials as patriots.
Baikpeh concluded that this Thursday, July 13, 2023, the people of Grand Bassa County will be petitioning the President for his second term bid, calling on media outlets to show up to witness “a tsunami” in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County. LINA