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Thursday, June 20, 2024

NAFAA WORKERS CITE MULTIPLE REGULATORY VIOLATIONS IN NO CONFIDENCE VOTE AGAINST DIRECTOR GENERAL EMMA GLASSCO

Date:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – The Workers Association of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has reaffirmed its vote of no confidence in the Director General, Madam Emma Metieh Glassco. In a statement issued in Monrovia on Tuesday, May 21st, 2024, the association cited numerous violations of internal and national regulations as the basis for their decision.

The statement, signed by Sonkarlay Karnue, Assistant General Secretary, J. Alexander Mangblin, Public Relations Officer, and approved by Jeremiah W. Nah, President outlined several grievances against Madam Glassco. These include consistent breaches of the NaFAA Human Resource Manual, the Fisheries Management Law of 2019, the National Code of Conduct for Public Officials, and the Decent Work Act of Liberia 2015.

Key issues highlighted by the Workers Association include:

  1. Workplace Harassment and Mismanagement: Since her appointment in 2018, Madam Glassco’s tenure has been marked by unwelcome harassment of staff, unauthorized salary deductions without proper remittance to NASSCORP, and the seizure of insurance allowance benefits for seagoing fishery observers.
  2. Administrative Malpractices: There have been reports of unreasonable administrative sanctions, denial of staff training opportunities, refusal to pay wages, arbitrary job reassignments, tasks assigned beyond employees’ skills, and intimidation through threats of dismissal. Salary disparities influenced by political affiliations were also noted.
  3. Violation of HR and Fisheries Management Laws: The association accused Madam Glassco of terminating employees on study leave, a violation of Section 6.6 of the NaFAA HR Manual, which guarantees full salary for the first six months and half salary thereafter. Additionally, her failure to appoint the Fisheries Advisory Council, as mandated by Section 3.3 of the Fisheries Management Law, has raised concerns about monopolizing Liberia’s fishery resources.
  4. Environmental and International Violations: Unauthorized extensions of permits for three Spain-Senegalese shrimp fishing vessels from six months to two years were conducted without adequate oversight, breaching Section 10.24 of the Fisheries Management Law. These actions degrade the marine environment and violate international agreements, including the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This has led to a significant decline in artisanal catch rates and strained Liberia’s relationships with fisheries development partners.

The Workers Association has called on the Board of NaFAA and the Office of the President to address these concerns promptly and transparently. They emphasized that a well-functioning fisheries sector is crucial for Liberia’s prosperity and urged all stakeholders, including the Legislature’s Fisheries Committees, the Judiciary, civil society, international partners, and concerned individuals, to ensure NaFAA operates with integrity and accountability.

The association reiterated its vote of no confidence in Madam Emma Metieh Glassco’s leadership and demanded immediate intervention from the board and the President’s Office to resolve the matter satisfactorily. The resolution for this vote of no confidence has been communicated to all relevant authorities since May 2, 2024, but remains unaddressed.

However, for the stability and effectiveness of NaFAA’s operations, it is imperative that these issues are resolved swiftly and justly.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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