Local Government Payroll Validation Seminar Ends

MONROVIA – Liberia’s grip on loopholes in the public sector payroll is proving cumbersome – thanks to the geniuses of payroll paddlers. And so, the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center (LIMPAC) and the Civil Service Agency (CSA) have concluded a seminar that begins the validation of payroll for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), especially local government structures.

LIMPAC, a research Think Tank of the Government of Liberia, chaired by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning assembled local government officials and payroll analyst from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. “The training brings together county officials and an Analyst from MIA which accounts for the third largest agency of government with the most amounts of employees,” Del-Francis Wreh, Executive Director of LIMPAC explained.

He said the training brought everyone to the table including Superintendents, MIA, CSA, and MFDP so as to look at the payroll of each county. The total manpower strength of MIA is around 5300 and the Process also provides maximum education to the county officials about the ongoing pay reform that is currently being implemented.

The verification training is said to be targeting the Ministry of Internal Affairs especially the local government payroll as part of efforts to efficiently and collaboratively clean the payroll of all government ministries and agencies. “Additional action the government intends to take to clean the payroll is the Taskforce on Ghost Removal setup by the Cabinet. And the local government payroll is a critical aspect of that exercise along with others who the taskforce will be visiting to do headcount of employees”, he said.

He said “the last three days, we have completed cleaning 10 counties correcting 80 percent of the problems on the payroll.  We will work with the local authority to ensure we have an efficient payroll that shows value for money. For the next step, there is going to be periodic reconciliation of the local government payroll”.

For James Thompson, Acting Director General of the Civil Service Agency (CSA), this is all part of efforts to get a handle on ghosts and to end payroll paddling across ministries and agencies. “After this exercise, we would have trimmed the wage size of the government. Verification to me shows those we are carrying are the appropriate staff of the Agency of government”.

He said “we are trying to make sure we finally get a handle on ghost workers. We are bringing the county officials and central administration to know who the real people are.  We want to make sure the government is getting value for money spent on wages.  



LIMPAC Chairs Multi-Agency Payroll Clean-Up Taskforce

In support of the on-going wage bill and civil service reforms exercise, The President of the Republic of Liberia H.E George Weah has constituted  a Multi-Agency Payroll Clean-Up Taskforce.  The Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center(LIMPAC) within the Ministry Finance and Development Planning(MFDP) has been nominated to lead the activities for the taskforce.

The Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center(LIMPAC) is a research and policy think tank in the Ministry of Finance and Developing Planning which is currently leading on the on-going wage harmonization and standardization exercise. Over the past several months, LIMPAC, leading the Payroll Harmonization Team along with the Civil Service Agency  has been working with various spending entities within the central Government in creating  transparency and equity within the national wage bill through standardizing the pay grade system, centralizing, and automating the payroll. Through the harmonization  exercise, which is backed by the National Standardization Act of 2019, paygrades were assigned to about 74,000 employees of central government thereby achieving reduction in  the Wage bill by US$30 million, from US$327 million at end of FY18/19 to US$297  million in the approved FY19/20 National Budget. Also, through the harmonization exercise, basic salary and general allowances were collapsed into a single salary and immediate salaries increment were effected for more than 15,000 employees; mainly security officers, teachers on supplementary payroll, health workers, employees of revenue generating agencies.

The Task Force which primary objective is to remove ghost employees  from the payroll in an efficient and  sustainable manner also include the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), the Civil Service Agency (CSA), and the National Identification Registry (NIR) .  LIMPAC as chairman of the Task Force will  supervise the daily activities of the Taskforce as well as forge persistent collaboration with other members and the spending entities of interest to identify and immediately remove or blocked ghost employees from the government centralized and automated payroll system.

The Internal Audit Agency Co-chairing the  Taskforce will institute physical audits of payrolls for entities on interest and provide findings to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning through LIMPAC and the Civil Service Agency  for immediate actions. The National Identification Registry will ensure that employees have valid National Identification Number(NIN), while Civil Service Agency will provide data and support to members regarding employees’ records and job history.


Speech Delivered by Hon. Del-Francis Wreh, Executive Director / LIMPAC

Del-Francis (PIC)

Speech delivered by Hon. Del-Francis Wreh, Executive Director / LIMPAC
Fendall Campus, 23 November 2018

Prof. Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, President – University of Liberia,

Prof. Dr. William E. Allen, Vice President – Academic Affairs, 

Asst. Prof. Mamawa M. Freeman-Moore, Founding Director /

Honors Scholars Program

The UL Administration, The Faculty and Members of the UL Council,

The President and Members – University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU)

The Scholars and Incoming Scholars,

Members of the Organizing Committee Member of the Full Estate,

Distinguished Guests Friends, Colleagues and Students, Ladies and Gentlemen. 


I am deeply honored and humbled by the invitation to serve as Guest Speaker for this very important occasion, the induction ceremony of the LUX – IN – TENEBRIS Scholars Program, for the admittance of sixty-five honors students for academic year 2018-2019. In this direction, I warmly appreciate the leadership of Professor Mamawa Freeman Moore in coordination with the University of Liberia’s authorities for the tireless effort in keeping the scholars program alive and on the right path. As I am impressed by the academic excellence of the inductees, let me also thank you Professor Mamawa Freeman for your leadership, you have earned my sincere admiration.


 As I observe the increased academic activities on the campus of the University of Liberia, it makes me better even though it also makes me to reflect on my days at the University of Liberia in early the 2000 when academic activities were repeatedly disrupted because of limited or no financial support from the Government of Liberia under authority of Former President Charles Ghankay Taylor. I also sadly reflect on how students and scholars of the University of Liberia including myself were targets of state sponsored brutality and intimidation. These actions did not only physically shutdown the University of Liberia but also impaired the mental and physical abilities of the students to pursue education and academic excellence. Sadly, the resulting outcomes can be summarized in the poor output of some or most of our university students across Liberia. I reflect on these because I too was forced to leave University of Liberia (our nation premier university) after just two semesters to attend the African Methodist Episcopal University, which was by far regular but very expensive. I like many of my colleagues would have been a full victim or “nobody” today, lacking university education if not for the special Grace of God through friends and families who tirelessly provided the financial and moral support for me to complete college education. They truly set the critical stage for my professional growth and now I am very proud serving as guest speaker at this unique occasion. 


Difficult periods of the University of Liberia and other institutions of higher learning also mirror many difficult periods in Liberia that undermined the delivery of public services at the lower level of governance. These failures in service deliveries must be corrected and correcting it requires the collaborative efforts of the higher learning Institutions (like the UL) and students like the honor scholars who can commit research efforts to identifying policy challenges and the corresponding doable recommendations. This is one of the key objectives for preparing you; the scholars and honors Students so that you can make sustainable contribution to our country National Development agendas.


When the title was raised, I noted the key words “sustainable contribution” and “preparing honor students.” My talk will discuss the underpinning elements and compelling rationale on why we must prepare the next generation especially those who have traversed turbulent circumstances but yet demonstrate academic excellence. The second part of my deliberation will indulge into the concept of sustainable contribution and the impact on the gains experienced over the last few years and the expected impact on socioeconomic growth under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah through the successful implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda for prosperity and development (PAPD). 


The word preparation is the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration. But preparation cannot be done in isolation of Education. Education is an ideal model for preparing the next generation of leaders and productive citizens. It is the sine qua non of modeling and creating a workforce that can drive the economy, establish a functional society, create peace and socioeconomic stability. While it has been argued that education can be defined in variant respects, for our purpose, it is the process of providing formal knowledge especially at the tertiary level.


Without quality education, the society spirals into waste where ignorance thrives over wisdom, dishonesty becomes the widely accepted norms, and integrity and principle-centered decisions are second to disingenuousness. An advanced society is not only measured by the number of students that are admitted or have graduated from the university; it is not only the number of degree holders that are holding strategic positions; it is also not only the articulation and eloquence of the citizens; but by the level of effort which each student is required to invest while at the university, the quality of the instructions, and the technology/infrastructure that exist. These factors, must at all times, drive our desire and aspirations for preparing the next generation.


We must detest any form of weakness and overt display of paper-made diploma/degrees to demonstrate our acceptance and preparation for the task in providing transformative leadership for the greater good of our society. The system for preparing our next generation must entail and instill the discipline for genuine success.  It must be productive and matched by efficiency, reliability, creativity, and innovation. The education programs in Liberia must respect and reward brilliance and hard work over mediocrity and laziness; it must accept development of new ideas through an innovative and ingenious approach rather than suppression of freedom of expression of thoughts; it must support the best and deserving students but not let the weak ones unattended; it must encourage dissent, not disrespect to authorities and fellow colleagues; it must promote full utilization of the human mind through non academic programs.


Our honors student coming into this program must show true colors of scholars, determine with a strong sense of responsibility, honesty, hard work and professionalism. This is only when we will see “the light at the end of the tunnel” or “the brighter side of life.” Anything short of designing a system that underpins the above aspirations and elements of a balanced and supportive education system will lead to chaos in the larger society.

For our honor students to make sustainable contributions to our National Development; the Pro-Poor Agenda for prosperity & Development and other future development agenda, we all within the government, academic community, and private sector must provide needed incentives for our students / scholars to rise up to the challenges of the academic environment and society. 


To our honor students, your contributions to national development must not be skewed and hinged predominantly on your membership or relationship with the ruling party or a particular opposition political party. It must not only be based on government jobs or support. Rather, it must be based on the level of education and the possibility to reshape the national discourse and development programs. Some of you (scholars) may get a placement in a decent company or organization or government agency while some may not. Those who get the opportunity off the university must harness and leverage it to the extent that the next person in line can be trusted and provided with similar opportunity. Do not get a new job and think your duty to society stops with the job. A new job is not a platform to enrich yourself but to make meaningful and sustained contribution to the society so that others underprivileged at lower end of society benefit, manifesting the pro-poor ideology. You must set yourself apart and use the wisdom continuously to find solution to the perennial challenges facing the community. 


Today as you match into the LUX – IN – TENEBRIS Scholars Program, you have become a focus of attention, requiring you to subscribe to cardinal standards, which include:  


1. Striving for excellence: developing a strong work ethic and consciously doing one’s very best in all aspects of college.


2. Cultivating personal and academic integrity: recognizing and acting on a sense of honor. 


3. Contributing to a larger community: recognizing and acting on one’s responsibility to the educational community and to the wider societylocal, national, and global. 


4. Taking seriously the perspectives of others: recognizing and acting on the obligation to inform one’s own judgment; engaging diverse and competing perspectives as a resource for learning, citizenship, and work.


5. Developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning: developing and using ethical and moral reasoning in your learning and in your life. 


As we all strive to make sustainable contributions for the achievement of the Pro-Poor Agenda, the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center sees you, the honor students and general student body, and entire UL leadership and family as critical partners for collaboration.  Consistent with this belief, LIMPAC has remained engaged with the University of Liberia; providing support to the financial aid programs of the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU) and other campus based organizations. LIMPAC has also remained engaged by completing the modernization of the Research and Computer Training Lab for the Department of Economics. With support from the Government of Liberia and UNDP, we have equipped the lab with computers and modern statistical software. And we at LIMPAC still want to remain engaged with the University of Liberia.


As one of the emerging Policy Think Tanks in Liberia, LIMPAC welcomes recent decision by H.E. President George Manneh Weah on free tuition for undergraduate students of the University of Liberia and students of community colleges across Liberia.  This decision is true manifestation of a Pro-Poor initiative especially during these critical periods of economic difficulties. To minimize potential abuse and misuse of the tuition free policy, LIMPAC will provide policy advisory services (like we have done in other policy areas) to the UL and GoL to the guide policy implementation to ensure that the targeted beneficiaries are truly covered and value for money is achieved.


It is in this same respect that LIMPAC has become very concerned with the financial challenges faced by the honor scholar programs with respect the payment of dormitory fees for existing and incoming honor students.  The Stakeholders holders; including the businesses and corporate organizations must take action using funding from their social corporate responsibility to support the honor scholars program.  We all must take actions and provide support in the same way we are demanding excellence from each of our honor students. 


LIMPAC does not have all the financial support you need, but in “OUR PROPOOR STRENGHT AND VOICE” with the support of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Hon. Samuel D Tweah, Jr.  LIMPAC WILL MAKE A CASH CONTRIBUTION OF  500,000LRD toward the dormitory cost for this current academic year. We kindly ask the authority of the Scholar program to make a formal request to ensure timely processing and payment of this pledge.


Madam President and members of the University of Liberia leadership, we want LIMPAC relationship with the university of Liberia to get beyond support to financial aid programs, to a strong partnership in the areas of empirical research, policy analyses, and capacity building to help support the design and implementations of meaningful public programs in Liberia. Partnership with various departments at University of Liberia in conducting evidence based research studies can contribute to more doable policy formulation and implementation to achieve sustainable economy growth. Our capacity building target will also include mentorship and internship programs for honor students, which is also critical for preparing students to make sustainable contribution to national development. We look forward to cementing this partnership in the interest the University of Liberia and LIMPAC. 


Long live the LUX – IN – TENEBRIS Scholars Program, long live the University of Liberia, and long live Mama Liberia. 


Thank you and God Bless You! 


LIMPAC Concluded A One (1) Day Forum On A Research Report Funded By The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) On The Impact Of UNMIL Draw-Down On The Liberian Economy

The Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center (LIMPAC) within the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) concluded a one (1) day forum on a research report funded by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) on the impact of UNMIL draw-down on the Liberian Economy. The forum attracted Economic gurus from both the public and private sectors to discuss the economic impact of the withdrawal of UNMIL and proffer workable short, medium and long terms solutions. The forum was divided into two sections. During the first session, the consultant made presentation on the full report of the impact of UNMIL. The second segment was a panel discussion of knowledgeable stakeholders from the public and private sectors about additional recommendations and strategies on short, medium, and long-term diversification programs. In introductory remarks, LIMPAC’s Executive Director Mr. Del- Francis Wreh used the occasion to extend profound gratitude to the African Capacity Building foundation (ACBF) for its continuous financial and technical supports towards research paper “Assessing the Economic Impact on the Draw-down of UNMIL on the Liberia Economic”, a research study done by Agency for Economic Development & Empowerment (AEDE) headed by Mr. Samuel Thompson. Mr. Wreh threw light on some of the achievements of LIMPAC with funding from the ACBF including three research papers of which two have been completed and validated including Assessing the Economic Impact on the Draw-down of UNMIL on the Liberia Economic. According to Mr. Wreh, the Economic Forecasting & Training Lab which was launched five months ago was also funded by ACBF under its quick win projects of 2017, and has been used to trained government employees in data entry and statistical data modeling using Stata. Speaking as official launcher of the forum, Hon. Tweah hinted on the completion of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) policy paper and its readiness to be launched in the coming weeks.

He further stated that the PAPD remains committed to its priorities which are road connectivity and Human Capital Development. Adding on, he abreast Liberians that the economic meltdown is not unique to Liberia; the uniqueness in the economic to Liberia is the Ebola shock and the withdrawal of UNMIL, therefore something should be done to address the aforementioned impacts. It is a global crisis as interest rates skyrocket in the United States and the decline in the prices of raw commodities. He warns Liberia of the forth-coming global recession and tells Liberian economists to move fast in order to mitigate the effects on the Liberian economy, Minister Tweah Stated. According to Hon. Tweah, in order to reduce the pressure on the exchange rate in a dual currency economy, Liberia should move to a cashless economy through the use of mobile money. 

During the presentation on the report, Mr. Samuel Thompson, Managing Partner of AEDE argued that if laws on land rights are solved in Liberia, the African Growth Initiative and the Tony Blair foundation estimated that Liberia can increase its current production from forty thousand (40,000) hectors to one hundred eighty-five thousand (185,000) hectors within the palm oil industry, which according to him has more potential of withstanding commodity price stocks. With this potential, he intimated that the oil palm industry could take over from the iron ore and rubber in leading growth in Liberian economy. Presenting further, Mr. Thompson indicated that the GDP’s impact of UNMIL drawdown is huge on economy but minimum on the inflation and foreign exchange rates, as the two are mainly driven by the Liberia’s unfavorable trade balance and current account balance. The second segment of the forum a panel discussions that was used for provide alternative views and recommendations on the consultant report the general performance of the Liberia economy. The panel discussants included Hon. Augustus J. Flomo, Deputy Minister for Economic Management, Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, Dr. Lester Tenny, Vice President for Technical Service, NOCAL, Atty. Kou Dorliae, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and Dr. James F. Davis, Project Implementation Unit, Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Hon. Francis A. Dennis, President Emeritus, Liberia Chambers of Commerce and Mr. Stanley Kamara, Country Economist, UNDP. The panel articulated that UNMIL presence in the country and their mild economic contribution just masked the structural inefficiencies of the economy that was already pronounced in the country since the civil crises. This clearly points to the argument that UNMIL presence did not substantively address did not address the structural challenges of the economy even though the presence of the force created an enabling security environment for both public and private investments. The panelists deepen that argument on diversification, calling on the Government of Liberia to take smart decisions that support diversification and value addition not only into oil palm, but other short cycle food and cash crops in which Liberia has dynamic comparative advantage. They suggested value addition in cocoa, rice, cassava, livestock, aquaculture, etc. to support food security while also supporting a positive trade balance that supports exchange rate stability. Members of the panel unanimously agreed that capacity building to fill critical skill gap is important to achieve diversification but narrowing such skill gaps mean reorganization of curriculum across higher institutions of learning to increase the emphasis on technical skills.




With support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has successfully completed three days events for the empowerment of Liberian Women in agriculture and women entrepreneurs. The three days event included a one-day Policy Advocacy Forum and two days leadership training for women agriculture cooperatives and women entrepreneurs. According to ACBF, the objective of the events is to promote sustainable agriculture in Africa with women at the forefront through the project: Empowerment of Women in Agriculture (EWA). The events are piloted in three African countries; Liberia, Rwanda, and Malawi.


Both the forum and the training spanned three days and were held at the Belle Casa Hotel in Monrovia. The forum, which was held on September 19, 2018, brought together about 150 participants representing women farmers, leaders of women farmer cooperatives and networks, government, civil society, and research and academic institutions. During the Advocacy forum, challenges affecting women productivity, especially women in agriculture and entrepreneurship were discussed and the women also provided useful recommendations to help government resolve their problems.


Serving as official launcher of the advocacy forum, the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Jewel Howard Taylor lauded LIMPAC and the ACBF Team for organizing the forum and the two days training for women. She underscored the need for Liberians to prioritize agriculture because there are tremendous gains from agriculture financially and Liberia is well placed given its abundant fertile soil that is under-utilized. Vice President Taylor also urged Liberian women to encourage their children to get back to the soil so Liberia can be self-sufficient in food-production like Liberia were between 1960 and 1970. She also used the occasion to re-emphasize the need for the government of Liberia to re-operationalize the Agriculture Cooperative Development Bank (ACDB) to address financing challenges of the famers, especially women in Agriculture.

For her part, the Deputy Minister for Budget and Development, Honorable Tanneh Brunson, on behalf of  Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. thanked the ACBF for the continued support to Liberia capacity building initiatives, recounting the ACBF recent support in establishing and operationalizing a econometric forecasting and training laboratory within the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. She praised Liberian Business Women as being dynamic and more likely to be self-employed than men. She underscored that the result of the Liberian Civil War posed a serious challenge to the capacity building of women to enhance their skills in entrepreneurship. Deputy Minister Brunson also named other challenges faced by women as:  limited financial infrastructure, restricted access to market, insufficient network to support women entrepreneurs, wide gender-gap, high gender segregation, poor access to credit for women, vulnerability to gender-based violence, lack of general representation of women businesses in wide business network like the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, etc. Consequently, Hon. Brunson proffered the following recommendations: a comprehensive and sensitive skill enhancement program for women entrepreneurship should be established, flexible business and skills training program should also be established, there should be mechanism for easy access to finance by women, integrated financial literacy training programs should be prioritized, and policymakers should seize the opportunity to address the obstacle that women face in the business arena through legislations and policy reforms.

On behalf of the ACBF, Mr. Dixon Antwi highlighted the significance of ACBF since its formation in 1991 by African Heads of State. He disclosed that the ACBF has spent about 700 million across the continent on capacity building since its inception in 1991. Mr. Antwi stated that the essence of the forum and training was to provide opportunities for women and to discuss issues that impact the lives of women in order to evolve effective policies. He acknowledged the role of women and also lauded key actors who made the program to be possible. Mr. Antwi emphasis that the three days event is a pilot initiative in three African Countries, namely: Liberia, Malawi and Rwanda. At the conclusion of the three days event, specific policy recommendations for consideration by policy makers towards enhancing the role of women farmers and their network would have been fully addressed in Liberia. Key recommendations include, establishment of Women Cooperative Bank and design and implementation of favorable policies for women agriculture and entrepreneurs.

During the two days training on leadership and entrepreneurship for the women in agriculture held on September 20-21, 2018, the Executive Director of LIMPAC, Mr. Del-Francis Wreh thanked the participants for attending the training and asked them to take advantage of the training courses for the benefit of their respective businesses and cooperatives.  The training brought together about 125 participants representing more that 40 leaders of women cooperatives, and individual women farmers from thirteen (13) of  the fifteen (15) political subdivisions in Liberia.

The women had interactive training sessions and were taught various skills in leadership, communications, and, listening. They were also taught marketing and business plan and how to sustain a business. Each of the participants received certificate of participation at the end of two days from  LIMPAC and ACBF Teams.

About the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

Established in 1991, ACBF’s mission is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth, poverty reduction and economic transformation in Africa. The ultimate goal is to improve the lives and prospects of people throughout the African Continent. ACBF supports capacity development in Africa through grants, knowledge sharing and technical assistance to countries and regional and sub-regional organizations. ACBF’s approach to capacity development focuses on addressing capacity needs and gaps as well as on stakeholder ownership of interventions, project and program sustainability and synergy of interventions with other development funding institutions. For further information go to:

About the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA)

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) was established pursuant to the resolution of the 6th Arab Summit Conference at Algiers (28th November 1973). The Bank began operations in March 1975. BADEA is an independent international financial institution created for the purpose of strengthening economic, financial and technical cooperation between the Arab and African regions and for the embodiment of Arab-African solidarity on foundations of equality and friendship. To achieve this end, the Bank was given a mandate to participate in financing economic development in African countries, stimulate the contribution of Arab capital to African development, and help provide the technical assistance required for the development of Africa.

About the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center  (LIMPAC)

LIMPAC is a specialized unit within the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. The Center has responsibility for policy analysis, research and training of public officials in macroeconomic related issues in Liberia. Leveraging its convening strength, LIMPAC mobilized key stakeholders such as women cooperatives and networks as well as key government officials and institutions to support the project. Another government institution that worked with LIMPAC to make the project successful is the Cooperative Development Agency of Liberia (CDA). This body has a mandate of registering and monitoring the activities of cooperatives throughout Liberia.


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