The defunct National Disarmament and Demobilization Commission (NDDC), with a little over 45,000 members and staff, have expressed disgust over the government’s delay in settling salary arrears and benefits owed them.
In a conversation with newsmen following a meeting held Thur, July 29, 2021 at the NDDC office at the former Ministry of National Defense, Benson Street, the Executive Director and Spokesman, Alexander M. Zinnah, pondered why government continues to renege in meeting its obligation to the leadership of the disbanded commission.
According to Zinnah, the total cost of salary arrears and benefits owed them by the Government of Liberia (GOL) is about US$200,000.
He noted that initially government was indebted to the NDDC in the tune of US$360,000, but following a series of discussions with authorities at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) a compromise was reached to disburse about US$300,000.
Against this backdrop, the disbanded NDDC said they have received the amount of US$100,000, from what the Executive Director and Spokesman of the entity refers to as a special commitment budget through the MFDP, with a commitment to make payment of the balance US$200,000. According to them, this commitment has not been kept.
He went on to say that after several frantic efforts, including the holding of meetings with top members of the CDC-led administration and telephone conversations with Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah, to get government, through the MFDP, to disburse the remaining US$200,000, “we have been shunned, or are yet to receive our just money and benefits whatsoever from the powers-that-be.
Zinnah is quoted as saying, “the membership of the NDDC, with a little over 45,000, including 310 staff comprising county coordinators, are living in abject poverty with no food on their table, lest to mention affording the tuition of our children at schools across the country, due to government’s reluctance to pay our arrears and benefits.”
At the same time, the NDDC leadership has given the Government of Liberia (GoL) a 14-day ultimatum to settle the balance US$200,000 owed them.
Meanwhile, the group (NDDC) has vowed to remain somewhat peaceful as they engage the government to make good its promises to them by paying their balance money.
The Executive Director/Spokesman of NDDC is at the same time calling for President Weah’s quick intervention for the payment of the US$200,000 due the body, which is composed of members of disbanded warring factions in the civil war in Liberia.