Abdul Fonti: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 September 2019:
The Ministry of Finance has confirmed that administrative and academic staff of the University of Sierra Leone (FBC, COMAHS and IPAM) have not received salaries for July and August 2019, chiefly because of delay on the part of university authorities in submitting staff payroll data.
A press release by the Finance Ministry disclosed that the payroll data submitted had inconsistencies requiring verification.
This came in the wake of the decision of the Government of Sierra Leone to integrate the payroll of tertiary education institutions (TEIs) into the centralised government payroll system.
Following a verification exercise jointly undertaken by the Ministry of Finance and the National Civil Registration Authority, which ended on August 15, a total of 911 out of the 976 staff list submitted have been verified without issues. (Photo: Finance Minister – JJ Saffa).
The Ministry of Finance is therefore taking immediate steps to pay the July and August salaries of the Verified USL Staff, which will amount to 8.53 Billion Leones.
Investigations continue to ascertain the status of the remaining staff with issues.
As all of this is happening, a total of one thousand, eight hundred and fifty seven (1,857) staff members of six Tertiary Education Institutions (Njala, EBKUST, MMCET, FTC, Bonthe Technical Institute and Eastern Polytechnic) were successfully verified in July, and had their salaries for that month paid promptly, following the submission of their staff payroll data to the Ministry of Finance.
The total July staff salaries for these institutions amounted to 10.58 Billion Leones.
This new arrangement, that will increase the average monthly wage bill by 14.85 Billion Leones, will ensure that salaries of university staff members are paid by the Government together with public sector wages.
The government takeover of salaries and core allowances payment of administrative and academic staff of tertiary education institutions, will eliminate salary strike actions by university staff and enhance quality higher education in the country.
About the author
Abdul Fonti is the Communication Strategist in the Office of the President.