The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Will Boakai-led Gov’t Inherit FDA’s 2018 Retirees’ Benefit Restoration?

Some 34 former employees claimed to be retirees of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) said they were denied their just retirement benefits since 2018 and are calling on the Boakia-led administration to quickly intervene.
The retirees’ request made through the FDA Managing Director, Rodulph Merab, who had barely assumed office in a week and Finance Minister Boima Kamara who is still grappling with overcrowded payrolls noted that this will save them from what they call “total collapse.”
They noted regrettably that there was a retirement package made available by the Government of Norway in the tone of over half a million dollars but some of them were denied them by the Weah-led administration therefore, they have lost every tissue of hope and that life has become like a punishment for them.
“We are slowly, slowly dying and if nothing is done to rescue us from this calamity we will all collapse one by one,” they stated.
The employees, few of whom have died out of frustration, are calling on the government to intervene and rescue them from falling prey to death.
In a letter addressed to the FDA newly appointed Managing Director, Rudolph Merab the employees said they were disgracefully discharged from the entity after being made to sign a waiver and release agreement against their will on August 7, 2018.
The employees complained that they signed an agreement with an understanding that their retirement packages were being made available by the government of Norway, yet they have not received a penny; but admitted that out of the 66 retirees who signed the release and waiver document, only 32 persons were paid and honored at an elaborate program held on December 21, 2018.
It can be recalled that the government of Norway provided a total of US$1.2M to FDA excluding the provision of over US$ 2, 000 for operations to honorably retire men who had rendered services to the government of Liberia at the level of the FDA for more than 25 years.
Their letter continued, “The irony here is that the fund meant to retire us did not come from the coffers of the Government of Liberia, but a foreign government, who in a Godly attitude chose to retire us honorably.” They said since 2018 all efforts exerted with prominent personalities and the Foundation for Human Rights Defense, the House committee on Agriculture and Forestry as well as the Ministry of labour to get redress fell on bad soil.
“Some of our members are sick and have nothing to seek medical attention and some have died out of frustration”, they stated further.
“Our children are out of schools; all our youthful days were spent working for FDA; we were treated by the then administration as if our contributions were useless” they concluded.

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