Minister Samuel D. Tweah (pictured) explained that the significant share in the increase of the wage of central government came from the health pool drive of US$11 million.-But Sen Morais challenges Min Tweah over number of people currently employed In what appeared to be a rebuttal to Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah’s disclosure of the number of persons employed by this Government, Senator H. Dan Morais on Thursday, September 5, 2019, told Senate plenary that government has employed additional 14,800 on its payroll, and not 1,200 as claimed the Minister.Senator Morais, cross-examining the Finance Minister who has been on the witness stand for three days, reminded him (Tweah) that, based on his own survey, “the grand total of employees to include public and civil servants at this moment is about 71,800.”The Maryland County Senator furthered that in 20 months, “if we can be truthful and honest to ourselves, we could graduate from where are. I took what you presented us on Tuesday home and put it under the microscope and I noticed from my simple arithmetic, and from a document sourced from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the IMF and the World Bank, that this thing though partially true, there are lots of omissions.”Senator Morais, a former Superintendent and Minister of Internal Affairs, put it to Minister Tweah that, after all the interventions, “this government, under your watch has employed an additional 14,800 persons instead of 1,000, instead of 2000 or 3000.”Morais continued: “Taken from your own analysis, by January 2018, total monthly wage bill for the public sector, including civil servants hovered between 21.6 million to 22.5 million.”Still grilling the embattled Minister, Senator Morais further observed that by the end of fiscal year 2017/2018, “total public sector compensation increased to US$308.6 million, this is principally credited to the government policy of additional employment and pay increases. By this time, as of June 2019, this is what we have — a payroll with approximately, including civil servants, 72,000, instead of what is being presented to us.”The soft but outspoken Senator further put it that the total number of public sector workers as of January 2018 stood at 57,000, including public servants of 44,000, “but when you tie that to what you have done over the last two years, the variance and employment we see here says you have employed 14,800 new persons to our payroll, that’s what our figure shows.”However, responding to the Senator’s cross-examination, Minister Tweah firstly bragged that, besides being an economist, he graduated Magna Cum Laude in mathematics from the University of Liberia. He displayed through power-point what he claimed to be the authoritative figure from central government which shows that 70,000 workers as of January 2018 in all of the government systems, which includes 43,000 civil servants plus 25,000 people on general allowance, central government.Minister Tweah explained that the significant share in the increase of the wage of central government came from the health pool drive of US$11 million; and the government hired the rest of the people. “It is not mathematically possible in any one fiscal year for this central government to employ 14,800 persons on payroll.”The heated argument to determine the correct number of government employees as of January 2018 to June 2019, ensued between Minister Tweah and Senator Morais.Senator Morais then reminded Minister Tweah that the IMF intervention came about when that institution observed that the government wage analysis/bill was way up, it suggested that it needs to be harmonized. “Let’s be fair and honest to ourselves in how we treat this matter; Ghanaians years ago stood in line to buy sardines, what we are using now as our litmus test, but they were honest and fair to themselves; once we identify our problem and speak to it, we can find a way to solve it. If we have added 14,800 persons,,let’s defend why we added 14,800, we can’t stay in the state of denial.”Meanwhile, the Minister was relieved from the witness stand, through a motion proffered by Senator J. Alphonso Gaye.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.To Segura, fighting graffiti means more than arresting vandals. “That’s just putting a Band-Aid on the situation. I want to get to the root of the situation whatever it is,” he said. Segura believes in getting parents and schools involved. “I feel there’s a lot of things we need to do. Intervention programs, be more available to parents if they need more help,” he said. Segura said if he can’t solve the parents’ problems, he refers them to agencies that can. He shares information with the schools and they do the same with him. “We all help each other,” Segura said. He belongs to a graffiti task force that meets to discuss the latest graffiti trends, partners with other agencies like juvenile probation and keeps tabs on what other police departments are doing. The key words are networking and sharing resources. “Again it’s getting to the root of the problem, not just arresting the person,” he said. Segura is a 12-year veteran of the Police Department whose prior assignment included the gang beat. He is part of the Special Enforcement Team. Segura is called in on every graffiti arrest, according to Lt. Bryan Ellis. He said the officer interviews the person, finds out the tag names, discovers who is in the tagging crews and logs it in a database. While Segura is not the first officer to focus on graffiti enforcement, Ellis said he has broadened the job’s role. He said Segura is more proactive with the schools, is working more with school resource officers and officials. “He’s doing an excellent job,” Ellis said. “It’s far more than arresting the kids. We don’t want them to start (tagging).” Segura said he wants intervention programs to help parents and students and is working with the schools. He recently gave a presentation educating parents about gangs and graffiti at Whittier College. He also wants to go to court to find out how the city can get restitution. The Police Department is also getting more active in juvenile probation searches. Whittier spends an increasing amount to remove graffiti every year. In 2003, graffiti removal cost the city $181,314. Compare that to $283,465 as of June this year. Larry Trujillo, executive director of the Whittier Uptown Association, said it’s hard enough for business owners to maintain property before they go out and see graffiti on their buildings. While one can paint over tagging, he said removing etchings is expensive and could include replacing glass. Mayor Owen Newcomer said graffiti is a big problem because it gives an area a bad image. It costs money to clean up and it happens on a regular basis. “It’s just aggravating the lack of respect to the appearance of the neighborhood and the lack of respect to the property,” Newcomer said. He likens taggers to a more familiar household pest. “Graffiti vandals are like the gophers in my yard. There are not a lot of them but they are busy,” Newcomer said. One of the ways the city fights graffiti is to offer a $500 reward to anyone reporting a vandal who gets arrested for graffiti. The program is so successful, Newcomer said, that they’ve nearly used up the amount budgeted for the reward and will be replenishing the pot. Since the program started in spring, the city has handed out 33 checks. The Whittier Uptown Association also offers a $500 reward if the person is arrested and convicted. That pertains to graffiti committed within the Uptown district’s 33 blocks, Trujillo said. firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER- Officer Frank Segura is a pivotal person in the city’s fight against anyone with the itch to scribble on walls or etch windows. The 35-year-old is tasked with coordinating the Police Department’s graffiti enforcement efforts. He oversees the “Graffiti Tracker” cameras as well as two other cameras placed at locations where graffiti is increasing to capture taggers in action. Graffiti Tracker is a computerized tracking system. It creates a databank of graffiti tags, which can then be traced by police to a specific tagger. Photos from the other cameras called “Q-star” are downloaded to a laptop and are used for identification, prosecution and restitution, police said.