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Salary Reduction For NAWEC Staff- Wither Fairness And Justice?

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Demba Ali Jawo, Former Minister Of Information

The report of the Commission on State-Owned Enterprises which was submitted to President Adama Barrow on Wednesday contained some quite unprecedented recommendations, including a 5 percent reduction of salaries for staff of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) for its failure to meet “Key Performance Indicators (KPI) targets set for 2021-2022.”

Whatever the terms and conditions of the performance contract that the government signed with NAWEC were, it is hard to see how the staff could be collectively liable for the institution’s failure to meet its targets. Therefore, reducing their salaries would tantamount to a collective punishment. It would have made more sense if the sanctions affected only the top echelons of the institution who should be directly held responsible for the company’s performance rather than the lower level staff who have no control over its management and direction.

It is also worth noting that the present Minister of Energy was either the managing director or holding quite a senior position during most of the period under review, and yet despite NAWEC’s dismal performance, President Barrow still went ahead to elevate him to the position of minister in charge of the same institution.

Therefore, the question that many people tend to ask is whether Minister Nani Juwara would also lose 5 percent of his salary as former MD of NAWEC, otherwise, it would be quite unfair to punish the rest of the staff when he as head of the institution at the time is exempted. That would be the height of injustice.

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