NHA Rejects Media Report That Its Boss ‘Illegally Downsized’ 118 Employees

Hon. Celia Cuffy-Brown, Managing Director – NHA

 

The management of the National Housing Authority (NHA) firmly rejects media report that its Managing Director, Celia Cuffy-Brown has illegally downsized 118 employees of the agency, terming the alleged act of the Managing Director as in ‘Defiant’ to authority.

Speaking to journalists over the weekend at her Capitol Hill office, Madam Cuffy-Brown decisively reacted to the report which was published in the October 28, 2021 edition of the Front Page Africa Newspaper entitled ‘Celia Cuffy Brown Accused of Being Defiant over Reinstatement of 118 Employees Illegally Downsized’.

Making this clarification to reporters, Madam Cuffy-Brown said the information being circulated in the media by the FPA is misleading, and has no iota of truth, but rather intended to damage the hard-earned reputation of individuals who are performing their respective duties well in government.

She said when people make bad managerial decision it doesn’t only affect entity but affect the government and those who are aggrieved, recounting that when she got appointed as Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), the first thing she did was to peruse employees’ payroll and financial records, stressing that she met in the coffers of the entity US$341.00.00 with LD11,600.00, and US$50,000.00 in escrow account, this she noted was the only money left in the account of the NHA.

 

Explaining further to reporters in a rather disappointing mood as a result of the publication, the NHA MD said her predecessor hired 118 people to work without consultation with Civil Service Agency (CSA) and the Ministry of Finance and Development, Planning (MFDP), a situation she noted has wrongly overwhelmed the entity due to financial constraint.

She said the MFDP is co-funding the payroll of the NHA, for this reason, the NHA could not hire anybody on its own unless through CSA, and when CSA approves that person’s name will be sent to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to be captured on the payroll.

She also disclosed that 133 people who were with the entity but were not on government’s payroll, and 133 employees who are on government’s payroll, wondering as to how this can be reconciled to pay 118 people who were not captured on the CSA payroll which is considered as the general payroll.

Madam Cuffy-Brown in rejecting such report, noted that her immediate predecessors, arbitrarily hired people without going through the appropriate channel. Had the former Managing Director hired in consultation with Civil Service Agency, the entity responsible for hiring government employees, the names of the 118 aggrieved workers hired by the former Managing Director would have been sent to Ministry of Finance Development and planning.

Upon approval of these 2 entities responsible for hiring and payroll, the aggrieved 118 aggrieved would have been added to the NHA Payroll funded by MFDP. With the Financial Status of NHA mentioned supra with no other income allotted to the NHA by the MFDP, the NHA does not have income to pay employee outside of the payroll funded by the MFDP.

With this being said, Hon. Celia Cuffy Brown made all efforts to rectify the error of the former Managing Director, by engaging the Board of Directors which statutory members are: The Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Finance Development Planning, The Civil Service Agency, the Ministry of Lands and Mines and the Liberia Land Authority. “Our primary concern when we took over was to reawaken  a dormant NHA which we know has the potential to generate its own income, thereby when made profitable, could fund its own payroll. The Board of Directors made the decision to management, mandating them to pay the 118 aggrieved workers who were not captured on MFDP Payroll for two months and let them go. Unless they were captured on the general payroll funded by the MFDP, we don’t generate money to be able to pay them. The remedy given by the Board of Directors of the NHA was the mandate that was executed by the Management. Although, the CSA and the MFDP who are members of the Board of Directors of NHA could have chosen to remedy the situation by adding the 118 workers to the NHA Payroll funded by MFDP, however, their decision as a Board was to downsize these workers since they were not hired through the appropriate Channel.”

Meanwhile, the NHA Managing Director says she is disappointed in the form and manner in which the FPA publication has branded her of being the factor behind the 118 contractors who are demanding full employment without getting the actual facts. The Ministry of Labor being cognizant of the fact that NHA payroll was being funded by MFDP through CSA, should have made their decision to rehire the aggrieved, through the CSA and the MFDP.

The NHA MD, Celia Cuffy Brown concluded she and her team at the entity is focused on new projects being executed by its partners, and new investor’s interest in working with the George Weah government through the NHA. It is the President’s hope that Liberians are gainfully employed. The MD is in solidarity with the 118 person involved, and is in communications with the CSA, MFDP and Labor Ministry to amicably resolve the matter.

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 13584 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
Contact: Website

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