In the second part of the interview, President Isaias elaborated some domestic issues such as new minimum wage, housing, development programs that are on the pipeline, etc.
Highlights of the interview as noted by Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel :
In the 2nd part of the interview with local press, President Isaias elaborated on underlying rationale & phased implementation of new Salary scale in Civil Service; housing programes for 2020; infrastructural undertakings to enhance wealth creation & priority development projects for 2020.
On the new Salary Scale under phased implementation, President Isaias noted that speculative and illicit trading practices and the ensuing inflationary pressures had rendered the old Salary Scale almost nominal.
In the event, the GOE introduced, in tandem with redemption of the Nacfa (national currency), a new five-tier Salary Scale ranging from 1,800 Nkf for the lowest rung, to 4,000 Nkf for 1st Degree holders as starting benchmarks pending full appraisal of CPI & other vital economic parameters.
Discrepancies in implementation that may have cropped up in the past for those in the lowest rung will be rectified this year in retroactive manner, President Isaias underlined. Remaining phase will be implemented with the completion of ongoing study on relevant economic variables.
On housing, President Isaias noted GOE lofty objectives of launching/incrementally expanding nation-wide programme of home ownership was not successful in spite of various initiatives. GOE will pursue this objective with vigour but focus for 2020 is completion of those already underway.
On investment, President Isaias stated that central objective is wealth creation anchored on fair distribution of earned revenues. In this sense, GOE policy is not skewed in favour of big capital & attaches equal importance to lone or small farmer/pastoralist and other segments of society.
GOE primary focus remains ensuring conducive environment for wealth creation by addressing infrastructural bottlenecks; i.e.rehabilitation/expansion of vital road networks; securing adequate power supply to eliminate outages and ensuring availability of efficient/effective manpower.
Prioritized development projects for 2020 take into account broader regional cooperation frameworks that are being nurtured. They include: rehabilitation/upgrading/expansion of Massawa/Assab Ports and main road arteries; Solar energy as well as Tio Cement Factory & Potash mining.
President Isaias reiterated GOE’s overarching policy of attaching highest priority to human capital. In this sense, the education system is under review to imbue the youth with employable skills; eliminate wastage; and ensure optimal alignment with the country’s development objectives.