Bayelsa recovers N1.8bn from ongoing public sector reforms

Posted by News Express | 17 April 2019 | 1,325 times

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•Governor Dickson

Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Seriake Dickson, on Wednesday said the ongoing reforms in the state public sector was yielding positive results, as his administration has recovered about N2.2 billion annually through the exercise. 

Governor Dickson stated this during a meeting of Labour leaders, members of the Post Primary Schools Board and the Association of All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), in Yenagoa. 

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, stated that, the amount was saved from the ongoing verification exercise in the mainstream civil service and that of the post primary schools in the state.

The Governor said that the government had so far recovered N53million per month from the mainstream civil service and N134 million from discrepancies of salaries (grade levels and steps) of secondary school teachers and principals.

Dickson, who commended the labour unions for supporting the reforms designed to stop the endemic payroll fraud in the public service, said the money saved from the exercise could be committed to the development of the education sector to enhance service delivery.

While commending the efforts of workers verification committee led Dr. Josephine Igodo-led workers verification committee for its commitment and diligence, Governor Dickson expressed optimism that more funds would be recovered by the end of the exercise.

The Governor, who vowed to ensure a holistic implementation of the civil service rules directed immediate identification and retirement of those above the statutory retirement age.

He also approved the payment of the arrears of N18,000 minimum wage owed secondary teachers and directed the release of N50 million monthly with effect from April for that that purpose.

He said: “I will implement the civil service rules to the letter. All those who are beyond the statutory age of retirement in the service should be identified and retired.

“The labour leaders generally have been supportive in these reforms and we have saved this state a lot of money. And I know that by the time we conclude this exercise we will save more than this amount.

“This money will enable me employ more teachers if we want to employ more. All the leakages that were there before have been blocked so that we can serve the people better.

“My predecessor approved the N18, 000 minimum wage and we inherited the arrears. And if we have paid the mainstream civil servants, we must pay the teachers with effect from this month because government is a continuum. Let us make a deposit of N50 million.”

Governor Dickson called on the teachers to also reciprocate government's gesture and the investments made in the education sector by demonstrating dedication and commitment to their teaching profession.

He said that he was optimistic that the government’s efforts would yield more result by the end of the exercise.

The Governor noted that, teachers whose salaries are being withheld would be paid into a special account known as, Unpaid Salaries Account pending when they have been duly verified.

In an interview with Government House Correspondents, the Commissioner for Education, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite, said the state government has lifted the embargo on the promotion of workers which came into effect from 2015.

Also, in her remarks, the Executive Secretary to the Post Primary Schools Board, Dr. Blessing Ikuru, commended Governor Dickson for his efforts at sanitizing the secondary schools.

She said the board was working hard to regularise all discrepancies discovered in the grade levels and steps of teachers’ salaries.

The State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Comrade Kalama Tonpre and President of ANCOPSS, Mrs. Christiana Ezetu applauded Governor Dickson for promoting professionalism and welfare of workers in the state.

 


Source: News Express

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