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Bayelsa recovers N2.2bn from public sector reforms

Published by The Nation on Wed, 17 Apr 2019

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, Wednesday said that the ongoing reforms in the states public sector had so far led to the recovery of N2.2bn annually in the state.Dickson spoke during a meeting of labour leaders, members of the Post Primary Schools Board and Association of All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), in Yenagoa.The governor in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, said 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.He said that the government had so far recovered N53million per month from the mainstream civil service and N134million from discrepancies in salaries of secondary school teachers and principals.The governor commended the labour unions for supporting the reforms designed to stop the endemic payroll fraud in the public service.He said the money saved from the exercise could be committed to the development of the education sector to enhance service delivery.He lauded the efforts of workers verification committee led Dr. Josephine Igodo for its commitment and diligence and expressed optimism that more funds would be recovered by the end of the exercise.Dickson vowed to ensure a holistic implementation of the civil service rules and directed immediate identification and retirement of those above the statutory retirement age.Read Also:Police promote PPRO, 71 others in BayelsaThe governor further approved the payment of the arrears of N18,000 minimum wage owed secondary school teachers and directed the release of N50million monthly with effect from April for 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.The governor called on teachers to also reciprocate governments 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 governments efforts would yield more results by the end of the exercise.He noted that withheld teachers salaries would be paid into a special account, Unpaid Salaries Account, pending when they had been duly verified.In her remarks, the Executive Secretary to the Post Primary Schools Board, Dr. Blessing Ikuru, commended 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 (NUT), Kalama Tonpre and President of ANCOPSS, Mrs. Christiana Ezetu applauded Dickson for promoting professionalism and welfare of workers in the state.
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