Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake  Dickson says priority attention
will be accorded payment of arrears of salaries owed workers, as soon
as the government receives the second tranche of the Paris Club loan
Represented by his deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd),
the Governor gave the assurance, during this year’s Workers Day
Celebration at the Peace Park in Yenagoa.
Governor Dickson, who noted that, the refund was being expected two
weeks ago, however, said there were hurdles in accessing the funds,
which was beyond the control of the state government.
Assuring workers of the government’s commitment to their welfare, he
promised that, payment of the backlog of their arrears would be done
in phases to assuage the plight of civil servants.
On primary school teachers salaries, the Governor acknowledged the
inability of local government councils to pay salaries, but noted
that, the state government would do its best to complement their
efforts to address the problem within available resources.
His words: “The reality on the ground is that it is not possible to
meet all the demands. But, the Governor has promised that after
satisfying ourselves about the exact requirements of the teachers in
the primary schools, we will now work out a ratio on how much the
state government will take on.”
“To this end, a committee has already been set up so that before the
end of this month, we will work out a ratio which will depend not only
on the requirements but also on the capacity of the state government
to take on that responsibility.”
Reacting to the issue of workers training, Governor Dickson said,
workers would benefit from various training programmes when the newly
established public service training institute takes off fully.
While quoting statistics from the Administrative Staff College of
Nigeria, ASCON, he pointed out that, Bayelsa civil service was
adjudged among the best in the country.
Describing security as the major responsibility of the federal
government, the governor, however, restated his administration’s
comitment to strenghten the security outfit, ‘Operation Doo Akpo’
through the provision of facilities and other logistics for optimal
performance of the security outfit.
In a joint address by the state chapters of the Nigeria Labour
Congress and the Trade Union Congress presented by Comrade John Ndiomu
of the NLC, the unions hailed the state government, particularly in
the areas of infrastructure and educational development.
They also applauded the government for the approval of funds for the
conduct of promotion exercises from 2015 to date.
The organised labour also raised a number of issues ranging from
non-payment of gratuities for retirees from 2013 to date, delay in
payment of workers salaries, backlog of salaries and allowances for
government media workers among others.