On Monday, May 5, 2014.
The Bayelsa State Government has pledged to build a befitting Secretariat Complex to house the State Councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
Governor Seriake Dickson announced this at the weekend during a dinner party put together by the state government in honour of workers, noting that the gesture was part of measures aimed at improving their welfare and conditions of service in the state.
The Governor, who was full of appreciation to the state workforce for their contributions to the achievements of his administration, said the government has also begun the process of setting funds aside for the building of the Public Service Training Institute to ensure the successful take-off and completion of the project in record time.
He said, “I’ve had a discussion with your leaders and they asked me for a parcel of land to enable them build a befitting secretariat for the NLC and TUC. Not only did I grant that request, but I have also granted what they did not asked for, which is that your government will take the responsibility of building and handing over of your secretariat as part of our own little way of telling you how much we appreciate the relationship that exists between us, which is very cordial and I want us to keep it so.
For the training institute, he noted, I’ve already started the process of setting some funds aside and now waiting for the preliminary designs and decisions to be taken, so that we can all go and lay the foundation of what will be the apex training institution of our workers in the public service.
According to the Governor, the project when completed, would afford workers in the public service the opportunity to acquire quality training and requisite competencies to carry out their duties.
“Our expectation going forward is that every category of worker in our public service must past through that institution even before you will qualify for promotion. I know that, it is fairly harsh, but that tells you our dream of an efficient, effective and resilient public service that is alive to its responsibilities, he said.
On the issue of pension and gratuities, Governor Dickson urged the affected retirees to be patient, as the government was doing everything within its reach to clear the backlog it inherited.
Reaffirming his determination to leaving behind a well motivated and result-oriented Civil Service, the state Chief Executive, however cautioned workers to be diligent and non-partisan in the discharge of their duties.
His words, “when I showed up at the May Day Rally, I made a point that because we are going into an increasingly political season, there is need for organised Labour to be more conscious of political influences in the decision making process.
We (the politicians) have a way of agreeing and disagreeing, but you in the organised labour as our landlord need to be far from the fray and obey one of the most sacred ethics of the civil service, which is to be obedient to the political masters of the day and to be completely apolitical, because anything short of this will endanger the service and even your career.
In their separate remarks, the Head of Service, Sir Fraser Okuoru and State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mrs. Ebiuwou Koku-Obiyai, described the Governor as Labour-friendly and assured him of better working relationship.