Bayelsa spends N10b on arrears of N18, 000 minimum wage, gratuity …. Saves N800m from staff audit
The Bayelsa state government says, it has paid a whopping N10 billion as arrears of the N18,000 minimum wage as well as pensions and gratuities, it inherited from the Timipre Sylva administration.
Similarly, the government has also saved over N800 million over the past two years in savings by weeding out ghost workers from its payroll.
Chief press secretary to Governor Seriake Dickson, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who made these reveallations in a press statement, stated that, the gains recorded were a confirmation of the Governor’s believe that a worker is worthy of his wages, which informed the decision of government to plug all loopholes that constituted a drain on its purse.
“Governor Dickson believes that workers who have worked should be paid accordingly. We therefore, have no place for ghost and absentee workers,” he said.
“We have reduced the state’s monthly wage bill from over N5 billion, when we came on board, to less N4.4b for the workers, pensioners and political appointees. Thus saved over N800 million in two years,” added the spokesman.
He explained that, the current wage bill of N4.4b included over five biannual promotions for workers and their salary arrears, stressing that, the state government has spent over N6b in clearing the backlog of the N18,000 minimum wage arrears owed workers by the Sylva administration.
“Another N4b arrears on gratuities carried over from the previous government is also being paid by this government,” remarked the CPS.
According to Mr. Iworiso-Markson, the payments by the Dickson administration, was a demonstration of the administration’s commitment to the well-being of its workers.
He condemned and dismissed as false, the allegations that, the recently introduced biometric exercise at the state and local government levels were designed to witch-hunt certain workers, noting that, it was the figment of the imagination of mischief makers, as no worker in the state has complained of any form of victimization or that his or her legitimate earnings have not been paid.
The CPS wondered why biometric exercises that are commonplace worldwide, would become a subject of controversy in Bayelsa State.
He also used the opportunity to debunk reports that, N5m was being paid to the biometrics contractor, per local government area, arguing that, the benefits of the exercise to the state, by far outweighs the cost.
His words, “as an exercise with a human face, the biometrics exercise is not blind to workers who have legitimate reasons to be off their duty posts”
He described opponents of the biometrics as members of the syndicate the exercise has blocked from feeding fat on the millions generated from ghost workers.
“We knew they would fight back. It is no longer business as usual. Having stopped the free millions they make every month, you don’t expect them to give you a hug. They are like a beheaded serpent, and they would continue to spew venom,” he declared.
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