Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has expressed concern over the poor representation of the state in all cadres of the federal civil service, with a call on the Federal Government to redress the trend which he described as “unfair and inequitable.”
The governor vented his anger during a courtesy call on him by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita in Government House, Yenagoa where he also challenged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to expedite efforts on the completion of the ongoing federal secretariat project in the state.
According to him, available employment statistics reveal that Bayelsa ranks among few states that suffer under-representation in all cadres of the Federal civil service.
He stated that at present, Bayelsa State does not have any federal permanent secretary.
Dickson therefore solicited the support of the HoS in the desire of the state to have a fair share in the distribution of employment and appointment slots.
The governor said, “We will like you to give us listening ears as we make the case for a fair and equitable representation in all cadres of the public service of the federation. A case in point is the absence of a permanent secretary from Bayelsa State in the Federal Civil Service.
“As you are more aware than I am, since the retirement of Amb. (Dr) Godknows Igali, our state is now one of the few states that does not have representation at that level. I don’t believe it is deliberate. But, I will like to call your attention to that, because you are also a member of the Federal Executive Council.”
While congratulating Mrs Oyo-Ita on her appointment, Dickson expressed the readiness of the state government to partner with her office in driving his administration’s policies on the welfare of public servants, particularly in the areas of housing and training programmes.
He said the government has already acquired large expanse of land in some strategic areas of the state capital, Yenagoa and would collaborate with reputable development partners to build affordable residential houses for civil servants.
Speaking on the federal secretariat project, Governor Dickson stressed the need for the Federal Government to make necessary sacrifices in the face of the current economic hardship to ensure its completion.
He said the completion of the federal secretariat would free the state government from the extra burden of providing office accommodation for almost all the federal agencies domiciled in the state.
Earlier, the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, lauded the level of infrastructural development and peaceful environment put in place by the Restoration Government of Dickson.
The HoS who said she was in the Bayelsa State to attend the marriage of her son, expressed determination of government to effect a paradigm shift in documentation, and in the welfare of the civil servants, especially in the areas of housing, training, regular payment of salaries and allowances as well as post-pension life.
“I want to leave behind a deep and lasting change in the culture of the service and the people operating it. I’m looking at developing a character change and a civil service that will act in line with the ethics of the service, efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen-centred”, she emphasised.