The leadership of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Bayelsa State has commended Governor Seriake Dickson for his intervention in the payment of salaries of local government workers in the state.
Local government workers had been experiencing salary delays in the state but will start to receive their salaries from Monday in the first installment to ascertain genuine workers and thereafter subsequent payments will follow as government is determined to clear backlog of salaries.
In a statement on Sunday by NULGE Secretary, Tonye Jaja, the union noted that but for the timely intervention of Governor Dickson, it would have been difficult to access the funds meant for payment of council workers.
He praised the governor for withholding the release of council funds and securing a bailout fund to the tune of N1.2 billion to support the salary payment of workers, a strategic decision, he said, was made by Dickson in the twilight of the administration of the immediate past local chairmen. This step, he also stated, helped the councils to save the sum of N3.5 billion.
“So rather than castigate the governor, NULGE is calling on its members to show appreciation to Governor Seriake Dickson. The N3.5 billion saved in the councils account is what will be used to pay the outstanding salaries of workers. So from Monday payment of all genuine workers of the various councils will begin. All workers are therefore encouraged to cooperate and keep to the directive of government on the mode of payment so as to avoid payment to ghost workers. Genuine workers have nothing to fear once they come forward with their proper documents”.
Jaja further stated that the first payment would be a demonstration payment “to ascertain real workers considering the enormous fraud”, he said, had characterized the payroll system of the state public service over time, particularly in the local government.
“After the payment for the first month, payments for the subsequent months will follow. Workers should be rest assured that they will be paid in full and the payment will continue without further delay”, he assured.