Bayelsa Government Goes Tough Against Civil Servants, Introduces Strict Policy

The Bayelsa State Government has said it will begin a ‘no work no pay’ policy on Tuesday, to guide against abuse of rights and privileges by the state workforce.

The government added that henceforth, absenteeism would attract summary dismissal.

The Secretary to the State Government, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff, stated this at the end of Governor Seriake Dickson’s interactive session with the members of the State Executive Council, heads of department and agencies of government, permanent secretaries and top government functionaries.

A Government House statement quoted Dokubo-Spiff as saying that the government could no longer condone acts of indiscipline on the part of workers.

He said the governor had directed that attendance registers should be opened in all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, adding that any worker who did not come to work for a day or two would face summary dismissal.

The SSG stated, “The malady of absenteeism in the state civil service must stop. There are attendance registers to be monitored in all the MDAs and the people assigned to monitor the registers are going to be monitored likewise.’’

Dokubo-Spiff said the implementation of the new civil service reform was aimed at checking the age-long fraudulent and sharp practices in the state civil service including over-bloated wage bill and age falsification.

According to him, payment of over N5bn monthly wage bill by the state and local government areas can no longer be sustained, lamenting the numerous developmental challenges confronting the state.

He added, ‘’Continued payment of over N5bn monthly wage bill to workers is impacting negatively on the finances of the state. Government can no longer meet its other financial obligation including infrastructural development.

‘’In order to reduce the over-bloated wage the state is being confronted with, all hands must be on deck. Wage bill fraudsters need to be checked. Also, those falsifying age and document in order to remain in the service will be shown the exit door.

‘’The civil service reform should not be misunderstood. It is not aimed at relieving workers of their jobs, rather it is geared towards checking fraudulent and sharp practices.’’

As part of the present administration’s effort to boost its Internally Generated Revenue, the SSG said that payment of taxes was now mandatory for public and civil servants.

According to him, if the state must move forward, there is need to look inward, the era of relying solely on monthly allocation from the Federation Account should become a thing of the past.

In addition to this, Dokubo-Spiff announced that the state driving school would become operational soon, calling on Bayelsans who were interested in learning how to drive “to take up the opportunity as there are seasoned trainers who are ready to train them professionally.”

Commenting on the education sector, he disclosed that government had resolved to introduce an education trust fund and Bayelsans were expected to pay education tax/levy, adding that it should not be seen as signpost to closing door on free education.

Throwing more light on this development, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, said education levy was different from free education as promised by the government.

He stated that students in the higher institutions of learning could access the facility in form of loans to fund their education and pay back at the end of their studies when they secure employment.

He further stated that MDAs, would as from the month of January be given monthly imprest as running cost for the smooth operation of their various agencies to enhance efficiency.

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