The Bayelsa Government has reiterated its commitment to end the activities of fraudulent characters in the state’s civil service, while urging the Committee on Reforms to implement its report.
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa made this known in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr Fidelis Soriwei to newsmen in Yenagoa on Friday.
Dickson said the state government was committed to cleaning up its payroll in order prevent fraudulent characters not qualified to receive salaries.
The governor said the younger generation of unemployed graduates in the state could be given gainful employment if the issue of the endemic payroll fraud was dealt with in a decisive manner.
He stressed that the state under his leadership would not be for the payment of salaries to non-deserving people.
Dickson said the scarce resources should be committed to the construction of more roads, bridges, schools, health facilities and others with direct impact on the citizenry.
According to him, while most of the older states in the country have a wage bill of N2 billion, Bayelsa State’s Wage Bill was over N6 billion – both State and local government areas, because of the detrimental activities of some fraudulent people.
The governor lamented that the state had the highest wage bill in spite of its low Internally Generated Revenue base, which he said was N500, 000 million per month.
Dickson said the recurrent burden on the state had become too high as the state’s civil servants earn twice the income of their counterparts in other states. He said by the end of January, implementation of the reforms must commence.
“We should take out all the people who are falsifying their documents and those involved in fraudulent practices. Bayelsa cannot be for the payment of salaries to people who don’t deserve to earn them.
“I want to build more roads, more bridges; clean up the payroll, so that we can clean up the space for the employment of young graduates.
“The young ones must be employed so that they can earn their living. I don’t think they will be like the ones who would be employed and they go to Lagos and Abuja without working.
“We want people who are productive, we should stop the sense of entitlement, the state payroll should be more than amnesty payroll and those who are employed must be trained and must be productive.
“We want to employ more young people in this state, we have to take out the dead woods, we have to get out those who wait to get alert without going to work and those without certificates.
“If we don’t take urgent actions, this state will not be able to produce civil servants with the right ethos to compete with their counterparts in other states.
“We have to work hard to ensure that the state does not grind to a halt. We have to stop crooks from damaging our state.
“However, before we can employ our youths, we should take out all these people who are falsifying documents, those involved in fraudulent practices, those without certificates,’’ he said.
The governor also warned that he would not tolerate any complains of inability of the local government councils to pay salaries from January, 2018.
Dickson, who said he would not fund the councils with monies from the state government, urged the leadership of the councils to retain only the workforce they have the capacity to manage and maintain.
“This January, I don’t want to hear that any council chairman is not able to pay salaries. I will not also augment your salaries with the state money. You are also at liberty to fire those who are not working. You employed them, you are the ones that can fire them,” Dickson said.