THE, Bayelsa State Government, yesterday, started moves to implement reforms in the state’s civil service.
Deputy Governor Gboribiogha Jonah said during a press conference in Yenagoa that the government had withheld the salaries of 4204 suspects from the eight local government areas for the month of October, 2017
According to him, 1, 329 òf the affected workers are from the local government areas; 2184 from the Primary School Education system and 707 from the Pension payroll.
Jonah also said that all those who were recruited without authorization from the relevant agencies would be affected.
He listed the persons to include those working with computer generated certificates; those working and receiving salaries from multiple agencies of government, those enjoying indefensible promotions in contradiction to civil service rules; pension fraudsters and age falsifiers among others.
He stated for instance that the panel investigating the payroll fraud also uncovered 34 persons who were found to have given themselves indefensible promotions in flagrant violation of civil service rules. Some workers on level 4 in 2011 were found to have promoted themselves to Grade level level 14 in 2012 with computer generated certificate.
He said that the state government had established a judicial commission of inquiry headed by a retired Judge, Justice Doris Adokeme, which would be open to hearing complaints on Monday.
“There is massive payroll fraud in the state and the situation is such that are some are earning double salaries; there are retired people in the payroll; those who promote themselves, and several retired personnel. In fact over 700 retired personnel are still in the payroll. With effect from today, salaries of such suspected persons are suspended. For those receiving salaries from multiple agencies, we will not pay you by If you prove it that you are a genuine workers your salary would be paid,’’ he said.
Earlier, in an interview with journalists in Yenagoa, the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, stressed that the Government would not allow a sustenance of the payroll roll fraud believed to have held down the state over the years.
Iworiso-Markson was reacting to a recent three-day ultimatum issued by the National Union of Local Government Employees over a purported attempt by the state to sack 6000 workers in the local government system.
He stressed that NULGE’s attack on the person of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Rt. Hon. Talford Ongolo, was nothing different from a surreptitious attempt to arm-twist the government to abandon the comprehensive implementation of the reform process in the state.
Iworiso-Markson lamented that the efforts of a few criminal-minded individuals had been depriving the state of over N12 billion annually.