Photo: Bayelsa workers protesting over unpaid salaries
The 50 per cent payment of salaries to Bayelsa State civil servants had commenced in May, said the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite.
According to Hon. Obuebite, the backlog of arrears would be cleared, whenever funds were made available.
He made the clarification in an interview with journalist on the outcome of the 59th State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.
According to him, the payment of the May salary was in line with the agreement the government had with joint-labour.
Obuebite spoke alongside his counterparts of the Ministries of Agriculture, Local Government Administration, Trade, Industry and Investment.
He assured that, workers would be paid their June salaries at the end of this month.
He added that, depending on the available of funds, the government might decide to also pay another one month arrears.
According to Obuebite, “Council also reviewed the salary payment of civil servants and looked at the compliance of most of the ministries, as a result of the new measures put in place for the payment of salaries.
“We want to proudly tell Bayelsans that all civil servants as at today (Wednesday) have been paid their salaries that we agreed with labour.
“And, we want to appreciate labour for the patience and understanding they have shown to the, government, because, we believe we owe them.
“A labourer deserves his wages and the government is mindful of that.”
The Commissioner noted that, council directed the Ministry of Education to fine tune efforts to facilitate the takeoff of all boarding schools in the state by September this year.
He reiterated the administration’s commitment to its transparency and accountability policy and announced the creation of a website known as “TheBayelsaWatch” to be domiciled in his office where all funds that come into the state’s coffers would be published.
Also in her remarks, the Commissioner for Local Government Administration, Mrs. Agatha Goma said that, pensioners at the council level have been verified and promised that primary school teachers and pensioners would receive their wages next week.
In her words: “It will be recalled that the Pensions Board was instituted about two weeks ago, with a charge to quickly verify pensioners at the local government level; and that, they have done.
“So, by next week pensioners will be paid and by that same week commencing from Monday the next phase of local government workers salaries would be released by the council chairmen.”
Also contributing, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Doode Week, said council resolved to leverage on available credit facilities from the Central Bank and other financial institutions to provide loans to genuine farmers.
On Bayelsa Palm, he said the government was into serious investment talks with private investors.
Some have indicated interest to take advantage of the administration’s commercialization policy, aimed at running the farm in an effective and efficient manner.
Mr. Week expressed hope that, when functional, the Bayelsa Palm would have the capacity to produce optimally.
It will also create more jobs in its downstream and upstream participatory process as well as boost the internally generated revenue base of the State.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP in Bayelsa State has applauded Governor Seriake Dickson for fulfilling his promise to pay 50 percent of the salaries of workers.
The State Chairman of the party, Hon. Moses Cleopas described the development as a manifestation of the people oriented disposition of the administration and the Governor’s personal understanding of the plight of the workers.
He made the commendation, while speaking to journalists in Yenagoa.
He expressed the hope that the action of the Governor would go a long way in further cementing the already existing cordial relationship between the government and labour.
He also appreciating the peaceful and mature conduct of workers in the state.
© Copyright 2015 www.elombah.com. Send eyewitness accounts/reports/articles to email@example.com; follow us on twitter handle @Elombah; like our Facebook page: “Elombah.com”