*Says ‘we should be commended, not condemned’
The Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson has faulted media reports over nonpayment of salaries of civil servants in the state for two months.
He described them as the height of mischief and irresponsibility.
According him, the journalists who authored the stories were playing out the script of some disgruntled politicians.
Those politicians “have decided not to see anything good in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led state administration.”
This was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson.
He said some of the journalists reporting the story were taking undue advantage of the liberal and media friendly posture of the government.
Dickson said the governments of some states owe salary arrears of up to 8, 9 and even 10 months, which the journalists have deliberately refused to report.
He explained that the Bayelsa Stat government remains one of the least indebted states in terms of salary arrears to its workers in the country.
The governor said his Restoration Government had always fulfilled its salary obligations until after the last elections.
He said that the current failure is occasioned by the free fall in the state’s monthly allocation from the federal government.
He said the government had to borrow a number of times to make up the shortfall to ensure that, salaries are paid.
Dickson said he ought to be commended, instead of the orchestrated condemnation by a section of the mass media.
They “are clearly, doing the bidding of some failed and disgruntled politicians, as well as a few unpatriotic individuals.”
He explained that borrowing to pay salaries was not going to be sustainable.
Rather, the State Government has decided to look inwards by taking steps to strengthen the Internal Revenue Board to improve on the State’s Internally Generated Revenue profile.
According to him, the government was not relenting on meeting its salary commitment to civil servants.
He added that out of the three months, one month has been paid while efforts were being intensified to ensure that, the situation is brought under control.
Dickson calls for the understanding of the people of the State, as the current salary problem was not peculiar to Bayelsa alone.
He said the Federal Government is also finding it extremely difficult to meet up its salary obligation to its workforce.
“The Dickson-led restoration administration in Bayelsa State is focused and the welfare of the workers remains one of our priorities.
“It is high time Bayelsans begin to identify those who really mean well for them and those who want to use them to achieve their own selfish intentions”, the governor said.
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