The government of Bayelsa State and relevant stakeholders in civil service administration on Wednesday in Yenagoa endorsed a number of reforms aimed at restructuring the public service for effective delivery. The meeting was also aimed at checking the syndrome of ghost workers and other unwholesome practices. While the stakeholders of his commitment to reposition the state public service, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson called for the support of stakeholders in the implementation of the various reforms.
He described as unacceptable, the age long sharp practices in the state civil service, adding that the said payment of over N4 billion monthly wage bill could no longer be sustained. Dickson said that it has impacted negatively on the developmental agenda of the restoration government.
According to him, the meeting was convened to intimate the stakeholders of the financial position of the state and chart a way forward in view of the prevailing economic situation. Some of the reforms as highlighted by the governor and endorsed by the stakeholders in attendance include; approval of N200 million monthly subvention to the state owned Niger Delta University. He stressed that only subventions would be given to tertiary institutions as against the old practice of monthly payment of salary.
Also the state government gave approval of N10 billion for the purpose of upgrading facilities in all its tertiary institutions across the state and also instituted a special Education Safety Corps to ensure the safety of its schools. The governor urged all tertiary institutions to key into government’s vision of adopting a single accounting system to check fraud, stressing that education levy would be introduced for all workers in the state to fund activities in the sector. According to Governor Dickson, as part of the reforms, the state civil service commission will be reconstituted just as government did to that of the local government service commission.
He stressed that further steps would be taken to re-organize the state’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies pointing out that staff with requisite qualifications and skills would be redeployed to relevant ministries and institutions. Also, the state government has created a N10 billion Enterpreneur Development Fund to empower people that may voluntarily opt out of the civil service arising from the re-organization of the service.
The Governor announced that henceforth, the State Environmental Sanitation Authority would be taken out of the mainstream of the civil service, stating that only a few and relevant staff would be deployed on secondment to the authority.
To tackle the problems of absenteeism, and ghost workers syndrome, attendance registers have been introduced in all the MDAs which would be properly monitored by special teams.
The meeting had in attendance, the traditional rulers, captains of Industry, members of the State House of Assembly, top government functionaries, local government chairmen to mention but few.