The Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, on Thursday directed implementation of the report of the State Committee on the Civil Service Reforms in the state.
Dickson said that the payroll must be cleaned to prevent fraudulent characters who are not qualified to receive salaries from the state government from being paid.
The Governor said that the younger generation of unemployed graduates in Bayelsa could only be given gainful employment if the issue of the endemic payroll fraud was dealt with in a decisive manner.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser to Governor Dickson on Media Relations, Mr. FIdelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as having made the comment while speaking at an interactive session with Labour leaders in Yenagoa on Thursday.
He stressed that Bayelsa under his leadership will not be for the payment of salaries to non deserving people.
He said that the scarce resources of the state 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 (State and LGAs) because of the detrimental activities of some fraudulent people.
He 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 on the average.
He added further that the recurrent burden on the state had become too high as the Bayelsa Civil Servants earns twice the income of their counterparts in other states of the Federation.
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, those involved in fraudulent practices. Bayelsa cannot be for the payment of salaries to people who don’t deserve 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 the employed so that they can earn their living. I don’t think they would 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 these to would wait to get alert without going to work, 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.”
The Governor also warned that he would not tolerate any complain of inability of the councils to pay salaries in the councils as from January, 2018.
Dickson who said that he would not fund the councils with monies from the state government urged the leadership of the councils to have a workforce which they have the capacity to train, manage and maintain.
“This January, I will not hear that any Council Chairman is not able to pay salaries. I will not also augument your salaries with state money. You are also at liberty to fire those that are not working. You employ them, you are the ones that can fire them.”