The Civil Service Reforms organised by the Bayelsa State Government under the leadership of hon. henry Seriake Dickson which has generated a lot of controversies among the civil servant and stakeholders in the state that led to protest in some quarters has finally been put to rest.
To clear the doubt in the mind of the people that the government was ready to sack anybody, the commissioner for information And Orientation, hon. Markson-iworiso Daniel took the bull by the horn and organised a Town hall Meeting to sensitize the people of the state on the need to embrace the ongoing reforms by the Restoration Government.
e town hall meeting which was held across the eight local government areas of the state actually began with Yenagoa local government council an event which took place at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Center witnessed a large
turn out of yenagoa people that comprises of epie and Atisa.
e organiser of the programme and the commissioner for information and orientation, hon. Markson-iworiso Daniel while given the brief and the essence of the town hall meeting said the reforms has come to stay and Bayelsans must collectively come together to redeemed the state. he said the state is still way behind and the governor is determined to move the state forward and redeem it from the terrible rot.
The commissioner believes that due to the ongoing reforms other states are seeing bayelsa as a role model .
“ The reforms must be taken seriously if we want the state to move forward. Nobody will be sacked but you can sack yourself if you are found wanting in any of the fraudulent activities.”
The state government believes that the rot in the civil service system in the state and at the local government level was alarming hence they need to take a proactive measure to save the state from total collapse. he further said the system was bedevil with certificate forggery, multiple salaries, over age and other fraudulent activities in the civil service.
“ Though the reforms might be painful but it will bring forth joy because it will create an employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth roaming the street and it will in turn reduce crime rate in the state.
The governor has ordered the immediate employment of 1000 bayelsans into the state civil service an exercise the commissioner said will be transparent and their will be no back door opportunities from any political appointees.”
The state government therefore through the commissioner for information and orientation want the collaboration of the people of the state to make the reforms work.
Mr. Iworiso said the liability gratuity of pensioners in the state is #20 billion because many of the beneficiaries that have dead some years back are still receiving gratuity through their family members. “For two years now his excellency has asked us the political appointee to also sacrifice and since then we have been receiving half salaries just to make sure the state move forward and we want every hand to be on deck and join in the reforms.”
He believes that some civil servant in the state are colluding with the politicians to defraud the state. “We met a salary wage bill of #6billion when we came in 2012 but it has been reduced drastically to a little above #3billion due to the reforms carried out. if we want our state to be fully develop like other developed state in the world then we must be ready to do the right thing at least for the future generations”.
In his welcome address, the chairman of Yenagoa local Government Area, hon. Oforg Oboku, said when he was appointed as the caretaker committee chairman of the council met a salary wage bill of over #90 million with a staff strength of 1,368 but has reduced drastically due to the reforms thereby saving over N11million monthly while that of primary school teachers was 1,483 staff with wage bill of over N100million has been reduced to a little above N70million thereby saving over N41million monthly and that has enable
the council to carried out some gigantic projects across the council. Oforg said the reforms has given hope to bayelsans and yenagoa local government in particular.
“Our amiable governor henry Seriake Dickson also encourage all the chairmen to embark on the same reforms at the local government level which has yielded a great result and we have made significant progress through the effort of the governor.
The council is not only to pay salaries but to also embark on some social amenities and other peoples oriented project that will impact the life of the people at the local level.” Other speakers includes the traditional rulers, opinion leaders, students and youth representative, women representative amongst the rest lend their voice in support of the reforms but that government should also look inward in fighting against the rot in the system because most of the act are been perpetrated by those in government and also want the reforms to have element of human face.
According to them the reforms is the best that have ever happened to bayelsa state. e train of the reforms also landed in Brass local government area of the state to also sensitize the people to embrace the reforms so that government at state and local government level can better the life of the people by embarking on peoples oriented projects. Some of the stakeholders who spoke said the reforms is the best thing that ever happened to bayelsans.
They said the governor thought it wise to make things better for the future generation and if nothing is done now to correct the anomalies the future will be bleak. According to them the reforms will bring about development, better life and other benefits.
They therefore appeal to Bayelsans to see it from positive perspective. They believe that before now nobody was ready to cleans the rot in the system until the governor henry Seriake Dickson came onboard and decided to take the bull by the horn to sanitize the system.
While given his welcome address and the gains of the reforms, the caretaker committee chairman of brass local government, Hon. Victor Isaiah, said he meant the total wage bill of N72million but due to the reforms has reduced toN64million while that of teachers salaries was #44million but #42million thereby saving the sum of #10million monthly and that has enable them to complete the primary school project and some toilet facilities among the rest. Other local government areas includes Sagbama, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Nembe, Ogbia, Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw, and they spoke in support of the reforms.