It was gathered that the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has said that henceforth, his administration will strictly apply the public service rules in addressing issues affecting workers to ensure discipline and efficiency in the service.
He has, therefore, directed the Secretary to the State Government and the Head of Service to liaise with the Civil Service Commission to ensure that all the names of staff in the public service currently on full-time study leave without approval be expunged from the payroll.
Dickson gave the directive when the Establishment Committee set up to verify the actual staff strength and wage bill of the state government between 2007 and 2015 submitted its report, a Government House statement said on Thursday.
He decried the wastage and loopholes in the public service, noting that the development had constituted a major drain in the finances of the state to the detriment of efficient service delivery.
The governor, who commended members of the committee for their painstaking efforts in carrying out the assignment, said the government would set up a technical committee to study the report.
Dickson said, “Let me assure the state that we are going to do justice to absenteeism. Workers in this state who are collecting salaries without going to work have been bleeding our state for this period and I believe that the time has come to put an end to all of that.
“Now, every naira and kobo coming into this state is important; now that we have dwindling revenues, this is the time to block all wastage and loopholes.
“While we will try our best to fulfil our obligations and liabilities to our workforce, especially those who are doing their job, government from now on will utilise the instrument of this report to ensure that those bad eggs are fished out.
“We are happy that so many people in the public service are desirous of improving themselves and are now going to school, but the directive I give today, here and now as implementation of part of the report is that the Head of Service and the Secretary to the State Government should liaise with the Civil service Commission and ensure that names of all those who are in school on full-time studies should be properly identified and taken out of our payroll.”
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Establishment Committee, Francis Doukpola, said the total number of staff strength as of December 2015 was 14,669, out of which 13,936 were verified, while those not verified were 730.
Doukpola, who noted that the breakdown of the figure was exclusive of staff of the Niger Delta University, the primary and secondary schools, said the committee visited 29 ministries, 30 departments and 31 agencies to physically identify workers.
According to him, the committee also observed some discrepancies between the nominal and payroll of most of the ministries, departments and agencies and advised the government to put in place a monitoring mechanism to ensure that both of them tally at any given point in time to check fraud.
The committee recommended the establishment of a special inspection unit to monitor MDAs and their outfits in the local government areas to check absenteeism, computerisation of MDAs, maintenance of the current salary structure and adherence to public service rules.