Bayelsa releases N1.3 bn to pay salaries of LG workers

Yenagoa, March 18, 2017: The Bayelsa Government has directed the immediate release of N1.3
billion out of the N14.5 billion of the state’s allocation from the Paris Club loan for payment of full salaries of workers in the eight local government councils of the state.
Our correspondent reports that public servants in the local government councils were placed on half salary since May 2016 due to paucity of funds, while the backlog of arrears ranged from six months to 12 months.
The workers went on strike in February but called it off at the end of that month.
It was gathered on Saturday that the money, which is the first tranche of the refund, was put on hold since December 2016, pending staff verification exercise to rid the local government payroll of ghost workers.
The Bayelsa Commissioner for Local Government, Pastor Aghata Goma, on Friday advised chairmen of the local government councils to ensure that 50 percent of the fund was set aside for the full payment of salaries.
“It is important to note that the state government has authourised the release of the funds and we expect them to henceforth revert to payment of full salaries as opposed to the half salaries they currently pay, while a reasonable part should be spent on people-oriented projects,” Goma said.
The Commissioner said the release of the fund was part of efforts aimed at implementing agreements reached by local government workers when they called off the strike in February.
Goma also urged the unions to continue to maintain peace and impress on their members on the need to rededicate themselves to the service of the state, shun absenteeism, and late-coming.
She also urged the union to support the council chairmen in their efforts at ridding  the council’s payroll of ghost workers and other fraudulent practices. (TNE)
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