Bayelsa Govt Restates Commitment To Workers’ Welfare

The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has advised local government workers, primary school teachers and health workers who have not been captured in the ongoing computerization process, and as result, are yet to receive their April salary not to panic as machinery had been put in place to address their complaints.

He gave the advice in a meeting with the newly sworn in chairmen of the 8 Local Government Councils, relevant stakeholders, including representatives of the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE at his office in Government House, Yenagoa recently.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo, in a press release issued by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, disclosed that a committee headed by the immediate past Technical Adviser to the Governor on Treasury and Accounts, Mr Timipre Seipulou had been set up to receive and address complaints of all affected workers in the state.

According to the release, the Committee comprises, the Chairmen, Heads of Local Government Administration, Treasurers and other principal officers of the various councils, representatives of the state Local Government Service Commission and labour unions.

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The Deputy Governor explained that, the ongoing digital audit of the local government system is not intended to witch-hunt any worker but rather aimed at curbing fraud in the system to free up resources for development projects at the grassroots level.

“Over 14 thousand workers have so far been captured by the computerization process across the 8 local councils, while about 997 were flagged for various reasons, including bearing of multiple names and dates of birth. However, is obvious that no human system can be perfect, so the capturing process might have made some inadvertent mistakes, which must be corrected to avoid unnecessary lay-offs”, he stated.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who sympathized with all genuine local government workers whose salaries have been withheld following the payroll and staff audit, assured that they would be paid fully as soon as they were cleared by the committee. He has directed for an Unclaimed Salary Account to be created in order to domicile and secure the salaries of all the affected workers.

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He further expressed gratitude to the leadership of NULGE, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria and other labour unions for supporting the ongoing verification exercise and urged the new local government chairmen and other stakeholders to fully support the computerization process, and expressed hope that council workers like their state counterparts will start receiving their salaries directly through the Oracle System from next month.

“This is where we need your cooperation. To save us the trouble, we are going to create a pool of funds to be domiciled in the Ministry of Local Government so that your salary component as soon as you do your JAAC will be deducted. From that pool the salaries will be posted into individual accounts. All the local government chairmen will be signatories to that joint account that will be central and all of you will get an alert”, he disclosed.

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By Owunna Goodness, Bayelsa