Bayelsa wages war against ‘absentee workers’

Bayelsa wages war against ‘absentee workers’

Sunday, January 22, 2017 10:45 pm

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Bayelsa State Government has announced a number of stern measures, including outright dismissal of any workers found culpable of absenteeism, truancy, payroll fraud and other sharp practices that are inimical to the public service rules.
Also, as part of efforts to enhance the productivity and welfare of the workers, the government says it has approved the reinstatement of monthly imprest, otherwise known as overhead cost to enable all MDAs and parastatals cater for some of their basic needs.
The various sanctions were spelled out during a briefing Government House Correspondents on Friday shortly after an interactive meeting between Governor Seriake Dickson and members of the state executive council, heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in Yenagoa.
The Secretary to State Government, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff, who briefed journalists reiterated the administration’s commitment towards bequeathing a robust and result-oriented civil service.
According to him, a full-proof system has already been put in place to identify and weed out unrepentant absentee workers.
He stressed that days when public servants stay at home to receive salaries were over.
He pointed out that, though, the move was not aimed at witch-hunting any worker, the new monitoring system requires every worker to report for duty on a daily basis and sign the attendance register already provided by the government.
Failure to do so, he said would attract severe penalties, including summary dismissal.
According to the chief scribe, Governor Dickson lamented that the lean resources accruing to the state government were being negatively impacted by its over-bloated wage bill.
He therefore expressed determination of government to continue the ongoing fight against those he described as unpatriotic elements in the service, who are hell-bent on fleecing the state dry through the use of ghost workers and other fraudulent activities.
On his part, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite said the meeting also mandated government to commence implementation of full payment of all relevant taxes and levies including education levy by workers and other taxable adults as well as corporate entities to boost the revenue base of the state.
Throwing more light on the education levy, Obuebite stressed that its introduction did not mean a reversal of the present administration’s free education policy at the basic and post primary school levels, but rather, it is targeted at promoting efficient delivery of quality education in the state.
Also speaking, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Talford Ongolo, expressed confidence in the efficacy of the monitoring system, which he noted, would be a continuous process as against the one-off-verification exercises of the past.
While calling for cooperation, Ongolo urged all public servants to take the state government’s warning seriously by putting up physical appearance at their various duty posts to avoid any unpleasant consequences, adding that arrangements have been concluded for the administration to launch its new policy of “No Work, No Pay” next week.

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