Thursday, April 26, 2018 12:42 pm
• Says Payroll Syndicates Bleeding the State
Bayelsa State Governor, the Honourable Seriake Dickson on Wednesday inaugurated a 24-member Ad-hoc Committee of Pastors for Pension Administration in the state. The committee is mandated to verify all pensioners in the state. The committee is part of government’s ongoing efforts to put an end to payroll fraud and other unwholesome practices in the public sector.
Inaugurating the members in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Dickson said N500 million was being spent for payment of pensioners’ salaries.
The Governor in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, said his government has discovered a syndicate that defrauds the state public service in the name of settling retirees’ pensions and sundry entitlement, thereby robbing the state of revenues that should have been utilized for development purposes.
Governor Dickson directed the committee to identify all genuine pensioners by visiting their communities as payment of salaries for retirees would henceforth, be based on the outcome of its findings.
The Governor also urged members of the committee to collaborate with community leaders, youths and women as well as the Pension Board to enable them conduct the verification exercise effectively.
His words: “For the past 6 years, we have been quietly waging a war against fraud and wastage in our public service and we have stepped it up to another level.
“This state spends about N500m paying salaries of pensioners, and that is a good thing. When people have worked and put in a better part of their lives in the service of our people, it is right and fair that the state meets its responsibility in terms of taking care of them. And we take that very seriously.
“However, what we have discovered is that a syndicate has been milking the state and our pensioners. We have brought it under some kind of control and we are striving to clean up the payroll of the workforce and we want to do same for the pensioners in our state.
“So today marks the formation of the Community Verification Programme beginning with the verification of pensioners. Every pensioner is from a community. Those that are from outside Bayelsa will be isolated and verified.”
Members of the Ad-hoc Committee of Pastors for Pension Administration are, Pastor Samuel John Peters, Dr. Stephen Olali, Pastor Solomon Sylvanus Noinkoru are to take charge of Nembe Local Government Area, while that of Sagbama Local Government Area are, Bishop Dotimi Egbegi, Bishop Ebi Belepeigha and Rev. Hamilton Ekeke.
Others are, Archbishop Jacob Akpiri, Pastor MacDonald Osaribie and Pastor Ikiowari Asingbi to take charge of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area: Rev. Living Joshua, Cath. John Danson Aputu and Bishop Ewili Zedie will superintend Yenagoa Local Government Area , while Archbishop Israel Ege, Pastor Emmanuel Janakuro and Apostle Ayaogbo Diyo Emuren are deloyed in Ekeremor Local Government Area.
Similarly, Rev. Fr. Opelema Joseph, Rev. Renner Osmeya and Rev. Sunday Jackson will handle Ogbia Local Government Area while Pastor David Miebara Yalah, Pastor Excellent Baralatei and Pastor Timi Kai will oversee Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area. Brass Local Government Area has Pastor Emmanuel Waribugo, Pastor Godwill Oriango and Pastor Otonte Iyabe