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Bayelsa governement pledges to tackle payroll fraud, reform public sector

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Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa.

Bayelsa State government yesterday pledged to reform the public sector in the state.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Kamela Okara, disclosed this yesterday at a press conference in Lagos.

He said the state was also committed to flushing out culprits of payroll fraud, truancy, and multiple employments in the civil service.

The government denied insinuation that it planned to kill the state-owned Niger Delta University.

Okara lamented the issues of bloated work force, wage bills, ghost workers, which he said, must be stopped without prejudice.

He said the state government would not tolerate those milking its resources without rendering services.

The commissioner explained that the state had deployed biometric data capture and other measures to fight the endemic payroll fraud.

According to him, reforming the public service would create employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.

He added that if the issue, which had been on since 2012, is tackled; it would bring down the wage bill from N6.7 billion to N3.9 billion.

Okara who is the Deputy Chairman, Public Sector Reform Process, said the wage bill was still high, despite the various efforts made to sanitise the situation.

He said the government could not sustain the present arrangement, where the Ministry of Transport, pays over 500 drivers who have no vehicles to work.

He cited the Niger Delta University (NDU), where the number of non-academic staff was higher than their academic counterparts.

He explained that the sharp practices had made the university’s monthly wage bill to be over N500 million.

The commissioner disclosed that, based on the recommendation of the committee to resolve the matter, the state would henceforth place the various tertiary institutions on subvention, as is the norm in other states.


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