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Unemployed Bayelsa graduates back Dickson over probe of payroll fraud

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Seriake Dickson

Over 1000 unemployed graduates in Bayelsa State have supported Governor Seriake Dickson’s decision ‎to probe and prosecute over 6,000 alleged pay roll fraudsters in the state.

Angered by moves to frustrate Dickson’s efforts at instituting a probe, the graduates, under the aegis of the Bayelsa State Graduate Forum (BSGF), declared their support for the state government in its bid sanitize the civil service.

The state government had taken the first major step to implement the comprehensive reforms in the state civil service by withholding the salaries of over 4, 000 suspected cases of salary fraud.

But the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) opposed the move, threatening to embark on strike if government goes ahead with its plans.

The Deputy Governor, Gboribiogha Jonah, disclosed at a press conference in Yenagoa that the government had withheld the salaries of 4,204 suspects from the eight local government areas for the month of October 2017.

He said 1,329 of the affected workers were from the local councils; 2,184 from primary school and 707 from the pensions payroll.

BSGF Chairman, Comrade Eddy Soko at a media briefing in Yenagoa, stated that their support for the state government was based on the fact that the state had suffered from the perpetrators of payroll fraud and other sundry offences in the civil service.

“How can people who are working in some federal institutions be receiving salaries there and also drawing salaries every month from the state civil service? How do we continue to keep quiet when people who have officially attained the retirement age but have refused to leave, rather they swear affidavits and change their date of births? He asked.

“This is unfair to the unemployed graduates and to the state. So also it has become imperative for us to lend our support to the government, because if the civil service is sanitised, there will be space for the unemployed Bayelsa youths, particularly graduates like us to get employed.”

“We are pained that some persons are kicking against the noble move by the government, especially NULGE. We resist any attempt to shut down the state through needless protests. They should be ready to face us, because we are talking about our future here,” Soko stated.

The students, therefore, said they are saying no to payroll fraud. No to keeping jobs for unborn children, concubines and certificate fraud just to remain in the civil service, thereby hindering graduates from being employed.



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