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Diri pledges better deal for Bayelsa workers, teachers as ex-speaker emerges SSG

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Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri (left) in a handshake with newly sworn in Secretary to State Government (SSG), Konbowei Benson during the swearing in ceremony at Government House, Yenagoa…yesterday.

Governor Douye Diri yesterday inaugurated Konbowei Benson as Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government (SSG), charging him to see his appointment as a call to higher service for the overall benefit of people of the state.

Benson, a three-term speaker of the state House of Assembly, is from Southern Ijaw Local Council.

At a brief ceremony inside the Exco Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa, the governor said the SSG’s mandate was to liaise with the Head of Service and permanent secretaries towards ensuring effective implementation of government’s policies and programmes.

Diri, who expressed conviction that the new SSG would perform his duties creditably based on his pedigree, urged him to utilise the new opportunity to demonstrate his capacity in the performance of his functions.

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The governor said: “From the curriculum vitae presented before all of us, clearly he is a square peg in a square hole. We believe that he will perform his duties creditably as SSG.

“He has the duty of liaising with the engine room of government, the Head of Service and the permanent secretaries.

“He has the duty of ensuring that the policies and programmes of this administration are implemented to the letter. That means he equally will be liaising with the Government House from where most of the policies and programmes will be coming.

“So, I charge you today to take your office not as a treasure, but as a service to the people of Bayelsa and to mankind.”

Diri, who later met with leaders of the organised labour in the state, expressed his commitment to better the welfare of civil servants, describing the workforce as critical to the success of his administration.

The governor said he was aware of some of the contentious labour-related issues having interacted with organised labour before the November 16, 2019 governorship election, adding that he thought it wise to once again meet with them after being sworn in.

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His words: “While we were campaigning, we had interactive sessions with labour leaders and most of the issues are on our finger tips. Now that we are in government, we thought it wise to invite you to look at areas that are grey, collectively reasoning with you and providing solutions on issues about arrears of wages that have not been paid and that had been raised informally before us.

“We believe that by collaborating with you, working with you hand-in-gloves, we are sure that the welfare of workers will be met. As a government, we are very interested in the welfare of workers.”

In a brief remark, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congres (NLC), Comrade John Ndiomu, congratulated the governor on his swearing in after his victory at the Supreme Court on February 13, 2020.

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