Bayelsa State Government has said that the ongoing reforms in the state public sector are yielding positive results as his administration recovered N1.8 billion annually through the exercise.
Governor Seriake Dickson stated this during a meeting with Labour leaders, members of the Post-Primary Schools Board and Association of All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) in Yenagoa yesterday.
The governor said the amount was saved from the ongoing verification exercise in the mainstream civil service and that of the post-primary schools in the state.
He stated that the government had so far recovered N53 million per month from the mainstream civil service and N134 million from discrepancies between salaries (grade levels and steps) of secondary school teachers and principals.
Dickson, who commended the labour unions for supporting the reforms designed to stop the endemic payroll fraud in the public service, said the money saved from the exercise would be committed to the development of the education sector to enhance service delivery.
While also lauding the efforts of the verification committee members, led by Dr. Josephine Igodo, for their commitment and diligence, the governor expressed optimism that more funds would be recovered by the end of the exercise.
The governor, who vowed to ensure a holistic implementation of the civil service rules, ordered immediate identification and retirement of those above the statutory retirement age.
He also approved the payment of the arrears of N18,000 minimum wage owed secondary school teachers and the release of N50 million monthly with effect from April for that purpose.
Executive Secretary of the Post-Primary Schools Board, Dr. Blessing Ikuru, commended the governor for his efforts at sanitising the secondary schools.
She said the board was working hard to regularise all discrepancies discovered in the grade levels and steps of teachers’ salaries.
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Kalama Tonpre and President of ANCOPSS, Mrs. Christiana Ezetu, applauded Dickson for promoting professionalism and welfare of workers in the state.