…we want to leave behind a healthy civil service —- Bayelsa Dep Gov
The leadership of the Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists has called on the State Government to review its alleged decision to sack over two hundred media workers in the guise of redeployment.
This is sequel to a circular from the office of the Head of Service to heads of media parastatal to redeploy excess staff.
A statement by the Chairman Mr. John Angese and Secretary Mr. Stanley Imgbi noted that the parameter for determining excess workers was shrouded in secrecy saying most of the best hands have been affected.
According to the statement, the issue of professionalism and competence has been thrown to the wind while compiling the list.
It opined that the directive to stop salaries of the affected workers from the April 2018 voucher to be paid into the unpaid salary account in the state treasury is not a pointer to redeployment.
The union leaders urged government to reconsider its position based on the economic implication on the affected workers as most of them are bread winners of their family and the overall implication on the society.
The statement further urged members to remain calm while an emergency congress will be called to review the matter soon.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Government on Wednesday declared its intention to sustain the ongoing reforms in the public sector despite what it described as pockets of opposition by some unpatriotic individuals and groups.
The government wants anyone who cares to listen to know that it has a responsibility to clean up a system that has been reportedly bastardized by some greedy individuals who over the years have taken advantage of the loopholes in the public service to perpetrate all forms of fraud.
The State’s Deputy Governor Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (retd) stated this in Yenagoa during a live interactive programme; Restoration Hour on the state owned Glory FM (Radio Bayelsa).
The Deputy Governor who admitted some minor imperfections in the reform process, said avenues had been provided for anyone who felt unduly treated to voice their concern before some of the committees set up for that purpose.
According to him, “We have a responsibility to reform the system within the limits of human imperfection. Like every other process we know this is not perfect but we are working to ensure a fair deal for everyone”.
Jonah revealed that the restoration government wanted to leave behind a robust public service which was why it was setting up a standard to enable the next government to have a benchmark to take off upon resumption.
He wants those opposed to the reforms to know that it is not a witch-hunt but an inevitable exercise to save the public service from near collapse and maintained that the government was not selective in the renewed fight against payroll thieves and robbers.
The Deputy Governor explained that the right civil service procedures would be followed to disengage those who had either compromised the system in one way or the other or had allowed themselves to be beneficiaries of illegality.
“Contrary to insinuations in some quarters, we are not sacking anybody but those who have been confirmed to have falsified their age, certificates or have promoted themselves arbitrarily will have to go. These are cases that cannot be overlooked.
“However we are mindful of the effect of the action we are taking. So what we are doing is give those affected some form of soft landing by giving them 3 months notice or 1 month notice of payment in lieu of their disengagement.
“To show our sincerity in the reforms, we are following the normal procedure as laid out in the civil service rule. As a responsible government we have made it possible for those who due to administrative and humans are caught in the web to seek redress before the judicial commission of inquiry headed by a competent judge”.
While insisting that the ongoing reforms were being done with human face, the deputy governor decried the inability of the government to employ fresh hands for years now due to the malfeasance that had been going on in the system and called on all Bayelsans to show some understanding.
Jonah also announced plans to employ more teachers with requisite skills to cover up the shortfall as part of repositioning the education sector and enhance learning in public schools across the state.
The Bayelsa number two man listed some of the support given to the Niger Delta University (NDU) to include monthly subvention, ongoing senate building, among other projects and dismissed reports of neglect of the institution by the government.