By Nathan Nwakamma
Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has authorised the discharge of N5.6 billion out of its share of N13.5 billion Paris Club Debt refund, to pay one and half months’ wage arrears owed employees in 2016.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) studies that excellent wage arrears to employees in Bayelsa Civil Service stands at 4 and half months, whereas employees within the native authorities system are owed between 14 and 16 months arrears.
The governor had introduced the plan to pay one and half out of the excellent 4 and half months’ wage backlog on Thursday.
The announcement was made at a gathering of high authorities officers, Labour leaders and their representatives, on the Paris Club Fund obtained within the state in December.
An announcement on Friday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, said that the federal government obtained N14.eight billion from the Federal Government.
“The breakdown exhibits the state obtained N13.5 billion whereas the native authorities councils obtained N1.37 billion.
“About N5.6 billion of the Fund is being spent to defray the one and a half months wage arrears out of the 4 and half months owed employees within the state in 2016.
“Gov. Dickson defined additional that the excellent wage arrears had been a steadiness of half salaries he paid throughout the recession in 2016.
“The governor appreciated the work power for displaying understanding throughout the biting financial recession of 2016 which affected the sources of the state in an antagonistic manner.
“While most of the older states in the country have lower wage bills, Bayelsa State’s Wage Bill was over N6 billion (State and LGAs) because of the detrimental activities of some fraudulent characters,” the assertion reads.
The governor lamented that the state was amongst these highest wage invoice within the nation, despite its low Internally Generated Revenue base.
He additional mentioned that the recurrent burden on the state had change into too excessive as the person Bayelsa civil servants earned nearly twice the revenue of their counterparts in different states of the federation.
He defined that the federal government was making sustained efforts to additionally clear up the payroll to cut back the wage invoice.
However, the labour leaders who attended the assembly declined to talk on the supply from the state authorities.
One of them, who spoke on situation of anonymity, mentioned the supply fell beneath the expectation of employees.
“We weren’t a part of the choice to pay one and half months out of the excellent 4 and half months.
“The least we anticipated was three months; we had been merely knowledgeable of the choice and weren’t even allowed to make feedback.
“We go away our destiny within the arms of God; we’re all disillusioned as a result of the President had directed that the refunds be channeled to clear excellent salaries even earlier than Christmas.
“But the state authorities selected to pay a part of the arrears,’’the labour chief mentioned. (NAN)