Sunday, October 17, 2021

Truant, absentee civil servants risk dismissal in Bayelsa

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The Bayelsa State Government has announced a number of stern measures, including outright dismissal of any of its workers found culpable of absenteeism, truancy, payroll fraud and other practices inimical to the public service rules.

Also, as part of efforts to enhance the productivity and welfare of the workers, the government says, it has approved the reinstatement of monthly imprest, otherwise known as overhead cost to enable all MDAs and parastatals cater for some of their basic needs.

Spelling out the various sanctions while briefing Government House Correspondents on Friday shortly after an interactive meeting between Governor Seriake Dickson and members of the state executive council, heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in Yenagoa, the Secretary to State Government, Serena Dokubo-Spiff, reiterated the administration’s commitment to bequeathing a robust and result-oriented civil service.

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Mr. Dokubo-Spiff, who briefed the press alongside the state Information Commissioner, Jonathan Obuebite and Chief of Staff, Government House, Talford Ongolo, said a fool proof system has already been put in place to identify and weed out unrepentant absentee workers, stressing that the days where public servants stay at home to receive salaries were over.

He pointed out that, though, the move was not aimed at witch-hunting any worker, the new monitoring system requires every worker to report for duty on a daily basis and sign the attendance register already provided by the government, as failure to do so would attract severe penalties, including summary dismissal.

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He said the governor lamented that the lean resources accruing to the state government were being negatively affected by its over-bloated wage bill, and therefore, expressed determination to continue the on-going fight against those fleecing the state dry through the use of ghost workers and other fraudulent activities.

On his part, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, said the meeting also mandated government to commence implementation of full payment of all relevant taxes and levies including education levy by workers and other taxable adults as well as corporate entities to boost the revenue base of the state.

Throwing more light on the education levy, Mr. Obuebite stressed that its introduction did not mean a reversal of the administration’s free education policy at the basic and post primary school levels, but rather, it is targeted at promoting efficient delivery of quality education in the state.

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