Bayelsa Presents N46m To 3,000 Volunteers | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bayelsa Presents N46m To 3,000 Volunteers

Posted: Jul 17, 2015 at 7:56 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma  –  Yenagoa


Bayelsa State Government has presented N46million to the management of the state’s Volunteers Scheme for the payment of the volunteers’ monthly allowances.

The presentation which was made by Governor Seriake Dickson on Thursday was received by the co-ordinator of the Volunteers Scheme, Emmanuel Asufi, a Chief Superintendent of Police, and the Secretary, Felix Bonny Ayah, the governor’s Special Assistant on Youth Mobilisation.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary to Daniel Iworiso-Markson at the presentation which held at the Government House in Yenagoa, the governor said that , “The amount, which is to formally kick-start the volunteers programme, is to take care of the stipends of about 3,000 youths.”

It would be recalled that Governor Dickson had in May 2014, recruited and inaugurated 1,100 youths as members of Bayelsa Volunteers and charged them “to mobilise support for the government and work with security agencies”. Out of the number, 100 of them were graduates who, according to the governor, would serve as “officers of the volunteer corps”.

The governor had then said that the graduate members of the scheme would be paid monthly allowance of N25, 000 each while the other 1000 youths would get N15, 000 each per month.

Some stakeholders had expressed concern that the exercise was part of a grand move by Dickson to consolidate his political structure ahead of the 2015 governorship election in the state in which he hoped to secure a second term in office. The youths, described by the stakeholders as “the governor’s political foot soldiers”, were recruited from across the eight local government areas of the state.

However, contrary to his May 2014 promise, the governor while presenting the instrument said that the graduate volunteers would be paid N20, 000 while the non- graduates would receive N10, 000 monthly.

The governor also said that the volunteers’ allowances would be paid alongside the salaries of civil servants in the state even as he promised that their salaries would be reviewed as the economy improves.

The governor advised the volunteers not to allow themselves to be used by mischief-makers to cause any breach of the peace and warned that such acts would not be tolerated.

“I expect you to be diligent in your duty and work with your co-ordinators, the communities and the security forces.  This programme is taking 3,000 youths out of joblessness”, he said.

Responding on behalf of the volunteers, the co-ordinator, CSP Emmanuel Asufi, thanked the governor for presenting the N46m instrument and assured that every youth engaged as a volunteer would be paid.