Dickson Berates Civil Servants, Says They Are Ungrateful | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Dickson Berates Civil Servants, Says They Are Ungrateful

Posted: Sep 23, 2015 at 5:20 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma,Yenagoa

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has lambasted workers in the state civil service  for not showing gratitude over government’s effort in meeting its salary obligations to them.
He condemned the attitude of some civil servants in the state who “threaten strike action whenever there is a slight delay in salary payment”.
Dickson was speaking while swearing-in a newly-appointed Permanent Secretary, Atonye Victoria Pekene, at Government House,Yenagoa, a statement by his Chief Press Secretary,Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said on Tuesday.

Civil servants,especially those in public educational institutions, have been complaining of selective payment of salaries by the Dickson administration which they said had resulted in the undue delay of their monthly wages.

The governor said the hand of the state government was tied as every state in the country depend solely on revenue from the Federation Account to pay the wages of workers.

He  singled out the state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU),Wilberforce Island, as a place where  workers  had constituted themselves into “a vortex of opposition” because of little delay in salary payment.

“The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) should get in touch with the Vice Chancellor and the Governing Council of the Niger Delta University, Amassoma on the challenges being faced by the government.

“Every month, we spend N500 million for staff salary of the NDU alone and yet if there is a delay of three days or one week people threaten strike action and say all kinds of things on the pages of newspapers, and go to television stations and turn the NDU, not into a citadel of learning that it is expected to be, but a vortex of opposition.

“We live in times when states find it difficult to meet their basic obligations of paying monthly salaries and obligations to civil servants. It is not deliberate.

“From a revenue base that I inherited in 2012, which stood at about N18 billion and now my last receipt for last month stood at about N6.2 billion.

“So, that will tell you the enormity of the challenge we are facing. But because of the values and systems we have put in place, our state is not owing salaries of civil servants”, he said.

Dickson, who had in a similar statement on Monday attributed the delay in salary payment to the inability of the the Federal Allocation Accounts Committee (FAAC) to meet, said his administration was grappling with serious economic challenges.

He said projects and other development activities had been put on hold for now due to funding challenges, noting  that some contractors in the state were being owed between N10m and N15 million.

“From the forecast of the international price regime of crude oil, it may get to as low as US$20 dollars, which will spell disaster, not just for our state, but for the whole country.

“We are actually managing a recession. So, Head of Service, I count on you to work with the leadership of the civil service and sensitize them on the very dire situation we are facing”, he stated.

He said civil servants ought to be appreciative of government’s efforts in meeting its salary obligations to them rather than threatening to down tools.