Gov Dickson Bemoans Attitude of Bayelsa Workers to Economic Realities

Create: 09/23/2015 - 04:45

Governor Seriake Dickson has condemned the attitude of some civil servants in the state, whereby they threaten strike action whenever there is a slight delay in salary payment.

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Governor Seriake Dickson has condemned the attitude of some civil servants in the state, whereby they threaten strike action whenever there is a slight delay in salary payment.

Governor Dickson, who made the remark at the swearing in ceremony of Mrs. Atonye Victoria Pekene as Permanent Secretary in the civil service, said civil servants ought to be appreciative of the government’s efforts at meeting its salary obligations to them rather than constitute themselves into what he termed, “vortex of opposition.”

His words: “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 18 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.

Everything we get, we plough it back to meeting our obligations to civil servants and yet we pay NECO, WAEC and JAMB for all your children, we still find time to meet other obligations.

According to him, civil servants and its leadership were making unguarded and uninformed comments on the pages of newspapers and television stations, rather than showing gratitude to the government for contending with the lean financial times.

The Governor said, his administration was grappling with serious economic challenges in 2015, pointing out that, it inherited a revenue base of about 18 billion 2012, which he noted has drastically reduced to about N6.2 billion and called on the people to exercise some patience, as the state has no alternative source of revenue.

“The 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 3 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.

Governor Dickson, who noted that, for the past one year, some states in the federation have been owing salaries of workers for several months, said it was unfortunate that, states now rely on the bailout fund from the federal government to pay wages of workers.

Reiterating his call for greater understanding and support from the people, especially the leadership of the civil service for the economic challenges, the Governor expressed the hope that the economic situation would not degenerate to the level whereby the forecast of the international price regime of crude oil may decline to as low as 20 dollars per barrel.  

“From the forecast of the international price regime of crude oil, it may get to as low as 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.

Consequently, Governor Dickson directed the Head of Service to liaise with the leadership of the service on the need to sensitize civil servants on the financial challenges facing the country as well the Secretary to State Government to do same with the Vice Chancellor and Governing Council of the NDU.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa Stat