Payroll fraud: Bayelsa govt. uncovers 500 admin officers in Sagbama LG

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…5000 non-academic staff in state tertiary institutions

From: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government’s committee on Civil Service Reforms, investigating the payroll fraud in the state, said it has uncovered 500 administrative officers at the Sagbama Local Government Council.

The panel said it has also discovered a total of 5,000 non-academic staff at the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, and other state-owned five tertiary institutions in the state.

Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, stated this, on Wednesday,  in a statement he signed.

He explained that the discovery of the shocking number of administration officers in the council and the 5,000 non-academic staff was part of the ongoing efforts of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s administration to clean up the payroll mess in the state.

According to him, the discovery of the 500 administrative officers in one of the local government areas only showed the large number of redundant workers drawing salaries for doing nothing in the state.

While hinting that the state government would make public how the names found their way into the payroll voucher, he added that government would not relent in its efforts to solve the problem of the bleeding of the resources of the state by a few unscrupulous elements in the state.

Iworiso- Markson noted that the bloated wage bill in the eight local government areas of the state was responsible for recent negative and false media reports that Bayelsa State Government owed salaries of workers.

He stated that the fraud in the local government area and the over bloated wage bill had made it impossible for the councils to pay salaries of local governments even when their allocations are not tampered with as a matter of state policy in Bayelsa.

His words, “Only recently, the state committee on the Civil Service Reforms uncovered 500 administrative officers in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

“A number of these administrative officers work as clerical staff in primary schools. That’s why in most of our schools you have more non-academic staff and very few teachers.

“Take for instance, in a school you will find just two teachers and 50 non-academic staff. That’s why the councils ‘wage bills are high because of workers who have been put there to draw salaries without working.”

He said that situation of the payroll fraud in the council was not different at the tertiary education sector as shown by the discovery of 5,000 non academic staff in the sector.

Iworiso- Markson also lamented that it was not conceivable to engage and maintain 5,000 non-academic staff in six tertiary institutions in the state.

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