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Bayelsa State Government Compiles Names of Payroll Fraudsters

BY Ebi Anthony
BAYELSA State Government has commenced implementation of the recommendations provided by the several verification committees set up by the administration, to rid the state of widespread payroll fraud in the public service.

A member of the Committee on Civil Service Reforms told our correspondent on the condition of anonymity that the government had commenced compilation of the names of those believed to have perpetrated the Employment and Salary fraud in the state.

Although the source did not mention the exact number of those indicted in the exercise, it said so many people had been indicted.

Some of those indicted are said to be receiving multiple salaries from local government, state and Federal parastatals as well as multiple institutions and agencies.

The State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, had set up various committees to probe the over-bloated public service in the state.

On Monday, the Governor was said to have directed his deputy, John Jonah, to ensure the compilation of all the names of the people so far discovered to have been involved in defrauding the state through multiple employment and other fraudulent activities.

The official said that the governor insisted in the meeting that the payroll fraud debacle must be tackled under his administration so that his successor would be spared the agony of dealing with it.

Dickson was said to have directed the deputy governor to ensure the reduction of the voluminous report of the civil service reforms in the state to a comprehensive policy of government.

Dickson was said to have insisted that the Deputy Governor and his team should compile names of those involved and the amount of money the state would save from the eradication of the fraud.

The governor was said to have lamented that the fraud was rampant in the primary and secondary schools apart from the mainstream civil service and the parastatals.

“I want us to reduce this voluminous report to a comprehensive government policy. There is need for specifics in the reports such as those who did not report for the verification exercise.

“Who are the names being taken out; the salary component in the various places where these frauds are committed? How much will be saved from those taken out; I mean the total amount of money.

“In the secondary and primary schools, we have two teachers and 30 non-academic staff, in some schools, we have two teachers to 15 non-academic staff. That cannot continue.” Dickson was quoted as having said.

When our correspondent contacted the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, he confirmed that the governor held the meeting with the panel on civil service reforms on Monday but did not give details.

However, he said that the governor was very serious about the issue of the reforms and would act in the interest of the citizens of the state, as it is aimed at sanitizing the system and repositioning it for efficiency and greater productivity.

“I know that the governor held a meeting with the various panels, the one on the civil service, the tertiary institutions, the secondary and primary schools and the local government areas.

“All I can say for now is that this governor has the political will to take on this evil which has held down this state for long. Very soon, the reforms will be made public through a special broadcast to the State by Gov. Dickson”.

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