By Samuel Tombra, Bayelsa
Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has approved N200m monthly subvention for the state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU), Wilberforce Island.
The governor, however, said his administration would no longer be responsible for the monthly payment of salaries in NDU and other tertiary institutions established by the state.
The state university currently has a gross monthly wage bill of N467million and a net bill of about N430million.
The governor’s pronouncement was part of the hard decisions reached, yesterday, in Yenagoa during a meeting between relevant stakeholders in the civil service administration and the state government.
The meeting was attended by traditional rulers, captains of Industry, members of the state’s House of Assembly, top government functionaries, local government chairmen among others.
A statement by Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the stakeholders endorsed a number of major reforms aimed at restructuring the public service for effective delivery.
Dickson called for the support of stakeholders to implement the reforms, which he said were aimed at checking the syndrome of ghost workers and other unwholesome practices.
He lamented the sharp practices in the state civil service, describing it as unacceptable adding that it was no longer sustainable for the government to pay over N4billion monthly wage bill.
Dickson said that the sharp practices had impacted negatively on the developmental agenda of his restoration government.
“The meeting is convened to intimate the stakeholders of the financial position of the state and chart a way forward in view of the prevailing economic situation”, he said.
As part of the reforms, only subventions would be given to tertiary institutions including NDU against the old practice of monthly payment of salary.
The governor also approved of N10bn to upgrade facilities in all tertiary institutions across the state and instituted a special Education Safety Corps (ESC) to ensure the safety of schools in the state.
Dickson urged all tertiary institutions to key into government’s vision of adopting a single accounting system to check fraud.
The governor added that education levy would be introduced to all workers in the state to fund activities in the educational sector.
“As part of the reforms, the state civil service commission will be reconstituted just as government did to that of the local government service commission.
“Further steps would be taken to re-organize the state’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and staff with requisite qualifications and skills would be redeployed to relevant ministries and institutions.
“The government has created a N10 billion Enterpreneur Development Fund to empower people that may voluntarily opt out of the civil service arising from the re-organization of the service”, he said.