From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is anxiety in the Bayelsa State Civil Service over alleged plans by the state government to redeploy civil servants and slash salaries.
According to investigations, the supposed plan by the state government was mooted to reduce the wage bill of civil servants which has grown astronomically since Governor Douye Diri resumed office.
The state government is said to have concluded plans to correct the anomalies carried out during the transition period when some state government officials employed people into the civil service and placed them on an unmerited salary scale.
Many of those employed were said to have been placed on the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) which was meant for health workers but now being enjoyed by other civil servants.
The state government, in its bid to correct the anomaly, had set up a committee on Manpower Needs Assessment to ascertain the true picture of the situation in the Civil Service.
The committee had submitted its interim report which after a comprehensive review from the office of the Secretary to the State Government recommended further action.
Further findings indicate that the state government, determined to effect changes, had written to affected Ministries and Departments requesting for documents.
The letter with reference number SSG/CON/342/VOL III/105, signed by one Anthony Howells in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, had requested for the following: organogram showing departments and units; current nominal roll prepared along departments and units lines; functions and duties of all department and units.
It was gathered that all information supplied would be used to determine the suitability of certain civil servants remaining in their duty posts and collecting the special salary.
While the government is not planning to lay off workers some of the civil servants may be redeployed back to the classrooms.
When contacted on the development, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr John Ndiomu, said the union is not aware of any plans to redeploy, down-size and slash salaries of civil servants in the state.
Ndiomu, who confirmed that there is an on-going manpower needs assessment across the civil service, declared that there is nothing in the exercise that indicated that the state government intends to downsize its workforce and slash salaries.
According to him, the exercise is to enable the government to know areas where workers are lacking and where they are needed for optimum service.