Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A memorable Christmas celebration awaits Bayelsa State civil servants as the state government has admitted that it had received N13.6 billion as allocation from the Federation Account for the month of December, 2018.
Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai said, in a statement, on Saturday, that Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, had issued a directive for the payment of December salary and allowances to workers before Christmas.
According to the Commissioner, the Treasury Department has commenced the process of carrying out the governor’s directive with a view to ensuring that the workers get their salaries and allowances before Christmas.
He stated further that the governor also approved the payment of a special Christmas bonus to all categories of public servants which would be paid in appreciation for their support for government’s programmes.
The commissioner added that the state government shall offset the outstanding one month salary arrears of workers as soon as another tranche of the Paris Club Refund is received not later than two weeks from now.
He restated the unflinching commitment of the Restoration Government to the ideals of transparency and accountability in the management of the scarce resources of the state.
“The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting was held on Wednesday, the 19th of December, 2018. The aggregate funds received by Bayelsa State Government amounts to N13.6 billion.
“Consequently, His Excellency, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has directed the Ministry Finance to commence the immediate payment of December, 2018 salaries and allowances to all public servants in the employment of government.
“In addition, government has also graciously approved the payment of a token Christmas bonus to all categories of public servants. Detail cost implications of this directive is being worked out for immediate implementation.
“In a short while from now, the state government hopes to receive a tranche of the Paris Club Refund; upon receipt of this fund, government shall liquidate the balance of the salaries and pension arrears due to its work force and retirees respectively.”
Ebibai who restated the determination of the government to effectively carry out its gratuity obligations to deserving retirees, said that a high-powered committee had been constituted to review all outstanding gratuities including those inherited from previous administrations.
Ebibai said that preliminary findings by the committee showed that the government discovered duplication of names to the tune of over N1 billion in the gratuity bill and associated cost submitted to it.
Ebibai who said that government was committed to a phased payment of outstanding gratuities to genuine beneficiaries, added that the objective was to migrate the state to contributory pension to effectively address the lingering issue of payment of gratuities.
He wished the workers the citizenry and indeed the state a, merry Christmas and a happy New Year