Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson has directed the due process office to ensure the payment of 50 per cent to all pensioners in the state, along with salaries of civil servants for the month of August.
He also directed that a list of all the pensioners be published monthly as well as sent to the finance committee and other relevant agencies for action.
The governor gave the directive yesterday when the state Pensions Board and Verification Review Committee presented an interim report on its findings to him in Government House, Yenagoa.
Dickson also called for a continuous exercise to verify and confirm leakages, to reduce fraud, which has bedevilled the pensions’ system.
Dickson who urged communities and families of pensioners to cooperate with the pensions board, by giving information on departed pensioners to the government, expressed dismay over the repeated cases of pension fraud, which has held up the development of the state.
“l want to commend the committee for a brilliant and painstaking report that has reposed our confidence in you which is not misplaced at all.
“The committee should continue to verify and confirm all wastages so that the pension system will be fraud free, and all citizens should support the government in developing a data base for pensioners.”
Presenting the report, chairperson of the committee, Mrs. Jane Alek said out of 10,000 forms the committee issued to pensioners for verification, only 4,000 pensioners returned their forms.
She explained that the October and November, 2015 salaries of pensioners have already been paid by the committee.
Meanwhile, Governor Dickson has inaugurated a 16-member special committee on the Niger Delta University (NDU).
The panel chaired by Prof. Stephen Odiowei has a mandate to develop a blue-print for the sustainable development of the institution.
Dickson described the committee as important, considering the place of the NDU in the educational sector and the overall development of the State.
The committee has nine terms of reference, which include the drawing up a short, medium and long term development plan for the NDU, to examine the performance of the NDU in terms of academic programmes, infrastructural development, adequacy of manpower, examine the quality of output so as to determine whether the university has met the objectives of its founding.
Others are to identifying critical factors that have militated against the development of the University and also suggest solutions to mitigate these factors, develop a sustainable funding mechanism, in view of the economic downturn and to highlight the role and contributions various stakeholders can make in the new paradigm.
The committee is also expected to determine the cost effective measures, aimed at reducing the recurrent expenditure of the university, without impacting negatively on its essential academic mandate as well as to develop a government and union-linkage-structure, that will amicably resolve issues that may lead to obstruction in the university academic calendar as a result of avoidable industrial actions.
The Governor further urged the committee to examine the security situation in the NDU and develop a sustainable security system, within the university and its environs and determine the extent of land encroachment by communities and families around the university and make appropriate recommendations to arrest such or recover such encroached land.
The committee was equally mandated to advise the government generally on any aspect of the university that may be of interest to the state government and other critical stakeholders.
In his acceptance speech, Odiowei expressed the gratitude of the members for being considered to serve the state, adding that, the committee will do its utmost best to justify the confidence reposed on it.