From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is palpable anxiety in Bayelsa State Civil Service over alleged plans by the state government to redeploy civil servants and slash salaries of Civil Servants on special salary scale.
According to investigations the plan by the state government was mooted to reduce the wage bill of civil servants which has grew astronomically since the assumption of office of Governor Douye Diri.
The state government is said 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 place them on salary scale which they are not supposed to enjoy.
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 indicated 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 assessment needs across the civil service declared that there is nothing in the exercise that indicated that the state government want to down size 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.
The Chairman of the Trade Union Congress(TUC), Mr Julius Laye in an interview confirmed that the union has been part of the exercise said it is meant to know areas that are bloated and areas where there are needs with government reserving the right to redeploy any of its employees.