I Can No Longer Borrow To Pay Salaries – Bayelsa Governor, Dickson

Seriake Dickson, governor of
Bayelsa state, has asked civil
servants in the state to brace up
for tough times, saying the
practice of augmenting
monthly salaries with bank
loans is no longer sustainable.
Addressing journalists on
Thursday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa
state capital, Dickson said that
with a monthly wage bill of N4
billion for workers, coupled
with the shortfall in the
monthly allocation from the
federation account, it would be
difficult for government to
meet its financial obligation.
He said he would soon meet
with stakeholders to devise a
policy aimed at solving the
problem of salary payment.
“There have to be some
discussions with workers and
stakeholders. We cannot be
borrowing to pay salaries as we
have been doing,” he said.
“Our workforce minus political
appointees, we need about N4
billion to pay salaries; the
situation is not sustainable and
realistic because of our
development agenda.”
While allaying fears of workers,
Dickson said rather than
embark on retrenchment of the
workforce and the minimum
wage, greater emphasis will be
placed on professionalism in
the civil service in his second
“A lot of states are going to
have crisis this year, even the
federation itself will face crisis
and it’s not peculiar to Bayelsa
state,” he said.
“It is important that the
workforce in Bayelsa state
should learn to appreciate these
things before they jump here
and there, instigated by failed
politicians who couldn’t win
election but know how to
sponsor demonstrations of old
pensioners that they couldn’t
pay when they were in office.”
While admonishing civil
servants in the state against
unwholesome practices such as
involvement in partisan
politics, payroll fraud and
multiple employments, he
urged them to be dedicated to
their duties and loyal to the
government of the day.
“There are a lot of things going
on; people have their names in
several vouchers, earning
salaries above their grade level
and all of those things are
going to be corrected,” he said.
“I don’t also believe that we
should reduce the minimum
wage but if our government is
getting N3 or N4 billion and
our wage bill is N4 billion, then
there should be a discussion. I
don’t believe that we need to
retrench workers because of the
economic downturn.”