The Bayelsa Government has inaugurated a 31-member committee to review the grade levels and steps of Local Government and primary school workers in the state in line with extant public service rules.
Gov. Douye Diri made this known during a ceremony on Tuesday in Yenagoa.
He said that the review would enhance the performance of local councils in the state.
Represented by his deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Diri said that it was necessitated by irregularities that were observed during the last staff promotion exercise in the various councils.
He expressed hope that the review would help to free up funds to enable government implement the 30 per cent minimum wage increase for the council workers.
Diri added that it would enable funds to be recouped from salaries of workers who manipulated the system to enrich themselves with over payments through fictitious grade levels and steps.
The governor also mandated the committee to review the salary grades of health personnel at the local government level.
He restated his administration resolve not to tamper with council funds but give them more financial and technical support to enable them impact positively on the lives of rural dwellers.
Diri said, “as you are all aware, promotions have been implemented. But there are complaints of underpayments, over payments and over promotions.
“We want peace and industrial harmony within the local government system, but we do not want the system to be shortchanged.
“As a government that is people-centered and staff welfare oriented, we look for ways to ensure that the local government system functions effectively.
“The state government will support the local government councils with an additional N252 million, bringing the total amount of money the state government gives as support to councils to about N400million monthly.
“We are not doing what is happening in other states where the state runs joint account and give the local governments handouts. What we are doing in this state is that, we are supporting the local councils.
“Your terms of reference include to place workers in appropriate grade levels and steps; using the financial nominal roll to prepare a payroll for the workers for May, 2021.
“Identify workers whose grade levels or steps have been overstated or understated and consequently overpaid or underpaid in March and April, 2021 payrolls for possible adjustment or recovery,’’ he said.
The committee which is expected to submit its report in one month is headed by the Technical Adviser to the Governor on Accounts and Treasury, Mr Timipre Seipulou.
Its three sub-committees have former Head of Service, Mr Luka Obiri; Mr Hamilton Ekeke and the state Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Mr Laye Julius, as Chairmen.
Seipulou assured that the committee would work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them. (NAN)