The Bayelsa State Government Committee on Civil Service Reforms, investigating the payroll fraud in the state, has uncovered 5,000 non-academic members of staff at the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, and five other state-owned tertiary institutions.
The panel also uncovered 500 administrative officers at the Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said this in a statement on Wednesday.
The commissioner argued that the discovery of the shocking number of administrative officers in the council and the 5,000 non-academic members of staff was part of the ongoing efforts of the Seriake Dickson’s administration to clean up the payroll mess in the state.
Iworiso-Markson lamented that the discovery of the 500 administrative officers in one of the LGAs only showed “the large number of redundant workers drawing salaries for doing nothing in the state.”
The commissioner said the government would make public how the names of the workers found their way into the payroll.
According to him, the government will not relent in its efforts to solve the problem of embezzlement of the resources of the state by a few unscrupulous elements.
Iworiso-Markson added that the bloated wage bill in the eight LGAs of the state was responsible for recent negative and false reports that the state government owed workers’ salaries.
He explained that the fraud in the local government areas and the over-bloated wage bill had made it impossible for the councils to pay workers’ salaries even when their allocations were not tampered with as a matter of state policy.
Iworiso-Markson stated, “Only recently, the State Committee on the Civil Service Reforms uncovered 500 administrative officers in the Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
“When you have 500 administrative officers in a local government area, it means most of them are idle. It is not just imaginable; what would they be doing, what is their job? A number of these administrative officers work as clerical staff in primary schools.
“The development informed the reason why in most of our schools, you have more non-academic members of staff and few teachers. Take for instance, in a school, you will find just two teachers and 50 non-academic members of staff. That’s why the councils’ wage bills are high because of workers who have been put there to draw salaries without working.
“The situation of the payroll fraud in the council is not different at the tertiary education sector as shown by the discovery of 5,000 non-academic members of staff in the sector.”
He said it was inconceivable to engage and maintain 5,000 non-academic members of staff in six tertiary institutions in the state.
The commissioner added that the figure only represented a classic case of people being put on the state’s payroll without rendering the requisite services to justify their salaries.