The Bayelsa state government has described as false the claim by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), that the state is one the worst states with a backlog of unpaid salaries.
President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, had listed Bayelsa state as one of the states that are yet to offset several months of salaries.
Reacting in a statement by Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, and made available to the press, in Yenagoa, the state government dismissed the labour leader’s statement, describing it as ‘misleading and smacks of mischief"
According to him, “Ayuba’s claims were unfounded and meant to discredit the state government". Iworiso- Markson observed that the state government had been most concerned and had over time, taken payment of staff seriously and did not owe the civil servants to date.
Contrary to the report, Bayelsa State Government remained one of the least indebted states in terms of salary arrears to its workers in the country, the commissioner explained.
He said that the Dickson-led Restoration Government had always fulfilled its salary obligations until recently, owing to the free fall in the state’s monthly allocation from the Federal Government, revealing that the government had to borrow a number of times to make up for the shortfall to ensure that salaries were paid.
He further explained that the government decided to look inwards by taking steps to strengthen the Internal Revenue Board to improve on the state’s Internally Generated Revenue profile, as borrowing to pay salaries was not sustainable.
"As at now, the government does not owe salaries of its workers in the civil service as we have kept faith with payment since beginning of the year till date” he stated. Iworiso- Markson said the situation is not peculiar to Bayelsa state as the federal government is also finding it difficult to meet its salary obligation to its workforce.