The Bayelsa State government has released funds for the full payment of January salaries to workers in the Niger Delta University (NDU), the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, said on Thursday.
The decision was in fulfilment of the agreement reached between government and labour at a meeting to resolve the ongoing industrial dispute.
Speaking at press briefing to announce the outcome of the 61st session of the State Executive Council in Yenagoa, he said the government has also ordered the payment of civil servants salaries for the month of May, 2016.
According to him, the government has since released funds for the payment of teachers’ January salaries and directed all accounting officers to ensure that, the workers, including those in the Rural Development Areas are paid their May salaries without further delay.
He said, Council called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other labour unions in the Niger Delta University to call off their strike action, and expressed the government’s commitment to the welfare and development of the institution.
Obuebite said, “The Bayelsa State Government has met its agreement of releasing 100% of the January salary to ASUU, NASU and graduate assistants as requested by the unions. So, as we speak, that payment has been made.
“We are all aware that NDU is our pet project, as it is the only state-owned university. So, this government is committed to the welfare of the academic and non-academic staff, as well as the students community of NDU. We want our students to return to school and pursue their academics.
“Council has also decided to use this medium to inform Bayelsans and, especially the civil servants that the salaries for May have been released to all the MDAs, including the RDAs.”
The State Commissioner for Education, Deacon Markson Fefegha and Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Fyneman Wilson, explained that, but for some irregularities identified during the verification and payment exercise, all secondary teachers would have received their full January salaries by now, as ordered by the government last week.
They, however, assured that, all genuine teachers and workers in both primary and secondary schools would be paid in the next few days, when the re-verification exercise, intended to reconcile the observed differences would have been completed.
On her part, the Commissioner for Local Government Administration, Mrs Agatha Goma, said that, Council reaffirmed its resolve to continue the supervision of the payment of workers’ salaries in the various councils of the state.
Goma, who urged all council staff to remain calm, assured that every machinery has been put in place for the payment of two months salaries to all workers, including pensioners and primary school teachers.
The SEC also congratulated Governor Henry Seriake Dickson on the conferrment of a Honorary Doctorate degree in Public Administration on him by the Ekiti State University (EKSU).
The council also expressed gratitude to the institution, as well as the governments of Ekiti and Ondo states for the warm reception accorded Dickson and the entire Bayelsa State delegation to the ceremony.