Bayelsa seeks labour’s support against ghost workers

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DR. Agatha Goma, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Local Government Administration, has urged labour in the state to support the current State Government’s effort to flush out ghost workers.

Goma, who made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Yenagoa, said the current reforms in the local government system in the state was not a witch-hunt.

The commissioner said the exercise was meant to clean up the payroll and sanitise the system for effective service delivery.

She appealed to the workers’ unions to see the state government’s intention as logical and necessary rather than call out their members to embark on strike.

NAN recalls that the State Government on Wednesday said it had withheld the October 2017 salaries of 4,204 workers in the eight local government areas in the state.

Government said those affected had questionable records, adding that its action was part of the reform in the state civil service.

The commissioner said it was in the interest of the workers to cooperate with government in carrying out the exercise.

Goma argued that since ghost workers were not members of any of the labour unions in the local government system, calling out the workers to embark on strike was uncalled for.

“The recent invitation of some workers to the Judicial Commission of Enquiries on Pay Roll Fraud is in line with the relevant service rules and the law.

“None of the affected workers has been found guilty of any offence. Government only wants to clear its doubt about the genuineness of their employment statues.

“I think there is a moral burden on the organised labour to encourage those who are suspected to have joined the service through the back door to clear their names,’’ she said.

Goma however added that only those who had something to hide would decline to appear before the tribunal.

She said that the Gov. Seriake Dickson-led administration was God-fearing and would not do anything to jeopardise the welfare of workers. NAN

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