The Bayelsa State Government has withheld the salaries of 4204 suspected to be into fraudulent activities from the eight Local Government Areas of the state for the month of October, 2017.
Speaking at a press conference in Yenegoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Tuesday, the State Deputy Governor, Gboribiogha John Jonah, said 1, 329 of the affected workers were from the local government areas, 2184 from SUBEB, the Primary School Education system while 707 are from the Pension payroll.
The step taken was in line with the implementation of the comprehensive reforms in the state’s Civil Service.
Warning that those who were recruited without authorization from the relevant agencies would be affected, Jonah listed affected persons to include, those working with computer generated certificates, those working and receiving salaries from multiple agencies of government, those enjoying indefensible promotions in contradiction to civil service rules, pension fraudsters, age falsifiers among others.
He stated that the panel investigating the payroll fraud also uncovered 34 persons who were found to have given themselves indefensible promotions in flagrant violation of civil service rules.
The Deputy Governor noted that some workers in level 4 in 2011 were found to have promoted themselves to Grade level level 14 in 2012 with computer generated certificate.
Jonah noted that the state government had established a judicial commission of inquiry Head by a retired Judge, Justice Doris Adokeme, which would be open to hearing complaints from the affected workers on Monday.
He warned that legal consequences await anybody found to have gone to the commission to make false claims.
The Deputy Governor warned that the state was determined to ensure strict implementation of the findings of the panel and would not be deterred by any kind of blackmail from any quarters.
He lamented that it was only in Bayelsa that somebody would work for a day and expect to get salary for a month.
He said, “We have been carrying out comprehensive reforms not only at the councils but also at the Secondary schools, parastatals, pension payroll, civil service, grade levels verification and others.
“There is massive payroll fraud in the state and the situation is such that are some earning double salaries; there are retired people in the payroll; those who promote themselves, and several retired personnel. In fact over 700 retired personnel are still in the payroll..
“With effect from today, salaries of such suspected persons are suspended.
”For those receiving salaries from multiple agencies, we will not pay you but If you can prove it that you are a genuine worker your salary would be paid.”