The Bayelsa State government has faulted the claim by President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, that it is one of the biggest defaulting states in salary payment.
Commissioner for Information and Orientation Daniel Iworiso-Markson said yesterday that Wabba’s assertion is misleading and mischievous.
According to him, the report was done in bad faith because it lacked substance, as it did not reflect the true position of things in the state.
Iworiso-Markson added that the government had been most concerned, and had over time, taken salary payment seriously, and did not owe workers till date.
“Those who authored the story failed to cross check their facts before going to press,” he said.
The Commissioner explained that the Dickson-led Restoration government had always fulfilled its salary obligations until recently, occasioned by the free fall in the state’s monthly allocation from the Federal Government.
He said government borrowed to make up for the shortfall to ensure that salaries were paid, adding that while borrowing to pay salaries was not sustainable, the government decided to look inwards by taking steps to strengthen the internal revenue board to improve on the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) profile.
“As at now, the government does not owe salaries, as we have kept faith with payment since the beginning of the year till date,” he added.
“All council workers should resume a full strike if the government fails to reverse the directive within the three days, since the last strike was only suspended.
“Accordingly, all branch executives of NULGE and MHWUN, in the eight councils and 32 Rural Development Authorities, are directed to fully shut down all health facilities, markets and secretariats of the councils beginning from November 9.
“NULGE and MHWUN will no longer allow any external and fake report to infringe on the autonomy of the councils as a third tier of government in the country.”