By Kingsley Braide
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has approved the implementation of promotion for staff of local government councils, primary healthcare workers and primary school teachers in the state with effect from March 2021.
Governor Diri gave the directive on Tuesday following the submission of the report of the Committee on Implementation of Promotions and N30,000 Minimum Wage by Local Government Councils chaired by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
The 31-member committee was set up on October 30, 2020 to among others look into issues bordering on the general welfare of local government staff, computing of their monthly wage bill based on promotions/increment and the new N30,000 minimum wage.
The governor’s Spokesman, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said in a statement that he also approved other recommendations of the panel, which include a comprehensive ward-based audit of the councils’ payroll and personnel as well as the number of schools and health centres in their domain.
Others are a proper audit of the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and Education Trust Fund (ETF) deductions while the state government would support resource-disadvantaged councils that are unable to meet their staff salary obligations. To this end, the government would augment by almost N200million their Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC) receipts and salaries shortfall.
On the N30,000 new minimum wage, the committee noted that given their current JAAC receipts, not more two councils in the state can implement it. It was therefore agreed that the implementation would commence when their financial situation improves.
The committee had representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU), Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
Other members were the Government House Chief of Staff, Chief Benson Agadaga, Deputy Chief of Staff (Deputy Governor’s Office), Alex Dumbo, Commissioner for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Stanley Braboke, his Local Government and Chieftaincy counterpart, Chief Thompson Amule, chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, Chief Lambert Ototo as well as chairmen of the eight councils in the state, among others.