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Why workers hail Gov Diri, beg to pay backlogs of promotion

 By Austin Genesis

It has come to the fore that Senator Douye Diri would soon be described as the best civil servant friendly Governor of Bayelsa state.


Noting that “Civil servants constituted the engine room of governance globally and the need to prioritise their welfare top most in our planning as government, Governor Diri while unveiling his manifesto at Ernest Ikoli Press Centre in Yenagoa, in 2019, had promised to accord high premium to the welfare of civil servants and retirees in his development agenda for the state.

Accordingly, it is enthusiastic to note that on assumption to office on February 14, 2020, the governor has lived up to expectation by implementing the payment of the new minimum wage, pensioner’s gratuity, ensuring prompt payment of salaries and pensions as well as weigh in arrears for media workers except the few journalists whose names were omitted during the exercise and a Memo for payment was allegedly forward on his table for assent.

This weigh in issue, no doubt His Excellency will approved the release of the money for the beneficiaries.

The Governor during his One-year anniversary media briefing on February 13, 2021 had directed the Honourable Commissioner for Information through the Office of the Head of Service to forward a Memo for this payment.

It would be recalled that Workers under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have lauded the workers-friendly disposition of Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri.

Delivering a joint address of both unions at the Peace Park in Yenagoa, venue of this year’s Workers Day celebration, State NLC Chairman, Comrade Bipre John Ndiomu, praised Governor for prompt payment of salaries and gratuity since his emergence as governor in February 2020.

He appreciated the governor for standing by workers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that at a time there was global job loss, the story in Bayelsa was different due to the pragmatic and people-oriented leadership style of the governor.

Comrade Ndiomu described as heartwarming the readiness of Governor Diri to rise to the occasion whenever issues affecting workers were brought to him as demostrated by the committees his government had set up to handle such issues.

The labour leader used the forum to present catalogue of worker’s needs to Governor Diri for approval, particularly the payment of backlog of promotion owed workers since 2015 to 2019 in order to uplift their living conditions and restated the readiness of workers to constantly cooperate with government.

But several workers in a chat with Global Overseer Reporter on condition of anonymity on their preparation to celebrate this year’s Christmas complained bitterly over paucity of funds to meet up their Christmas needs and their children schools demand in January.

According to most of them, they have no better hope to celebrate the Christmas as usual unless the Properity Government would consider it necessary as they are begging to pay Christmas bonus and Promotion arrears.

Speaking unanimously, the said “Our major expectation to celebrate this year’s Christmas is payment of backlog of promotion owed us. We are vey much happy with Governor Douye Diri’s peoples-oriented administration. Ours is to beg the Governor to offset the backlog of promotion owed by the immediate past administration.

This is consequent upon the high cost of living in the state arising from high prices of essential food items among other essential needs to enhance our livelihood. The indebtedness by workers arising from 2016 economic recession, several civil servants are still paying debts,” they stated.

They recalled that the immediate past Governor had pledged to pay these backlog of promotion on the occasion of the 2019 Workers Day Celebration at Peace Park in Yenagoa, lamenting that

 after all approvals, money was not released to effect the payment until they left office.

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