Bayelsa State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, on Thursday said henceforth the salaries of primary school teachers will be placed on first line charge and directed the Commissioner for Local Government Administration, Pastor Agatha Goma, under the supervision of the deputy governor to ensure strict compliance.
The Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who captured the governor’s directive in a statement said, Dickson made the pronouncement while speaking at the state’s monthly transparency briefing in Yenagoa.
He said with the current arrangement, the government would deduct the funds meant for the payment of the salaries from the Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC) in order to pay directly to the teachers.
Dickson explained that the government took the decision because of the difficulties encountered by the council in the payment of the teachers’ salaries.
The governor however reiterated the fact that it was statutorily the responsibility of the councils to pay salaries of primary school teachers as provided for in the law, but the latest measure is aimed at avoiding any encumbrances.
He added that the councils had difficulties in paying the teachers salaries due to the endemic payroll fraud in the system especially the inclusion of fake names in the payroll, which the government had been making frantic efforts to address.
Dickson stressed that with he new arrangement, the money for the primary and secondary school teachers would be paid at the same time.
The Bayelsa governor stated that very soon a competent test will be organised for teachers to ensure the state has the right people who are in charge of the various government primary and secondary schools.