Judicial inquiry alleges Bayelsa loses N2.6bn annually to payroll fraud

The Bayelsa State government is losing about N2.61 billion to unauthorized employment, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the state’s payroll alleges.

Presenting the volume one of its reports in Yenagoa, the Commission also discovered 6,280 unauthorized employments at the eight constitutionally recognized local council areas and the 32 Rural Development Authorities.

The Chairperson of the Commission, Hon. Justice Doris Adokeme, blamed the over bloated wage bills on the activities of fraudsters in the system.

The commission, in its findings, discovered 3,243 unauthorized employees at the Rural Development Authorities and 3,037 at the eight constitutionally recognized Local Council Areas of the State.

Ekeremor top the chat with 1,162 employees followed by Southern Ijaw, Yenagoa, Ogbia and Brass.

The Justice Adokeme-led Commission gave Kolokuma/Opokuma local Council and the RDA a clean bill of performance, with the employment of 505 staffers, adding that, in spite of their strength, the workers are putting up optimal performance.

The commission attributed the over bloated wage bill at the third tier of the government to illegal transfer of service, substitution of names of retirees, illegal substitution of names of dead employees and back dating of appointment.

It, therefore, called for a holistic implementation of the recommendations of the Commission, stressing that, it is the only way to curb the activities of pay roll fraudsters and reduce the wage bill.

Receiving the report, Governor Dickson commended the efforts of the Commission’s Chairperson and its members for the painstaking manner they have carried out their assignment and assured that the government would look into it and take necessary steps.

Governor Dickson asked the commission to beam its searchlight on the education sector, describing it as another critical sector that is giving the administration sleepless nights.

The governor said his administration is waiting to receive other volumes of the reports, especially reports on the mainstream civil service.

He stated that a committee would be inaugurated to carry out the re-organization in the Ministry of Environment and announced the commencement of the employment of sanitary inspectors.

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