The Rivers State
Government has uncovered massive fraud in its monthly wage bill through the on-going biometric data capture for civil servants in the state.
According to the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, over 1,000 workers collect two different salaries monthly in various ministries of the state.
Wike while playing host to members of the Governing Council of Kenule Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, at Government House, Port Harcourt, decried a situation where a handful of corrupt officials siphon half of the monthly wage bill into their pockets.
He, therefore, declared that salaries will only be paid to civil servants in the state who have concluded their biometric capture data.
While wondering why government will be paying over 50,000 civil servants monthly, and few people will be collecting half of the wage bill, Wike made it clear that he will stop the trend, as according to him, he has the political will to do so.
“I don’t know how we can have 50 something thousand civil servants we are paying salaries. As at yesterday, from the record I saw, we have gotten over 1,000 people who collect double salaries. The same persons, two ministries, taking two salaries, you can’t believe it.
“They say we have 50 something thousand; now we have gone up to 4,000, people are not coming to do biometrics, they must come. If you do not do your biometrics, no salary. If you like put it on the pages of newspapers, ‘workers have not been paid salaries’, I am not owing you. Go and do your biometrics.
“There are cabals in the civil service making money. I have the political will, and I will stop the trend whereby government will be paying over N5billion as salaries, and some people will be taking half of the money,” Wike added.
While noting the dwindling federal allocation to the state in view of the decline in oil prices and the state wage bill, Wike urged management of the polytechnic to strive to improve on their internally generated revenue.
“Source for your own revenue. No university or institution can survive by solely depending on government. It is not possible. Look at the oil price. As at last month, we got N3.5billion, which is like $10million and our salary is over N5billion. If we do not drive our IGR up, we won’t survive, and that is why we are seriously trying to reduce our wage bill,” he said.
Wike, said that the polytechnic was set up to produce middle level technical manpower to tackle the needs of the state.
as well as equip the workshops and laboratories to meet the desired standard of the institution.
He assured them of government’s desire to assist the institution in order to meet the required standard for accreditation of courses run in the institution.
Earlier, the Chairman, Governing Council of the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka, said the priority of the council was to make the institution the best in the country.
He lauded the governor for his developmental strides, and solicited for government support to enable it tackle some challenges faced by the institution.
Appeal Court Resolves Buguma Chieftaincy Stool Crisis – Awards Cost Against Plaintiffs
A three-man panel of Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Thursday, affirmed the judgement of Degema High Court that declared Chief Igonikon George as the rightful person to ascend to the chieftaincy stool, Polodabo.
The court ruled that Alabo Hon Datonye Igbanibo Igonikon George, Idaere-fama, is the rightful occupant of the throne and head of the family, Buguma Town, in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Chief Charlesye Charles had approached the Appeal Court to challenge the judgement of the Degema High Court division delivered by Justice S.O.Benson and appealed against the verdict on behalf of himself and other plaintiff in the matter, asking the court to upturn the judgement.
But in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Paul O Elechi on behalf of the three-man Appeal Court panel in Port Harcourt, affirmed the judgement of the Degema High Court, saying that the court was right in their decision and awarded the sum of two hundred thousand naira in favour of the defendant.
A member of Chief Igonikon George, Chief, D A George, who spoke to newsmen outside the courtroom, said the judgement had proven the judiciary as the hope of the common man.
He thanked the judges for doing justice on the matter, adding that the judgement would put to an end the long years of legal tussle by the George family.
Okrika Stakeholders Chart Way Forward On Security
As part of measures to strengthen security architecture, stakeholders, security experts have ended a one-day security summit in Okrika Local Government Area, Rivers State
The one-day security summit/sensitisation held recently at the council headquarters, was organised by the council authorities in conjunction with the Okrika Divisional Police, Central Community Development Committees.
Delivering his inaugural speech, Okrika Divisional Police Officer (DPO),CSP Okoro Ikechukwu, said the sensitisation on peace building was apt considering security challenges facing the country.
CSP Okoro said the aim of the sensitisation was geared towards orientating the teeming youths on how to engage themselves and build a better society.
He explained that idleness among the youths had been a major contributing factor in crime and other social vices, hence the need to engage in meaningful skills.
“The essence of the sensitisation is to enlighten the youths to engage in skill acquisition or go to school as it will help build a better society.
“The police is doing it in partnership with the Council authorities, Community Development Committees (CDCs) and other critical stakeholders aimed at giving them necessary orientation capable of guiding them to be useful”, he said.
CSP Okoro said idleness had led some into cultism, criminality and other vices inimical to the development of any society which according to him, the orientation is seeking to address.
CSP Okoro said further to achieving this important objective, the Division shall be visiting all communities in Okrika to enable the message go down.
He said no engagement in education or skill is a waste which will help build more prosperous society.
Earlier, Okrika Central Community Development Committee Chairman, Hon SekiboTamuso commended the effort of the DPO to let the youths know the danger of idleness.
Hon. Sekibo said, building the way forward for the sustenance of existing peace was crucial.
He said to achiev this feat, all hands must be on desk.
Describing Okrika as one of the adjudged peaceful local government areas in Rivers State, he advised youths to do away with cultism.
NIN Registration: LG Boss Moves Personnel To Bakana
In a bid to encourage rural dwellers to participate in the enrollment of the ongoing National Identity Number (NIN), handled by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the Executive Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, has facilitated the movement of personnel of the commission to Bakana Community.
The LGA NIN Centre, which was initially only situated at the Council headquarters in Degema, is expected to capture residents of Bakana and its neighbouring Oguruama communities.
The chairman, who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Ipalibo Yellowe in Bakana, enjoined residents of the area, who were yet to enrol in the scheme, to take advantage of the registration exercise and get captured.
Hon. Williams noted that the decentralization of the NIN registration to parts of the LGA, which had commenced in Bakana, would be extended to other Oceania communities soon.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government had recently approved the extension of the deadline for the enrollment of the National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to October 31, 2021.
The decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, in order to address low enrollments, as evidenced by enrollment statistics.
As at today, there are over 5,500 enrollment systems within and outside the country with a total of 59.8 million NIN enrollments.
By: Wokoma Emmanuel
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