The Bayelsa State Government has threatened to sanction community leaders who fail to compile a list of absentee teachers and health workers serving at public schools and health facilities in their communities and report them to the government.
The Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, issued the threat at a meeting with stakeholders of the Sagbama Constituencies I, II and III in the Government House, Yenagoa.
He reiterated government’s earlier warning that teachers and health workers, especially in rural communities, who have formed the habit of not going to work would face disciplinary measures, including forfeiture of their salaries.
Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement issued by his media aide, Doubara Atasi, insisted that absentee workers and community leaders who treated this warning with levity would have themselves to blame.
He said the Governor Douye Diri-led administration was poised to change the narrative in the education and health sectors, stressing that “gone are the days when teachers and health workers will stay in the comfort of their homes all days of the month to be drawing salaries.”
While acknowledging the need to inject more manpower into the two sectors, Ewhrudjakpo stated that those government employees must work to justify their monthly pay.
The deputy governor said, “Henceforth, in every community, the Amananaowei (paramount ruler), the CDC chairman, youth and women leaders will mark a register for all teachers posted to your community.
“At the end of the month, if a teacher does not come to work up to 15 days, he or she will not have salary for that month. The same applies to the health workers because if we don’t do that the available ones will be useless.
“We really want to encourage you to give us that list. If you don’t give us that list at the end of the month, we know that you have also been bribed by the teachers that are posted to your community.
“So, if you come and tell us that there are no teachers in your community, we will first hold you responsible and make you to pay the salaries of those ghost workers because you collected the salaries on their behalf.”