Obogu Oforji, Caretaker Chairman, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa, says the ongoing reforms in the state public service has saved the council over N1 billion from 2016 till date.
Mr Oforji made the revelation at a town hall meeting at Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa on Monday.
He said the total savings from the salaries of the council staff and primary school teachers in the local government area amounted to about N42 million naira monthly.
According to him, on assumption of office in 2016, his administration inherited a monthly wage bill of over N96 million and a staff strength of 1, 387.
He added that the staff verification exercises reduced the wage bill to about N84 million and 1, 125 staff making a monthly saving of N11.79 million from the local government staff salaries.
He further said the council and the state government jointly saved about N30 million monthly as the teachers’ wages dropped from about N100 million in 2016 to about N70 million in 2018.
The chairman explained that the staff verification in primary schools with excess non-teaching staff, pruned down the workforce from 1, 483 in 2016 to 968 in 2018.
Mr Oforji who applauded the Seriake Dickson administration for initiating the reform, noted that it had given hope to the local government system and saved it from collapse.
The chairman added that the savings would be channeled to providing social amenities for the people.
Also speaking, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the state Commissioner for Information, said the reforms would be pursued to a logical conclusion, noting that the results were already evident.
He said the state government had approved the recruitment of 1, 000 civil servants to fill the vacancies created by the reforms.
Mr Iworiso-Markson said government was taking the town hall meetings to the eight local government areas in the state to solicit for the people’s support for the reforms.