Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has declared that the over-aged workers of the state owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma were retired from service by the management of the Institution in accordance with the civil service rule not sacked as being rumoured.
This is even as workers have vowed to continue with the sit out at the institution to protest the sack of the workers and what they call the brazen inhuman treatment being meted out to them by the Government.
The Special Adviser to the Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei said in a statement on Wednesday that the government approved three months salaries to the affected workers in lieu of notice.
He stressed that the three months salaries were approved and released in addition to the retirement benefits of the workers affected by the ongoing implementation of the reforms in the tertiary education sector of the state.
The Governor’s aide said that the narrative in the public domain that the affected workers were asked to go without benefits was a lie masterminded by mischief makers.
He urged the well-meaning people of Bayelsa State to discountenance the story which he said was being peddled by those who do not mean well for the state.
He said that the Governor of the State, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, reputed to be a leading light in educational promotion in the country has done so much for the NDU.
Soriwei said that the desire to develop the NDU motivated the governor to ensure the accreditation of all critical courses such as Law, Medicine, Accountancy and others which were erstwhile unaccredited.
According to him it was not conceivable for over-aged employees to be retained in the payroll of government for ever.
He explained that the affected workers most of who were above 60 and 70 years had to be retired from the system to pave the way for the employment of fresh and young qualified Bayelsans into the system.
Meanwhile the workers affected by the policy of the state government and their counterparts still in service have vowed to ensure the school remain shut until the government reverse its policy.
The people mostly from Amassoma community, host of the University said if the need arises they would protest to Government House Yenagoa to express their displeasure with the government decision to shed staff in the institution.