Friday, May 1, 2015 10:34 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state today announced a slash by 20 per cent the personal income tax of its workers just as it presented an official car to the state chairman of the Trade Union Congress in fulfillment of an earlier promise.
It was not clear whether the workers could really enjoy the reduction, as the PAYE tax is a Federal law, applicable in all the Nigerian states. Governor Dickson himself acknowledged this but insisted that the reduced tax regime will be implemented from June.
Reassuring the workers of government’s commitment to their welfare, the Governor explained that, the new personal income tax regime will be implemented from the month of June, 2015.
The Governor, who expressed gratitude to the workers, attributed the successes recorded by his administration, partly to the sacrifices, understanding and cooperation of workers in the state.
In the spirit of solidarity, Governor Dickson also announced a cash donation of 10 million naira to all affiliate associations of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, that participated in the celebrations.
Responding to the demands of workers at the event, the Governor assured them of govenment’s readiness to commence the construction work on a befitting secretariat for organised labour in the state.
He urged the workers to remain apolitical in the discharge of their duties, while urging the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to conduct its forthcoming elections under a rancour-free and peaceful atmosphere, assuring that, the government will also make good its promise of providing an official car to the new leadership of the congress that will emerge.
Earlier in a joint address, the state councils of Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, commended Governor Dickson for his development strides and commitment to workers welfare in the state.
Presenting the address, the second Vice Chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade William Oweibo, particularly lauded the Governor for the timely payment of the monthly salaries and pension to workers, despite the drop in revenues accruing to the state.
The unions, however, appealed to government to pay the outstanding minimum wage arrears to serving public servants that have not benefited and gratuities to retired senior citizens of the state.
They also called on the state government to fulfill its earlier promise of releasing agricultural loans to farmers, conduct regular promotion exercises for deserving workers and upgrade facilities in the state-owned media houses to meet up the digitization deadline as well as pay weigh-in overtime allowances to media workers, among other demands.
Highpoint of the celebration was the presentation of a Honda CRV to the state chairman of the TUC, Tari Dounana.
The event was attended by many government functionaries including the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd), Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Konbowei Benson, Head of Service, Dr Josephine Igodo and Special Adviser on Political Matters, Hon Fyneman Wilson.