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Bayelsa Pro-Democracy Group Rates Dickson Low On Education, Civil Servant Welfare

A Bayelsa State-based pro-democracy group known as the Niger Delta Leaders Forum (NDLF) yesterday rated as "abysmal" the performance of the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson in the areas of education and civil service.
According to the group, the recent review done to assess the performance of the state’s present administration showed a worrisome trend in which hundreds of scholarship students in higher institutions abroad have been abandoned and
are stranded to fend for themselves.
In terms of civil service, the group said though the claim of prompt payment of salaries was confirmed, the confidence in the civil service is at its lowest ebb with the nonpayment of gratuities, the ban on overheads and allowances, and a failure to make valid promotions for civil servants for more than three years.

The National Coordinator of the NDLF, Michael Olomu, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, said the outcome of the survey reviewed the three and half years performance of Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration.
Mr. Olomu, who was an assistant to former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva on student affairs, said, “The government has totally failed in education. State bursaries [have] not been paid for over three years. Students overseas are stranded. These students are begging the state government to pay them their stipends."
He expressed further that some courses at home are not accredited, and the lecturers on sabbatical have not received their salaries as well.
“Lecturers of Niger Delta University Amassoma… have not received their salaries [for] over a year and seven months... As I speak with you, lectures are suffering.”
“Even all the departments are disaccredited. During the previous administration, we got full accreditation in all the faculties and departments in the university. But now, over seven to eight departments do not have accreditation. This shows the government does not believe in education. He said he was going to fund education when he came on board,” Mr. Olomu added.