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Financial Transparency: Bayelsa Launches Website, Explains Expenditure Of N95bn From FAAC

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Monday gave an account of how the N95 billion that accrued to the state from the Federation Allocation Account Committee, as published by the Federal Ministry of Finance in some national dailies in the last one year was spent.

Giving the breakdown during the launch of the Bayelsa Transparency website, known as “Bayelsa Watch” in Yenagoa, he explained that, the deductions for bonds and excess crude overpayments made to previous administrations, amounted to N26.92 billion.

The website can be accessed on www.bayelsawatch.org.

Dickson said bond deduction at source came up to N14.89, while refund on overpayment of the 13% derivation made to previous governments was N12.3.

According to hm, out of the N95 billion, the 8 Local Government Councils got N12 billion, the sum of N32.38 billion was expended on workers’ salaries, while capital projects gulped N20.9 billion.

The governor said, “For those of you, who read that report, you will see that Bayelsa is not number one on that list in the sense of who got what. We produce the bulk of the resources, but when you look at the list, Bayelsa is probably number 5 or 6. That issue has to do with addressing the lopsided federal structure of our country, which some of us have been talking and will continue to talk about.

“I commend the Federal government for publishing what goes to the states. That is what we have been doing here by law for the past four years and still counting. But, it will also be interesting for the Federal Ministry of Finance to publish what the Federal Government and its various agencies are getting and spending. That should also be put in the public domain.

“We are the state that is teaching Nigeria transparency; what it means to be transparent in the running of government; what it means to show tolerance and democratic temper in the way we allow people express their views and how no one is hunted and hounded in this land.”

While emphasising the need to create the website, he stated that the move became imperative to inform the world about the income and expenditure profile of the state to enable the people make informed analysis of the financial transactions of the government.

Speaking on the issue of payment of salaries, Dickson assured that both local and state government pensioners would receive their entitlements this week, adding that the verification of the workforce would be a continuous exercise, as the current wage bill of N4.5 billion was no longer sustainable.

The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, in ha speech at the occasion, expressed hope that, the establishment of the Transparency Watch would reduce the speculations about the government’s financial transactions.

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