Bayelsa state Governor Hon. Seriake Dickson on Thursday presented a bank draft of N3.9bn to Julius Berger Plc and Rafoe Nigeria Limited to fast track the developmental projects embarked upon by his administration in the State.
Making the presentation as part of activities marking his one year in office, Hon. Dickson said the amount paid was part of savings from the 17.22 bn released from the state monthly savings.
Calling on the affected companies to expedite action on the completion of the various projects they are handling including two flyovers at the NNPC mega station area and Tombia-Edepie roundabout, the Governor said they would be held liable if the projects are delayed.
According to him, the timeline for the completion of the over head bridges is 24 months, while the expansion of Onopa section of the Sir Lambert Eradiri road and the bridge linking the proposed tourism Island is 18 months.
‘We are not indebted to any contractor, rather they are the ones owing us. That is why I am presenting the draft in the public for the teeming Bayelsans to know and monitor them’.
Also, the Governor has expressed concern over the payment of N4.104bn monthly wage to public and political office holders, expressing its readiness to work in collaboration with the members of the newly inaugurated Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation, (BDIC) to ensure reduction in the State’s recurrent expenditure.
In his financial breakdown at the January monthly transparency briefing held on Thursday in Yenagoa, the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson said at the end of every month, civil servants are being paid N3.8bn as salary, while political appointees’ salary stand at N304m.
According to him, on assumption of office, one year ago, we inherited a wage bill of N5bn. However, after necessary financial measures were put in place, the figure drastically reduced to N3.8bn. We are still going to do more at ensuring that we bring down our recurrent wage bill to the barest minimum.
We inherited a fraud infested system. In Bayelsa state as at the time we took over, we had a total number of 5,237 teachers and 8,000 non academic staff including cleaners who do not go to work in the primary schools across the state. While the government is complaining of dearth of instructors in the Education sectors, the administrators, for their selfish reasons keep on employing their aged relations as cleaners.
The Governor queried, “how can non academic staff out-number teaching staff, when the state is complaining of dearth of teachers in our primary and secondary schools. We are still going to embark on another round of verification exercise, to fish out the remaining ghost workers in the system. The third tier of government is not spared either.”
Even though the claim is that non teaching staff is not earning much but by the time you put the figure together, it becomes something else. We cannot condone this act any longer.
Some local government administrators are fond of recruiting their family members without recourse to due process. This has to be stopped for the state to move forward.
On the state financial status at the end of January, the governor put the Gross inflow at N15.215bn, the Federation Account Allocation Commission, (FAAC) deduction stands at N2.385bn and the Net inflow balance is N12.829bn.
The monthly outflow as put forward by the government include; bank repayment; N1.9bn and FIRS is N200m.