Following the recent publications of the amount of money accruing to states from the Federation Account under the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari, the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, on Tuesday, challenged the Federal Government to make the amount of money accrued to the first tier of government and its parastatals from the federation account public.
Dickson also alleged that such public presentation of the Federal Government accounts and spending would be affirmed by the lop-sided nature of sharing between States and Federal Government.
Reacting, on Tuesday, to the report that Bayelsa State was on the third of the table with N95billion, he said though the state Governors, particularly that of Bayelsa, had discovered the intention of the publishers of the table, the Federal Government should publish its books and allow Nigerians to judge between states and the Federal Government and discover the lopsided pattern of sharing of Federation account.
Dickson however confirmed to the gathering of stakeholders in the state at the monthly Transparency Briefing that out of the N95billion accrued to the state in the last one year, N12billion was for the existing eight local government council areas, N12.3billion for deduction by the Federal Government on loans and bonds incurred by past administration of Chief Timipre Sylva, N24billion for local bank debts incurred by the past and present administrations, N3.9billion for overhead payments to the State House of Assembly, the Judiciary and the Executive arms of government and N20.9billion for capital projects in the state.
He confirmed that a total sum of N32.3billion was used to pay salaries in the last one year.
According to Dickson, “though many from other states claimed we are highest producer of oil and are number three on the table. That shows you the lopsided nature of the sharing pattern adopted by the Federal Government. It would be interesting to Nigerians if the Federal Government should publish what they get and spend. They should also publish the account of the NNPC and other parastatals. We are teaching states transparency and show public accountability.’
“When we are talking, some others talk because we are in a primitive state where many want to hear falsehood rather than truth. With the deduction of over N12.3billion money they overpaid past administration and if you don’t have a prudent government, the state would have collapsed. They claimed the deduction of N1.2billion and N1.3 billion monthly was excess deductions. Those were debts incurred by an incompetent and shameless government under Timipre Sylva. They are inciting criminal youths to disturb the peace of the state. For that act of stealing with criminal bonds and loans, they still have the boldness to talk.”
“In January, 2016, the state got N7billion but a N3billion loan incurred by Sylva was deducted. In February, we got N6billion but N3billion was deducted. In March, N5billion came but Timipre Sylva’s loan of N3.3billion was deducted. If we used 10per cent of the deductions for salaries or project, we would not have the trouble we have now. The Federal Government doesn’t talk to anybody. Some say Bayelsa is an oil rich state. If am managing it, you should know things are very hard.”