Bayelsa State Deputy Governor Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah (retd) has attributed the poor revenue fortunes accrued to the state from the Federation Account to the continuous activities of militants in the Niger-Delta region, noting that nobody should expect an improvement until the criminal activities is put to a stop.
Admiral John-Jonah, on Tuesday, lamented that the blowing up of oil installations in the state has adversely affected the allocation accrued to the state from the Federation Account, adding that the situation in the area has further decreased the oil price that recently stood at $50 per barrel to $40.
Jonah, who disclosed this during the monthly media transparency briefing in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, therefore, appealed to youths in the state and Niger Delta to desist from the destructive acts, as its effect is devastating to the ecology and finances of the states in the region, stressing that the blowing of the Nembe Creek 1, 2, 3 and Trans-Niger located in the state has affected the production quota of the state.
Said he: “A lot of destruction has happened; therefore we are not expecting any improvement due to the current situation in the Niger Delta. The future is not that bright even if indicators point towards that direction. Already, the Trans Niger trunk line and Nembe Creek 1,2 and 3 trunk line located in Bayelsa state which link the Bonny Terminal have been affected. We are appealing to our brothers and sisters that in addition to the ecology, the damage is quite devastating to us as a state.”
The deputy governor, who was flanked by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Serena Dokubo-Spiff, State Head of Service, Dr. Peter Singabele, Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Duate Iyabi and members of the State Executive Council, declared a balance of N1billion, 384 million, after all statutory deductions for the month of March, however, said in spite of the huge shortfall, the state government would honour its commitment of payment of fifty-percent salaries to civil servants in the state.
He also assured the people that effective collection of taxes in the state will commence in order to save for the huge financial situation of the state, noting that government has already mapped out strategies to pay salaries knowing full well that the inflow from the federal government will not take care of half workers’ salaries in the state.