Bayelsa Decries Decline in Federal Allocation to States

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Bayelsa State government on Tuesday, justified its position on the implementation of the current public service reforms, in view of declining revenues from the federation account.

Presenting the income and expenditure profile of the state for the month of April, in Yenagoa, Deputy Governor Gboribiogha John Jonah, said without the reforms, Bayelsa stands the risk of becoming a failed state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, said Jonah decried the drastic reduction of federal allocation to the states in recent times, in spite of the improvement in all the critical indicators in the oil industry.

Jonah, who noted that Bayelsa’s allocation from the federation account reduced by over N700 million in the month of March, observed that, accruals to the federation account in recent times had defied all mathematical predictions.

His words: “Funding is a very difficult thing in this country now. Recall that between March and April this year, our income reduced by over N700 million and it is still threatening.
“And the strange thing about this reduction at the federal level, is that, the accruals to the federation account has defied all mathematical predictions. You can no longer calculate it sitting down here.

“Ordinarily, we should expect that if oil price and production increase with the naira devalued, there is no justification why we should not have sufficient money to pay salaries.
“All the indicators are improving but the money coming to us is decreasing. That is why state governors have been insisting that they should be part of those calculating the money.”

According to the deputy governor, Bayelsa’s Gross FAAC inflow stood at N14.5 billion, comprising a statutory allocation of N2.6 billion, derivation, N9.2 billion, Excess Bank charges N1.8 billion, Value Added Tax N741 million and refund from other states N57 million.

He announced total FAAC deductions of N1.6 billion, which include, bond loan deduction of N421 million, restructured commercial bank loan N741 million, Excess Crude Account facility to states N126 million, refund of overpayments to the states N128 million, bringing the net inflow to N12.9 billion.

Jonah, who declared N1.2 billion for the month of March as internally generated revenue, explained that, the state government expended a total of N6.2 billion on salaries, contractual guarantees, subvention to tertiary institutions and ten percent contribution to payment of primary school teachers.
He also said recurrent payment gulped N2.7 billion, while capital expenditure was N6.6 billion, adding that, the state government was left with a balance of N7.6 billion as at the end of April, 2018.

Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso Markson, emphasised the need for the public, particularly, media practitioners to partner with government in driving the reform agenda in the public sector.

While reaffirming the administration’s determination to sanitise the system with fairness, he assured that, government would provide succour to those, who would be affected by the exercise.

“I can’t imagine that we are still doing N4 billion in terms of monthly salaries in Bayelsa. We are even doing much more in terms of our wage bill. That is not sustainable so we need everybody’s hand to be on deck to clean up the payroll.
“It’s better we swallow the bitter pill today so that we safeguard the future of our children and the ones yet unborn. I believe very strongly most Bayelsans who are in the public service can do better outside the service as entrepreneurs,” Iworiso Markson said.