Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government yesterday said it had completely offset the N104 billion bond loan inherited from a previous administration.
The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai disclosed this during the monthly transparency briefing for the months of June and July, 2019 in Yenagoa.
Mr. Ebibai explained that the state government painstakingly undertook the repayment of the debt from Governor Seriake Dickson’s immediate predecessor, in spite of numerous financial obligations.
He noted that the Governor Dickson-led administration was not against deficit financing, but emphasised that borrowed funds must be utilised for development purposes.
“The state government has concluded the payment of bond that was taken by the previous administration.
“And as a government, our concern is that it carries the assets and liabilities of every government. We have taken on that responsibility painfully and we are done with it.
“There is nothing wrong with a government deciding to do deficit financing but what is important is what we are using it for and we have put it behind us as a state,” Ebibai said.
It was gathered that the Bayelsa State Government was hitherto spending about N400 million every month to service the debt.
While presenting the revenues and expenditures for the month of July, Ebibai said in the month of June, it recorded an internally generated revenue of N1.5 billion as against N910m in May.
He noted that the gross income from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, (FAAC), stood at N11.6 billion, while total FAAC deductions amounted to N1.1 billion.
According to him, the statutory allocation for the month of July was N3.4 billion, derivation, N7 billion, Value Added Tax, N928 million and exchange gain differential of N23 million.
Mr. Ebibai further explained that total funds available for spending was N13.4 billion, consisting of a net FAAC inflow of N10.4 billion in addition to total other receipts of N3 billion.
On outflows, the Finance Commissioner said government spent N2.4 billion on bank loans, civil servants and political appointees salaries came up to N3.5billion, grants to higher institutions N695 million among other items.
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The Commissioner who announced N701.5 million as balance brought forward from the month of June, put funds available as at the end of July as N399 million.
Mr. Ebibai also said recurrent and capital payments gulped a total of N6.4 billion.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson had expressed expectation that the transparency and accountability policy would be sustained as it is backed by law.
Iworiso-Markson who was full of gratitude to Bayelsans for their support to the Dickson administration, urged the people to maintain the peace and ensure a smooth and hitch-free transition programme.