APC’s N7bn VAT Refund Claim Mischievous, Says Bayelsa Govt

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By Emmanuel Addeh

The Bayelsa State Government has described the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) claim of a N7 billion Value Added Tax (VAT) refund to the state as mischievous.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Treasury, Accounts and Revenue, Mr Timipre Seipulo made the clarification while presenting the revenue and expenditure profile of the state for the month of September, 2019.

Yekini Nabena, the APC Deputy National Spokesman had called on the Federal Government and the Ministry of Finance not release the fund till the November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election is over.

Responding to a question during the monthly statutory Transparency and Accountability briefing, Seipulo said that contrary to media reports, the yet to be released VAT refund was in the region of N4 billion and not N7 billion, noting that the process of releasing the money was still in the works.

He said, “On the N7 billion VAT refund, actually there is a VAT refund the state is pursuing and it is not as much as that.

“Somebody mentioned N7 billion. We are not expecting N7 billion , we are believing it should not be less than N4 billion, by the time the money drops and the transfers are made.

“However, it doesn’t come around this period and that is why it is not within this report and as usual what the state does when such money comes in, definitely, will be reported accordingly in the (next) transparency briefing.

“The actual money that will drop was not shown because we make a presentation once every month to the CBN. At the end of the day, the money transferred to us will be less charges.

“We will report what actually will came to the state on VAT when the money is received,” he said.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson also remarked that the forthcoming governorship election in the state, was about the future of the state

He urged all well-meaning people of the state to vote the PDP standard-bearer, Senator Douye Diri, to sustain the development agenda of the government.

He cited the Bayelsa International Airport, Agge Deep Seaport, three Senatorial roads, Health Insurance Scheme, model and boarding schools as achievements of the PDP and urged the electorate to vote wisely.

Earlier, presenting the revenue from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), for the month of September, Mr. Seipulo said the total inflow stood at N14.2 billion.

He noted that the amount consisted of statutory allocation of N3.4 billion, derivation N8.87 billion, VAT N774 million, foreign exchange equalization N579 million among other components.

Mr Seipulo also announced N1.3 billion as total deductions from the federation account, comprising refund of budget support of N225.2 million and foreign loans to state, federal government recovery N37 million.

He said other deductions include, restructured commercial bank loans of N741 million, Excess Crude Account loan facility to states N126 million and refunds from overpayment of revised 13% derivation indices of N128 million.

According to the Special Adviser, the net amount after FAAC deductions came up to N12.8 billion and total receipts from other sources including internally generated revenue for the month of August, 2019 was N1.2 billion.

Mr. Seipulo explained that the total other receipts of N1.2 billion in addition to the net amount of N12.8 billion
brought total receipts for the month of September to N14.5 billion.

On total outflows, Mr. Seipulo said the amount stood at N7.2 billion, noting that the amount include, bank loans and contractual guarantees of N2.3 billion.

Dickson Calls for Credible Poll At Last Thanksgiving

By Emmanuel Addeh

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has led prominent personalities within and outside the country to observe the State annual Thanksgiving Service.

During the event, statutorily held every November, the governor, who will hand over the reins of government to a new administration in February next year, insisted that “God would not allow those who do not mean well for the state to assume the reins of governance.”

He expressed optimism that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Senator Douye Diri, would emerge victorious in the November 16 governorship election through a free, fair, peaceful and credible process.

The governor who emphasised the importance of thanksgiving, urged the clergy and the people to sustain their prayers and support for the state.

He listed critical infrastructure such as roads, health facilities, the airport, educational facilities and public buildings including the Ecumenical centre as some of the projects that have elevated the status of Yenagoa, the state capital.

“The forthcoming election will be free, fair and credible and our candidate, Senator Douye Diri will win the election. This is the only way we can continue the developmental path taken by me.

“It’s been eight years that we started this and I thank God for using me as an instrument to serve the people of Bayelsa. It is a great honour. He used me to build this Ecumenical Centre.

“I want to thank you all, the men women and youths of this state who keyed into my policies and we pray that those who want to destroy this state do not get there” Dickson said.

In his goodwill message, the General Overseer of the Royal House of Grace International Church, Apostle Zilly Aggrey, said that the Dickson administration was the first to break the jinx of truncated administrations since the commencement of democratic governance in the state.

Aggrey noted that the election was not just about Bayelsa State but also about the future of the Ijaw nation.

He said he believed that Dickson had fought the Ijaw cause, especially with the recognition accorded Major Adaka Boro, the leader of the Ijaw struggle.

In his sermon, the Archbishop of York, Church of England, Dr John Sentamu stressed the significance of thanksgiving and urged the people to show commitment to the service of God and humanity.