The Bayelsa State Government has spent about N123 billion between 2012 till date on servicing of debts, including bonds and foreign loans obtained by the previous administration, its Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (retd), has said.
He also lamented the huge financial burden which the Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s administration has been facing amidst the prevailing economic challenges.
Jonah stated this on Tuesday during the Monthly Transparency briefing held in Government House, Yenagoa,
According to him, the state government has paid a total of N62 billion on bonds obtained by the immediate past administration, while over N61 billion have so far been deducted at source by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) for loans and over-payments to the previous administration.
Giving further clarification on the N50 billion bond, he explained that, the total value of the bond was N104 billion, which was expected to be paid off in June 2017.
The Deputy governor also spoke on the income and expenditure for the month of March 2016, and announced a gross inflow of N5.5 billion, which comprises statutory allocation of N1.5 billion, derivation (N3.4 billion), Value Added Tax (N550.7 million) and exchange differential (N78 million).
Speaking on deductions, he stressed that, N1.2 billion went for bond payment, while comprehensive reconciliation of over-payment made to the state between November 2006 and June 2010, the third out of 28 installments, is N392.8 million.
Also, refund on over-payment of 13 per cent derivation indices from August 2008 to 2009, the third out of 22 instalments, amounted to N187.8 million.
Jonah also stated that, N741 million went for the Federal Government’s restructured bank loans, over-payment from Excess Crude Account accounted for N253 million as well as about N168.2million on the servicing of commercial agricultural loans’ schemes one and two.
Other deductions include, refund of over-payments on E.A Oil Field from November 2006 to June 2010, the third out of 6 installments, amounting to N170 million, deductions on the bailout for the local government staff salaries gulped N32.5 million, while refund of arrears to Akwa Ibom State on the Ekanga Oil Field was N131.5 million.
According to him, the total deductions amounted to N3.3 billion, thereby bringing the net inflow to N2.2 billion, adding that, IGR for the month of February was N446 million in addition to funds from other sources, amounted to N2.7 billion being total funds available as at the end of March, 2016.
Jonah announced a total outflow of N1.3 billion, comprising N1.2 billion on a loan facility obtained by the state government to augment workers’ salaries last year.
At the event, the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, appealed to the militants to embrace dialogue in addressing their grievances, as their activities in the Niger Delta have caused a drastic reduction in revenues, occasioned by the sharp drop in crude oil production.
Also speaking, the State Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Duate Iyabi, who stressed the need to boost the internally generated revenue base through appropriate taxes and levies, assured that the government would not over-burden the people on taxation.