Bayelsa Restructures Financial Strategies | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bayelsa Restructures Financial Strategies

Posted: Jul 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma, Yenagoa


Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has said that the state government would adopt more prudent measures to enable it meet its salary and contractual obligations to workers and contractors.

Dickson said this during a live radio interview at Government House, Yenagoa, according to a press release by the Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson.

He said government was re-working its financial management strategies to cushion the adverse effects of the shortfall in federal revenue allocations to the state occasioned by dwindling oil prices in the international market.

The governor noted that, but for his administration’s prudence, the state would not have been ranked among the few states not owing workers salaries.

Dickson also gave the state government a clean bill of health on the payment of pensions to retirees, adding that, “the only issue there is that of gratuity, which has lingered for close to 10 years that we are trying to solve.”

On unpaid local government council workers in the state, who are being owed over five months by the chairmen, Dickson described the situation as unacceptable.

He said the state government was awaiting recommendations that would emanate from the state House of Assembly’s investigation into unpaid salaries at the councils.

Dickson said his administration would not interfere in the affairs of councils beyond the issuance of general guidelines to enable them deliver at the grassroots level.

“The House of Assembly is well within its powers to examine reasons that occasioned that undesirable situation. But, I don’t want to pre-judge the ongoing investigation by the Assembly.

“I’m also aware that revenue that accrues to councils has drastically reduced because of the shortfall. All the same, our expectation is that priority attention should be given to payment of salaries of council workers, especially in the new Bayelsa, where we have not deducted and will not deduct any money from local government coffers.

“I await the recommendations the Assembly may make at the end of their enquiries and findings on the issue. But from the preliminary reports I have received so far, there is the possibility of our resorting to one measure or the other to support local government councils; specifically, in the area of clearing their backlog of salaries,” he said.