From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has ruled out down-sizing of its work force despite the continued run of poor finances accruing to the state government.
The State Commissioner of Finance, Mr Maxwell Ebibai who gave the assurance during the transparency briefing for the months of January and February assured the workers in the state that the present administration is not contemplating on downsizing but focused on delivery of prosperity to all in the state by seeking alternative sources of revenue to shore up its finances.
Ebibai said the present administration utilized the income from the federal allocation to ensure monthly payment of salaries to workers, political appointees and payment of pension and gratuities and focused on using extra ordinary incomes to finance ongoing capital projects in the state.
He clarified that extra ordinary income is income that does not come regularly which are not part of the statutory allocation to the state.
According to him the cost of running government had becoming highly challenging as the state was contending with dwindling federal revenues coupled with low internally generated revenue.
Ebibai noted that cutting cost is not always the best approach in managing the finances of the state rather the state government is considering recovering state funds being owed the state by many other sources to have enough extra ordinary funds to finance capital projects
” For clarity, government is not considering right sizing, downsizing, upsizing or whatever. The emphasis will be let for us to know what actually our problems are and when you know what the problems are then you work towards solving it. If we don’t receive some extra ordinary income, how do we survive as a state? If you consider our salary figures, the cost of running government is a big challenge. But if you look at the extraordinary figures and capital projects expenditure you would notice that our government is focused and we are ensuring that such extraordinary funds are dedicated to capital projects.
He also assured that the Governor Douye Diri administration has managed the resources of the state well in the last one years in office,” though it has not been easy. We have managed the state resources well and we started the year with bags of capital projects that are ongoing.”
Earlier the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Ayiba Duba said the Governor Douye Diri administration is committed to the development of the state through proper utilization of resources.