From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has waded into the industrial crisis between teachers and the Ogbia local government council.
It has also decided to continue its support for the eight local councils in terms of payment of workers’ salaries to nip in the bud brewing industrial crisis in the other local government councils.
The Technical Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Treasury and Accounts, Mr Timipre Seipulo who disclosed this during the transparency briefing for the month of March and April 2021 said the Governor Douye Diri administration has decided to shoulder the extra financial burden of the local government councils in the interest of the people.
Seipulo speaking on the deduction from the money due the state by the federal government as refund of money collected on the disputed Oluasiri oil wells said the state government is not happy with the development.
According to him the legal process has not been exhausted but the federal government because it pays FAAC deducts at source.
He disclosed that total money for the disputed oil wells is N11billion and close to a billion is deducted from the allocati9on of the state every month.
“Bayelsa had some legal issue with a sister state where some oil wells are being contested. The matter is in still the Federal High Court but the Federal Government has said Bayelsa should be paying the money back. The total amount to pay back is about N11 billion. So on a monthly basis, l the state government pays back about a billion. The amount is deducted from the state government on a monthly basis.
“For the fact that the legal process is still on, the Federal Government should not have deducted the money until the legal process are exhausted. The Federal Government has started deducting the money before the end of the legal process. The Bayelsa State has made its protest and objections to this very clear. But because the funds are disbursed from Abuja through FAAC, they deduct it directly. This is a process the state government is not comfortable with. We have complained about this and we have objected to it.”
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Ayibaina Duba in his remarks restated the commitment of the Governor Douye Diri administration to better the lot of Bayelsans.
Duba said the government is determined not to disappoint Bayelsans who entrusted the development of the state in the hands of the administration.
“This Prosperity government is out to better the lot of Bayelsans, We christened ourselves Prosperity Government because we have a target to make sure Bayelsa and Bayelsans are prosperous. Despite the fact that our resources are limited, within the confines of the limited resources we would do our best to make sure that we give the best to Bayelsans who entrust the development of this state into our hands,” he said.