From: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Chairman of Yenagoa Local Government Council of Bayelsa State, Mr. Oforji Oboku, has disclosed that the council would clear outstanding salaries from the Paris club refund once it is released.
Oboku, who frowned at reports suggesting that local government councils in Baylesa State owe a lot of money to their workers, however, assured workers of the council that their salary backlog would be cleared once the council received its share of the Paris Club refund.
Oboku said this during Yenagoa local government transparency briefing at the council headquarters, where he explained that the dwindling financial resources from the federation account has slowed down developmental projects and caused the inability of the council to pay workers salaries.
He attributed the success story of the administration of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson to its adherence to the principles of transparency and probity said the council would follow in the footsteps of the Dickson administration to open its financial books to stakeholders.
He also said that right from his first day in office, Governor Dickson made it clear that he would not play lip service to the issue of transparency leading to the monthly transparency briefing that gives government income and expenditure to Bayelsans.
He however said recent improvement in financial resources accruing to the council from the federation account would give the council the financial strengthen to clear outstanding workers salaries.
Oboku who disclosed that N227, 126, 854, 08 accrued to the council from the federation account for the month of October said N197, 238, 806, 91 was spent on recurrent and capital expenditure.
While stating that 13, 584,169,87 was the balance remaining in as unspent fund in the council account, he said the over N8 million has been spent on the Yenezue- Gene/ Biogbolo Secondary school project while N6 million has been spent on the Akenfa iron bridge project.
Oboku who regretted that the council has not invested in the past so as to boost its internally generated revenue assured the workers that his administration is committed to the improvement in their standard of living.
“I want to sincerely commend all the workers for their support and understanding. Once the other part of the Paris refund comes, we are going to clear outstanding workers salaries. It is sad that we have not boosted our IGR in the past which would have help us with funds to support the money coming into the council but the mega shops which would be commissioned very soon would help us in that direction.
“This administration at the council level is taking a cue from Governor Henry Seriake Dickson on the issue of transparency and probity and we shall continue to open our financial books for people to see.”