Federation Account Shortfall: Dickson Calls for Belt Tightening
Following reports indicating a shortfall in federal revenue allocation to
State, the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has called
on the people of the State to brace up to the harsh economic reality of
the times, noting that the allocation in the past months to the State has
nosedived by about N5 billion.
According to a Government House statement, this situation has prompted
many states to cut salary of workers in their States by half and many
other states cannot meet their salary obligation to civil servants and
even to contractors. Cross Rivers and Benue States are among states in the
Federation that have taken steps to cut salaries by half owing to the grim
economic downturn. What is interesting to note however is that in these
states nobody is complaining or seen taking to the streets in protest
because they appreciate the times that we are in and are willing to
support their respective state governments to weather the difficult times.
Regrettably here in Bayelsa State should such a drastic measure be taken
some unscrupulous and disgruntled politicians would have cashed in on it
to incite the workforce and the people to stage a mass street protest
against the government and in the process use it as a political platform
to heap all manner of insults and name calling on the government of the
Like every other state, Bayelsa is also experiencing a terrible shortfall
in its inflows and every necessary measure must be put in place to avoid a
situation where it will impact seriously on the economy of the State. That
is why the Dickson-led government has always exercised maximum prudence
particularly in granting approvals that are recurrent in nature.
In view of this development, the Governor has ordered the Commissioner of
Finance and his team to expeditiously work out modalities to cut down on
the State wage bills such as remunerations approved for parastatals and
travel allowances for government functionaries including the governor.
He however instructed that this should be done in such a way that we
should be able to cope with the stress that has been induced by the
reduction in our inflows.
While calling on Bayelsans to show understanding by bracing up to the
current economic realities, Hon.Dickson said as a leader of the
Restoration government, he will be failing in his duty, by hiding the
truth from the people and not pointing out the dangers.
“I have a duty as your governor to explain the reality of our current
economic situation. It will interest you to note that from when I took the
oath of office till now, our monthly revenue has dropped by over N5
billion. So, if we are not careful to build alternative revenue sources,
we will get to a point where the Federal revenue will not be enough to
enable us meet our minimum obligation as a State, particularly bearing in
mind the very high wage bill that we have in this State that is higher
than that of any other state in this country.
Therefore, I have directed that approvals beginning with Government House
expenditures should be further reduced by as much as 50 percent in the
light of the current realities. There is every need for us to review most
of our expenditure patterns and let it be said when that day comes that,
there was a Governor who saw that possibility and worked hard to avert