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Federation Account Shortfall: Dickson Calls for Belt Tightening

Source: pointblanknews.com
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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

day.
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

it.”