I'VE STOPPED WASTE IN BAYELSA â€“ GOV SYLVA
O n this particular evening, Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State was looking calm and relaxed. But deep inside, he was worried that some people were yet to appreciate the modest contributions his administration has made in the development of the state.
For him, many people are no longer comfortable with his administration because he has been able to sanitize the system in the state by putting a stop to profligacy which has become part of the people.
According to him, his government has continued to give Bayelsans what is expected of the government anywhere in the world. Sylva, who said some Bayelsans do not even know what they want, explained that his administration even in the face of economic crisis never ceased to pay workers their due.
'If you ask what is the policy direction of the government; I would say government is to provide infrastructure and we are trying to provide infrastructure. Government is to pay workers salaries and this government has paid salaries more than any other government. We have paid the new salary scale of TSS for teachers and even paid arrears. We are up to date on that.
'We are the first state to pay the new salary scale for ASUU. I have spoken to the Doctors that the government would soon start paying the new salary scale. So now what else must a government do that we have not done? Most of our contracts are given to Bayelsans. We have given contracts to Bayelsans more than any government in this state. No government before me has given a Bayelsan contract worth N1 billion and I stand to be challenged.
'The only thing I have stopped is profligacy. I have sanitized the system. Bayelsa is having one of the best infrastructures in the judiciary, unparallelled. Through my efforts we have the campus of the Law school which is unprecedented. Today the electricity situation has improved and I promise you that in few months, every street in Bayelsa would be lit up. We have invested over N500 million this month in water reticulation and when we link the Swali water works with Igbogene, we would have water in Yenagoa.
'Every sector something is happening. Today as we speak, the plastic industry that has been overgrown by weeds is working and it would be able to provide 100 jobs. The Bayelsa Palm is doing better under this administration. The only problem people will have with this government is profligacy. Sometimes I am tempted to ask what Bayelsans expect from their government'
He disagreed with people who compared Bayelsa with Lagos, noting that it is true that Governor Raji Fashola is doing well but added that most of the landmark projects were done in conjunction with the private sector under the Public Private Partnership.
Sylva said the handicap in Bayelsa is that whenever government wants to initiate a project using the PPP, and request for people, everybody would shy away which he said would not help the state.
He said with the commissioning of buses and cars by President Goodluck Jonathan, the state government would embark on a revolutionary transport system that would make Bayelsans happy.
'Before I came in, President Goodluck Jonathan then as Governor, had already given out 100 vehicles to Bayelsans to use as transport and pay back. None of these vehicles are on the road again. They have painted it in private colours '
To curb that, we have now put tracking devises so that once it is being taken out of Yenagoa, it would be stopped. There are bus stops all over Yenagoa; they are not there by accident, because we want the vehicles to ply the roads in Yenagoa. Sometimes we demand little patience from people to encourage us. We continue to open up the roads.'