Posted by News Express | 31 March 2018 | 1,428 times
A civil society group, the Save Our Unity and Nascent Democracy (SOUND), has expressed dismay over the total dependence on revenue from the federation account by the Bayelsa State Government.
The group expressed worry that Bayelsa has neither invested its huge oil revenue nor saved for the rainy day and wondered why the state is not economically viable.
SOUND in a statement signed Amiekumor Prince, its coordinator, made available in Yenagoa on Saturday, described the state’s over-dependence on federal receipts as worrisome.
It said it was disturbing that Bayelsa is among 31 states of the federation which the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report listed as not economically viable.
Bayelsa Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, had said that salaries of public servants could not be paid due to delays occasioned by the Federal accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.
SOUND urged the Bayelsa State Government to aggressively pursue internally generated revenue and shore up its monthly earnings.
The NBS listed Bayelsa as one of the states that cannot survive without revenue allocations from the Federation Account.
According to the NBS data, Bayelsa received N12.523bn as internally generated revenue in 2017 while federal receipts to the state stood at over N106.2bn in the fiscal year.
The statistics also highlighted the debt profile of the state, putting its foreign debt at $47.7 m with over N129.4bn as its local debt.
SOUND stressed the urgent need for the state government to proactively ‘walk the talk’ beyond rhetoric of economic diversification and improve the economy of the state.
It also advised the state government to overhaul its revenue collection strategy to plug the loopholes in its financial system and ensure the IGR collected were remitted to the state coffers.
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