Posted by News Express | 31 July 2018 | 1,591 times
Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson, on Monday sought the collaboration of the Nigerian Air Force in the area of providing security, technical assistance and other forms of support to facilitate the smooth take-off of the state international airport, scheduled for commissioning soon.
Governor Dickson, who made the appeal when he received the Air Officer Commanding, Mobility Command, Air Vice Marshall, Napoleon Bali, who paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa, said the partnership has become imperative, especially at a time, when the facility is nearing completion.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, quoted Governor Dickson, as describing the airport as the single most ambitious and biggest project in the state, noted that, the airport facility would serve as a gateway to the world and make Bayelsa a hub for businesses and other social activities.
According to the Governor, "With the virtual completion of the airport, I will formally communicate to you so that you can begin to take steps to secure the airport infrastructure, which is the single most ambitious and biggest project in the state.
Congratulating Air Vice Marshall Bali on his new posting to the state, Governor Dickson described him, as a brilliant military officer, who has distinguished himself in the service of his fatherland and commended his choice to take charge of the critical command for the security and stability of Bayelsa and the entire Niger Delta region.
“This state is home to you, particularly at this time that we are opening up our state to the world, and getting the world to visit us by means of the airport project. It is very refreshing that we have a reliable partner in the Mobility Air Command, especially under your leadership, so we are very grateful to have you at this critical point in time.
“And, I know that having you and your officers and men here, we call on you and the Nigerian Air Force generally, to put in place the mechanism for supporting the take-off, running and operations of our airport facility. With the virtual completion of the airport, I will have to formally communicate to you, so that you can begin to take steps to secure the airport infrastructure, which is our single biggest infrastructure project in the state, having a 3.5-kilometre runway in this terrain.”
Earlier, Air Vice Marshall Napoleon Bali, who had assured the state governor of his readiness to contribute to the improvement of the existing security architecture, said the visit was to formally inform the Governor of his assumption of office as the new Air Officer Commanding the Mobility Command.
He gave thumbs up to Governor Dickson for his achievements in office, especially in the area of infrastructural development, describing the international airport and new Governor’s office, as star projects that would enhance the status of Bayelsa State.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Government has received the sum of N10.8 billion as allocation from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) for the month of July 2018.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai, said in a statement on Monday that the state earlier received N12.7bn for the month of June.
He said that the receipts from the Federation for the month of June showed a shortfall of about N2 billion from that of July.
Ebibai said that the state government would give priority to the payment of workers salaries in consonance with the emphasis placed on workers by the Restoration Administration.
He stated also that while ongoing capital projects would also attract priority attention, other state expenses would be treated on their scale of importance.
The Commissioner said that the government had to brief the citizens of the state on receipts from the Federation Account in line with the transparency policy of the Restoration Administration.
He recalled that the State Government had to generate funds through alternative sources to pay June salaries and other duties as a result of the delay in the meeting of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee.
Ebibai said: “Last month, the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee meeting was delayed. But the state government generated funds to pay workers salaries and other responsibilities of government through alternative sources of revenue. That was an expression of commitment.
“The state got N12.7 billion for the month June and N10.8 billion for July. The June receipts indicated shortfall of about N2 billion in federal receipts for the month of July.
“In line with our covenant with workers, their salaries would be on first line charge. Our capital projects would also get attention. Other expenses will be treated on a case by case basis.”
Ebibai said that the shortfall in federal receipts had brought to the fore the fragile state of the economy in spite of the massive drive to boost the internally generated revenue in the state.
He called for further commitment and efforts from stakeholders to give the deserved attention to the creation of a sustainable financial base which is not over-dependent of the allocations from the Federation Account and to manage the cost of doing business in the state.
The commissioner called on the Bayelsa citizenry to ensure prompt payment of their taxes in the interest of the development of the state.
•Photo by Michael Owi Bayelsa shows State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson (L), presents a special souvenir to the new Air Officer Commanding, Mobility Command, Yenagoa, AVM Napoleon Bali, during a courtesy call, at Government House, Yenagoa
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