N50bn Sylva debt bond, reason Bayelsa is owing salaries — Dickson

Worried over the debt profile of the state,  the Bayelsa State governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson, has attributed the difficulty in paying workers’ salaries to the N50 billion bond debt that former Governor Timipre Sylva plunged the state into, with little or nothing to show in terms of development of the state.”

Governor Dickson said this   during the official  inauguration of the Bayelsa Transparency Watch website, at the 50th edition of the monthly transparency briefing at Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Yenagoa, the state capital.

The governor, who decried the lopsided distribution of funds in the country, averred that the published N95 billion that the state got in the last one year of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, was not without huge deductions, particularly, the bond collected by former Governor Sylva and the excess crude deductions at source.

Dickson noted that in the face of the dwindling finances, government has been transparent and prudent in managing  available resources, even as he gave a breakdown that made it difficult to pay workers salaries in January to March, adding that allocation to the state was N7 billion in January, while N3 billion bond loan was deducted and government was faced with a challenge of paying civil servants and political appointees whose wage bill stands at N4.5 billion.

He said left with no option, government borrowed to augment the N4billion balance to pay workers and political appointees in January that were not paid in December 2015, while government was left with a deficit of N1.7billion.

He  said  that the allocation dropped to N6billion in February , yet bond loan of N3billion was deducted and in March, allocation to the state was N5billion and N3.3billion bond loan was deducted; adding that salaries were not paid in February and March because the balance was grossly inadequate to pay civil servants.

Dickson, however, lauded some  people in the state ,who were wise enough not to allow  politicians to incite them to rebel against government policies and programmes.