By Samuel Oyadongha
Yengoa —The eight local government area Chairmen in Bayelsa State have confirmed the receipt of the N1.3 billion share of the Paris Club refund for the third tier of government from the N14.5 billion remitted to the state by the Federal Government.
They said that though the N1.3 billion was delayed to allow the council administration put its acts together in terms of bloated wage bills, the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson has remitted the amount to the councils’ accounts without any deductions.
Mr Bello Bina, Chairman of Brass Local Government Council and the spokesman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, while confirming the development, yesterday, during a call on him by the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, led by Mr John Angese, exonerated the state governor over the alleged claims of tampering with the share of Paris Club refund meant for the councils.
He pointed out that the state governor’s judicious utilisation of the Paris Club fund has attracted commendations from the anti-graft agencies including the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC.
Bina noted that despite the delay, the council administration is poised to properly utilise the money received as share from the Paris Club refund.
“The fund has been released to councils and many council are trying to clear the backlog. The council chairmen are trying to pay salaries and embark on capital projects,” he said.
The breakdown of the N1.3billion shared among Bayelsa State councils, according to the state Local Government Ministry include Brass, N158,576,807, Ekeremor, N182,266,517, Kolokuma/Opokuma, N122,691,315, Ogbia, N157,919,805, Sagbama, 155,484,429, Nembe, N147,901, 618, Southern Ijaw, N209,402,543 and Yenagoa, N199,170,919.
Earlier in his speech, Mr Angese described the Brass council Chairman, Mr Bello Bina as media friendly Chairman, “Our visit to the council Chairman is to encourage him to keep up the good works and remain focus.”