Stoppage of salaries: Bayelsa grants tertiary institutions N630m monthly

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Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government has approved a monthly grant of N630m to all the tertiary institutions in the state in the place of payment of salaries of their workers, including lecturers.

The Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd.), made this known  while responding to questions from journalists during the monthly transparency media briefing for January held at the Government House, Yenagoa.

Commenting on the reduction of the amount usually paid as civil servants’ monthly salaries, Jonah explained that it was due to the separation of N630m the government doled out to its tertiary institutions as grant.

 The deputy governor said, “One of the decisions government has taken following the public service reforms committee report is that tertiary institutions should stand on their own. They will only get grants from government.

 “We are no longer adding that amount to our salary bill. That’s why you see the salary figure going down from N3.8bn to N2.9bn.”

Giving the revenue and expenditure profile of the state, Jonah announced that the state posted the sum of N7.8bn as balance of funds available as at the end of January, this year.

He said the state government also received N1.1bn as Internally-Generated Revenue for the month of December 2017.

He explained that out of the N13bn Paris/London Club Refund, the state government received in December last year, it spent about N5.5bn to pay one and a half months salary arrears owed workers.

 According to him, the government spent N3.7bn as full payment of February 2016 salaries while N1.9bn was used to defray the pending half-month salaries of civil servants for August of the same year.

 Jonah announced a gross inflow of N14.3billion for January, 2018 from Federal Accounts Allocation Committee, comprising statutory allocation of N2.9bn, 13 per cent derivation N9.6bn, Forex utilisation of N898m and Value Added Tax of N730m among others.

He said total FAAC deductions gulped N1.6bn, consisting of restructured commercial bank loan of N741m, bond deductions of N421m, refunds of overpayments of N128million and Excess Crude Account facility of N126m, bringing the net inflow to N12.6bn.

Jonah,  however, noted that other receipts such as December IGR of N1.1bn, other sources N500m and refunds from Local Government Areas over bailout of N16m beefed up total funds available for spending to N14.3bn.

 According to the Deputy Governor, the total outflow for January stood at N12bn comprising bank loans of N2bn, civil servants’ salaries, N2.9billion, political appointees N297million and salary arrears of N5.5bn for February and August, 2016.

Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, described the transparency law enacted by the state government as one of the best things that had happened to the state.

 Iworiso-Markson, who attributed the impressive transformation in the state to Governor Seriake Dickson’s transparency and prudent management of scarce resources, urged successive administrations to obey the law for the benefit of the people.

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