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The Bayelsa State Government on Monday accounted for the N107 million increase in its February wage bill, saying it was due to payment of salaries to the 1000 newly employed civil servants.
The Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Retd) gave the explanation during the state monthly transparency briefing for the months of January and February 2019 in Government House, Yenagoa.
He said the state government spent N2.82billion in the payment of civil servants salaries for last month as against N2.72 billion in January this year.
Rear Admiral John Jonah also explained that the difference of N3.7billion in capital payments within the period was as a result of more work done on various ongoing capital projects in the state.
The Deputy Governor, who announced N2.7billion as capital payment for January, and N6.4billion for February, noted that payment for such projects are usually determined by the extent of work carried out on them.
His words, “Yes, there is an increase or a difference between the capital expenditure of January and February 2019. If you put your mind to the number of projects we are doing, the difference is actually a small money.
“And for any person that has a fair knowledge of project management, you know that payments are done based on certificates presented to you on the extent of work carried out.
“As you all know, we are working on the Ekeremor Road. And for the fact that we drove to Ekeremor, doesn’t mean we’ve paid to that extent. We are also on the Central Senatorial Road going to Oporoma. We are also trying to complete the Onopa Bridge.
“All these are outstanding jobs that we regularly pay. But you don’t expect the work rate to be the same every month. So, it is the amount paid. It doesn’t follow any linear arrangement.”
Rear Admiral John Jonah who acknowledged the receipt of N16.11 billion from the Paris Club Refund between January and March this year, said out of the amount N1.25billion was released to local government councils.
He disclosed that the state had a gross inflow of N12.3billion from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for January while that of last month stood at N13.2billion.
The deputy governor however explained that Net FAAC inflow dipped to N10.7billion for January as against N11.6billion in February after first line FAAC deductions of N1.54bn were made for each month.
He also announced N968million as internally generated revenue (IGR) for December 2018 while that of January this year was put at N1.09billion.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, urged media practitioners to show more sense of responsibility and responsiveness in fighting against the ills of society through their reports.
In an emotion-laden voice, the Commissioner lamented the brutal murder of the Government House Photographer, Mr Reginald Dei, and other victims of the onslaught allegedly perpetrated by military personnel in the last general elections.
Mr. Iworiso-Markson stressed the need for newsmen to posthumously demonstrate their solidarity with their slain colleague by covering and effectively reporting proceedings of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the violence and killings that marred the elections in some parts of the state.