Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa state, says the effect of the alleged N342 billion debt inherited from the administration of Timipre Sylva, his predecessor, is beginning to a take toll on his government now that allocations from the federal government had dropped in a drastic manner.
He said this would affect his performance in office, explaining that the debt had necessitated a monthly deduction of huge sums of money from its allocation.
Dickson said the initiative of his administration to be saving N1billion on a monthly basis had helped the state to survive up till this moment.
He added that what Bayelsa receives from the federation account was grossly inadequate to pay salaries, pensions, carry out projects and attend to other overhead needs.
The governor said this in a statement by Daniel Iworiso-Markson, his chief press secretary.
“The dwindling monthly allocation from the federal government could no longer do so much as witnessed in the first tenure due to paucity of funds… The previous government of Timipre Sylva left a debt of about N342 billion accumulated from different sources especially those obtained through bonds,” the statement read.
But regrettably, they were not used for any development purposes except that they were shared among a few members of his administration.
“However, government has repaid above N200 billion of the inherited loans but the pangs of servicing it remained a pain in the neck of the government as the monthly deductions from the state allocation had impaired its budgetary allocations to other sectors of the state economy requiring attention.
“The consequence of the recent slide in oil sales and revenue as well as the resurgence in militancy in the Niger Delta and other crises had impacted very negatively on government finances.
“Things have plummeted and the dynamics has changed. Drop in oil prices, resurgence of militant activities and other crises have reduced to a miserable level the income of the government from the Federation Account.”
Despite the prevailing circumstances, the government said, it was still be meeting its financial obligations.