Bayelsa government says it will not draw its share of the N222 billion approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for states to clear outstanding workers’ salaries.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CBN has approved N12.85 billion for the state.
Nineteen states have so far drawn from the funds that have a 20-year tenure.
But the Bayelsa government, in a statement signed by Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Chief Press Secretary to Bayelsa Governor, said Gov. Dickson was not ready to enslave future generation of Bayelsa people to a debt burden.
“I do not want to commit the state to unnecessary borrowing and mortgage their future because I love my people; I love my state.
“I am not like others who will go and take facilities and loans and do not care what happens to the people; that is why we have not signed on the bailout funds because I am not satisfied that we will not be mortgaging the future of our people.”
“I am not like that; I care about what happens to this state, even after my tenure.” Dickson said.
Dickson similarly explained that his administration was reluctant to employ more people, in order not to increase the wage bill.
The governor explained that the delay in the payment of salaries of civil servants was due to the delay in the Federal Allocation Accounts Committee (FAAC) meeting.
According to him, the state government depends solely on revenue from the federation account to pay the wages of workers and any delay in the monthly FAAC meeting will definitely affect the payment of salaries.
Dickson said that the country was currently grappling with an economic downturn, and explained that the state had managed to stay afloat.
He said that the government’s prudence in the management of its scarce resources was responsible for the state not owing its workers.
Dickson further stressed that the economic situation had compelled government to commit all the available funds to salary payment.
He said that projects and other development activities had been put on hold as a result of funding challenges, stating that some contractors in the state were being owed up to N15 million.
The governor called for understanding and patience from the people, stressing that his administration was only averse to mortgaging the future and was not prepared to commit the people to unnecessary credit facilities.
“It is a general challenge we are all facing; even at the federal level, the country is in a very serious situation.
“Banks are laying off people; companies are doing the same, but our state will not lay off people
“We are not owing the workers and we are managing to pay salaries, even at the expense of my own allowances and those of others around.
“For months, those around me have been making sacrifices; in fact, most of these sacrifices people do not know,” Dickson said. (NAN)