(1). To showcase the aggressive developmental strides initiated by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson in 365 days.
(2). To underscore the fact that the Restoration Administration has entrenched peace and security in the State, and therefore created an enabling environment to attract investments in tourism, agriculture, health, education, physical infrastructure and other sectors capable of catalyzing growth.
A NEW FINANCIAL ARCHITECTURE EMERGES IN BAYELSA STATE
IN HIS INAUGURAL ADDRESS, GOVERNOR HENRY SERIAKE DICKSON SAID:
shall undertake fundamental reform of the governance culture to
emphasize transparency, accountability, due process and value
re-orientation by all institutions and functionaries of government,
beginning with my humble self. For emphasis, there shall be zero
tolerance for corruption under my administration. The days of enrichment
without labour and funding the greed and avarice of a few at the
expense of the development of our people is over. I will work hard to
plug all leakages and sources of corruption which have been the bane of
our development. I will rather use our common wealth to fund the
construction of good roads, education, promote tourism, generate wealth
and develop agriculture than fund corruption and greed. Be prepared
therefore for a fundamental paradigm shift in the governance culture,
values and lifestyle of public officials. I am aware that we will fierce
resistance, we may be misunderstood but we shall always do what is
right in the interest of you the people…As part of our commitment to
transparency, we shall announce and publish all revenues accruing to the
state beginning from now”.
In keeping with this promise, the Ministry of Finance has achieved the following
(1) COMPUTERIZATION OF BAYELSA STATE. GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL OPERATION.
Bayelsa state government is currently implementing the oracle Financial
(e-business suite). The purpose is to streamline financial operations
and to produce timely account and other reports. Following the need to
grow Bayelsa State to achieve best practice in management and strategic
decision making, this is of great importance. More importantly is the
need to run a government using ICT to achieve the following. (1)
Streamline Financial Operations.
(2) (2) Produce timely
Account and other Reports (3) Accountability and transparency (4)
Effective Human Resource Management. (5) Sharing of information across
all Government Departments. (6) Real time access to accurate
information. The Government therefore, produced that service of a
reputable IT company to design and implement Oracle Enterprise Suite, an
Enterprise resource Planning System to provide the needed solution to
the problems raised above. We are continuing with the implementation and
the e-business suite is expected to be operational at the end of the
first quarter of 2013. So far, N1.2billion has been spent on the scheme.
(2) RECOVERIES FROM FAAC AND OTHERS STATUTORY AGENCIES. During the
year, the Bayelsa State Ministry of Finance, working with various
consultants, recovered the sum of N18.6billion from FAAC as follows; (i)
Derivation Fund on Nembe Fields Wrongly allocated to other states
N17.3billion. (ii) Derivation Funds on EA Fields due to Bayelsa State
but omitted during computation of oil production indices N1.3billion.
TOTAL =N18.6b. During the same period Bayelsa State had to refund to
other states the following. (a) Over payment of Excess
Crude/Augmentation 2006 to 2010 N5.4B (b) Refund on Okori and Ndah
Fields N2.0B. TOTAL=N7.4B. We are however, disputing the N2b Refund
because Bayelsa State had never benefited from any revenue generated
from Okori and Ndah Fields. Clearly we cannot refund what we never
received. We are also processing recovery of over N100b derivation funds
due to Bayelsa State but wrongly credited to other states, because oil
wells in Bayelsa State were wrongly assigned to other states.
(3) (3) STRATEGIC SAVING ACCOUNT. During the year the Bayelsa state
House of Assembly approved the use of N1.5b from this Account for flood
related activities leaving a balance of N3.1b as at December 31,2012.
The N3.1b was utilized as follows. (a) Flood relief activities 0.5b. (b)
Post flood activities N1.0b. TOTAL = N1.5b (4) PRODUCTION OF HALF
YEAR AUDITED ACCOUNT: For the first time in the history of Bayelsa
State, a half year Audited Financial Statement was produced. This is in
addition to the monthly transparency briefing where the Governor briefs
the press and people of Bayelsa State of the Income and Expenditure of
the State. Another achievement of this administration is the prompt and
regular payment of salaries, overhead and other statutory payments.
(5) RE-ENGINEERING OF INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE STRUCTURE. Working
with the new Board, we are taking concrete steps to improve internally
Generated Revenue. Currently the state Government generates between N400
to N600million a month on Internally Generated Revenue. After reviewing
the current tax laws“modalities have been put in place to generate a
minimum of N1b a month.
REDUCTION IN SALARY BILL: The
Ministry of Finance working with Treasury and Accounts has been able to
reduce salaries and allowances from over N5.4b to N4.1b. INTERNALLY
GENERATED REVENUE PROFILE OF THE STATE. The current internally
Generated Revenue is low, Government is taking very concrete steps to
shore up the internally Generated Revenue. First, a new Board made up of
seasoned professionals have been appointed. Already, Government has set
up a target for Internally Generated Revenue generation per month at
N1b which is expected to increase to about N2b in two 2years.
Experienced consultants are being employed to work with staff of the
Board of Internal Revenue. The consultants are coming with IT know-how
and past tax experience. All these we hope will translate to higher
internally Generated Revenue. Government will also review existing tax
laws to bring them in line with current realities. PERSONAL INCOME
TAX ISSUES. Current Civil Servants and those on Government payroll are
being taxed arbitrarily without following the existing tax laws
Government is now determined to implement the Personal Income Tax Act as
amended in 2011. In fact, what Government want to do is to follow the
stipulations under the current tax law to the letter. **INVESTMENT
PROFILE OF THE STATE. • Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI), which
is the investment arm of the Ministry of Finance currently, holds shares
with a nominal value of N12.34billion. •Ministry of Finance
Incorporated (MoFI) share holding at market value stands at
N9,442,233,434.49. Dividends collection for the year ended 31 December
2012 was N126,401,564.73. The Government acquired additional 35.18% of
the Ordinary Shares of Linkage Assurance Plc at a cost of No. 50 per
share giving an aggregate purchase consideration of N1,686,900,414.82
(one billion, six hundred and eighty-six million, Nine hundred thousand,
four hundred and fourteen naira and eighty-two kobo) only. This
acquisition thus gives Bayelsa State Government Ministry of Finance
Incorporated (MoFI) a controlling interest of 53%. NOTE; Year end 2012
Reconciliation with Stock Brokers is yet to be concluded. Actual cost of
acquiring these investment would have been higher,but for the crash in
the Capital Market in 2008/2009.
Again, with the acquisition of BankPHB and Skye Bank by the CBN, our shares with these institutions are currently zerorized.
MDAS AND INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE: We are aware that some
parastatals that generate revenue, do collect and spend without
remitting the revenue to the designated IGR accounts. We are putting
measures in place to check this unwholesome practice. In future, there
will only be one central billing and collection point. We are evaluating
various software packages to enable this process. PAY-ROLL FRAUD.
The present Administration on assuming office in February 14th met a
monthly payroll bill of N5.4b. Government took definite steps to reduce
this amount including promulgation of a law. We are succeeding as the
figure has since dropped to N4.1b. This figure we believe will reduce
further when we complete the biometric exercise and implement fully the
Oracle Financial Reporting software.
Many thanks to Kokobaiye Abeki
did the transcription and wrote this report when the Social Media Team
interviewed the Honourable Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Duate Iyabi