Bayelsa State has recorded an increase of over 100 percent in its monthly internally generated revenue, IGR, as Gboribiogha John Jonah, the deputy governor, has disclosed.
He said this income and expenditure profile of the state at the monthly transparency briefing on Wednesday.
Mr Jonah, who gave the inflows and outflows of the month of October in Government House, Yenagoa, said the state realised N1,864,758,968.12 for the month of September as oil giant Chevron paid what it had been holding back.
The N1,864,758,968.12 figure is up from a monthly average of between N0.7 billion and N0.8 billion, which represents an increase of about 130 percent and is a significant indication of what the state can earn if all defaulting firms paid up their obligations.
The deputy governor expressed optimism that the IGR figure would continue to improve as the state government was in discussion with other oil companies operating in the state, including Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, to pay up what they were owing the state in form of local taxes.
Mr Jonah disclosed that the state even tried to shut down the operations of Shell’s Gbarain/Ubie Gas Gathering Plant over the non-payment of its obligations, but officials of the oil giant met with the governor and “we are getting there.”
In the figures released by the state government, the state had a balance of N2,893,943,556.83 at the end of October, after meeting its payments of obligations including recurrent and capital expenditure, which totalled N14,327,603,646.04.
Gross allocation from FAAC was N11,793,129,358.24, while first line deductions stood at N1,721,004,301.30, leaving a net inflow of N10,072,125,056.94 before addition of IGR and fund from other sources shot it up to N12,253,163,036.43.
The balance for the month stood at -N2,076,440,609.61 before balance brought forward from September of N4,968,384,166.44 was added to leave the state with a healthy balance of N2,893,943,556.83.
On the delay in paying the November salaries of civil servants, he explained it was due to the postponement of FAAC caused by the rejection of monies coming to states by governors who argued that since oil prices were up as well as crude oil production, states ought to have received more allocation.
He also explained that the state was not receiving the remaining 50 percent of the Paris/London Club refunds but the 25 percent balance of the first 50 percent, which the Federal Government was yet to release due to liquidity issues.
The deputy governor stated that it was wrong for the Federal Government to order states on how to spend the monies but could advise, as the states were sub-regional governments.
He said there was a move to propose a distinction between the Accountant-General of the Federation and an Accountant-General for the Federal Government as the former office was serving the two tiers of government, not just the apex government.
Earlier, state commissioner for information and orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, emphasised that Bayelsa had paid salaries from January this year, and thanked the media for keeping faith with the government in its monthly transparency briefing.