Bayelsa state can be sustainable when given 13% entitlement – Finance Commissioner

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By Eunice Nnachi, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State government has said that the state can be sustainable on internal revenue when it is given its proper entitlement of thirteen percent.

Commissioner for Finance Mr. Maxwell Ebibai who disclosed this yesterday in Yenagoa during a transparency briefing held at the Revenue House in Yenagoa, faulted the report by some nongovernmental organizations which analyzed that Bayelsa State is not economically viable.

He noted that the internal revenue collected on the basis of the Constitution recognizes the thirteen percent as the state revenue hence the federal government should allow the state to use it appropriately for its growth and development

“I have decided to do some level of an analysis. If we are rating the Sustainability of the state, in terms of internal revenue, let’s say the facts, the internal revenue is collected on the basis of the constitution, I think that is correct and if that is correct, the same constitution recognize that we are entitled to thirteen percent revenue.

“The federal government is only an agent of collection of the thirteen percent revenue on behalf of the state. It is our revenue not federation revenue, if the capacity was there and the system allows it, this is revenue that the state is allowed to do what it should do.

“It is in our interest for us to collect this money directly because now, we are in a situation where it is the figure they feed us with that we take. If we are allowed to be on some of our platforms, to know what is actually going on in our platforms, we will not be comfortable, we strongly believe.

It is wrong for you to rely on the constitution as the basis to determine internal revenue and when it gets to thirteen percent revenue, we now take a decision that no constitution is not relevant, what kind of analysis is that and on the basis of that. It is completely unfair and it is not acceptable to us.

“I need to explain a bit further specifically on the audit script. How can a student write exams and 65% of that score is given to Internal revenue and you know that we are disadvantaged particularly in this part of the country because the Petroleum Exploration Act, deprives us from collecting certain levels of Land Use act which we are expecting the clause to determine that.

“So you take away our ability to generate internal revenue, then somebody sits somewhere after taking away our ability to generate revenue then you are judging us, it very unfair and I think this is an Advocacy not just for the government but for the people of Bayelsa State.

“Instead of us looking at the negatives that the state is not sustainable, we should let the issues be addressed, advocate on the right thing to be done. If the right things are done, the state is sustainable.

“We should not go around demarketing our own state, we think we are being active, on various platforms making comments, we forget that others read those same comments then tomorrow we have a situation where we are looking for investors, we want to make some applications, and people go online to check on you and your own people are the ones that have condemned you.

“We need to exercise some level of restraint, we need to have one voice to advocate for what is right for us, the basis for those advocacies are not acceptable, they do not in anyway reflect our ability or the ability of the governor and the prosperity administration.

“Irrespective of all they have said, the Government has made some significant progress in delivering the goods of democracy to the people of the state, so it means what they are saying does not really reflect what it is to the people of Bayelsa State, let me make this addition, let us all take some moments to think about it, somebody cannot just come and say all the lies about your family and you keep quiet about it.”