Dickson laments Bayelsa’s IGR, plans to diversify economy

Samuel Oyadongha

07 June 2012, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, has described as worrisome the state’s current Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

He, however, assured that his administration was making frantic efforts to reverse the trend by creating enabling environment for investors to come into the state to boost the local economy.

Most of the few business outfits including oil multinationals, exploring the large crude oil deposit in the state he lamented do not have their corporate offices in Bayelsa in spite of the ecological problems caused by their operations with the result that they pay taxes to other states, where their headquarters are located.

Dickson stated this during the monthly Transparency Initiatives briefing held Wednesday at the state Banquet Hall in Yenagoa.

“We have a big problem in generating sizable IGR and this is detrimental to the rejuvenation strategies aimed at repositioning the state economy. Our IGR is even less than what some local governments in other state generate.

“We are facing developmental challenges and that is why we are investing in peace and security as catalyst to attract local and foreign investments. The magnitude of the economic problems informed our trade mission trip to South Africa as part of our moves to evolve stronger pedestal for our economy to grow.”

Giving a breakdown of the state IGR, the governor said, “It is appalling to note that we generate as low as N60m in February, March N284m, while N287m was generated in April.”

The state government he added had concluded plans to diversify its economy from being dependent on oil to agriculture, fishing and tourism sub-sector due to the volatility of crude oil price in the international market.

He disclosed that the state received a sum of N11.971bn as allocation from the Federation Account in May, explaining that deductions from the allocation, including foreign loans, FIRS deductions, salary, loan repayment, excess crude oil deduction, overhead cost gulped over N9billion, left a balance of N3.122,481,643.29k in the coffers of the state government.

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