The Bayelsa State Government has dismissed as “untrue” and “wicked lie” the claims by some opposition groups that the state received N24billion and not N14.5billion from the first tranche of the Paris/London Club refund, saying the State only received N14.5billion from the Federal Government.
The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite, reacting yesterday to the claim of N24billion alleged recept from the first tranche of the Paris Club Bail out fund, pointed out that, Bayelsa State did not receive any such money from the Federal Government or any of its agencies and should be disregarded,”stories of over N24 billion from the Paris/London club refunds were the handiwork of mischief makers, who take delight in feeding the unsuspecting public with falsehood”.
Hon. Obuebite,in the statement issued yesterday, explained that, Bayelsa, as a whole received N14.5 billion from the first tranche of the Paris club refunds from the Federal Government, stressing that, out of this amount, N1.3 billion went o the Local Government Councils, while the State was left with N13.2 billion, as against the over N24 billion being peddled round.
According to him, while most states received the refunds and kept quiet about it, the Bayelsa state Government made its own public, in line with the transparency and accountability policy of the restoration administration of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.
He noted that, it was after the Bayelsa State Government had made the receipt of the N14.5 billion public that, most Nigerians got to be aware of the release of the first tranche of the Paris club refund to States and wondered where the N24 billion came from, as the State has not received any other monies by way of refunds from the Federal Government or any of its agencies.
The Commissioner, who described the growing trend of spreading falsehood, making it look as if it is real, as very dangerous for the society and the Nation’s fledgling democracy, called on members of the press and the general public to take their time in cross checking the facts, before going to the press.
Hon. Obuebite used the opportunity to call on the relevant agencies of the Federal Government to do the needful by officially making the amount of refunds made to each state public, to put all the rumours to rest, in the interest of the Federal and the State Governments.
The commissioner emphasized that, the Government was yet to receive any second tranche payment, as it is being speculated, even as the Governors’ forum has set up a committee to look at the issue of the refunds, with no reports turned in and because of the need to verify who the actual consultants are, as a result of the claims and counter claims by different consultancy firms.
He reassured the people of Bayelsa State of the Restoration administration’s commitment to the prudent management of the scarce resources available to the State, stressing that, the welfare and well-being of the citizens will continue to be accorded utmost priority in the scheme of things.