The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has passed the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law.
The N318bn estimate passed by the State Assembly is an increase from the N295 billion presented by the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on the December 22, 2017. The Bill is with a differential of N21.78billion.
The Speaker of the Bayelsa Assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson, while speaking on what transpired at the Committee of Supply stage where the final consideration was made, assured that when signed into law, the executive arm will ensure proper implementation.
Hon. Benson commended members of the House of Assembly for the roles they played by attending to over 20 MDAs during budget defence.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State deputy governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), has declared that those involved in the prompt payment of taxes have the constitutional right to hold government accountable on spending and development plans.
According to the deputy governor, though the present administration of Governor Dickson strongly believes in accountability and ood governance, those involved in the public assessment of the activities of government should endeavour to pay their taxes as at when due and only then can they hold government accountable.
Jonah, who made this known in Yenagoa during a courtesy call on him by the President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria , Chief Cyril Ikemefuna Ede, who was in the state to flagg off an executive training programme, said the present administration of Governor Dickson, in answer to constitutional rights of tax payers, introduced the policy of Transparency Briefing where the state government publicly declares its revenue and expenditure profiles on a monthly basis.
Rear Admiral Jonah further said that revenue from state’s IGR was a mere fifty million naira when the current administration came on board in 2012, adding that there is now tremendous improvement in the IGR even as he stressed that the ultimate goal of the state government is to ensure that its IGR takes care of its monthly salary bill.
He also stated that all tax payers in the State benefit from tax payments as 5% of the IGR was remitted to accounts of both the school feeding programme and the health insurance scheme.
Earlier , the National President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Chief Cyril Ikemefuna Ede, commended the state government for its transparent disposition by declaring its income and revenue profile to the citizenry.
Chief Ede also lauded the State government for its development strategy , pointing out that massive development has taken place in the State.
He also intimated that he was in the state for the Institute’s Mandatory Professional Training Programme as part of its capacity building strategies for its members.
He also informed the deputy governor that the institute will be holding its 20th Annual Tax Conference scheduled to hold in Abuja in May this year with the theme, “institutionalizing Tax Culture in a Developing Economy.