…Commissioners of Information and Finance Speak at Quarterly Transparency Briefing in Yenagoa.
By Isaac Ombe.
Ayibana Crowder, Commissioner for Information and Orientation , Bayelsa state has given a clean bill to the state Governor , Senator Duoye Diri, for judicious utilization of funds accruing to the state, on projects that would impact lives of the people, since he assumed office.
Crowder spoke, while also releasing a hint that preparations are on advanced stage for the Governor to commission landmark projects it has executed in the first quarter of 2022.
The Commissioner released the hint while speaking at the quarterly transparency briefing, for the months of September and October, 2021, which took place at the treasury building in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital.
He noted that despite the myriad of challenges the administration faced when it came on board, the government swung into action to execute projects that would impact the lives of the people.
While giving insight into the purpose and importance of the briefing,
Crowder stated that it is aimed at informing the people on how funds that accrue to the state is spent on projects that would be of benefit to the people.
He emphasized that the Senator Diri-led government has been doing a lot in the areas of education, Agriculture and infrastructural development and will continue to improve on it.
In the words of the Honourable Commissioner for Information and orientation, “The government has done a lot and will continue to do more as we move into the New Year.
“We came into government at a trying time .We had all kinds of issues last year and by Jan 2021 we went into full swing in terms of award of contracts”
Enumerating some achievements of the administration in the area of education, Crowder says new schools are being built within the city of Yenagoa and other parts of the state. “We are building six new model schools, 8 new technical colleges” the Information commissioner disclosed and also assured that ‘’those contracts are been awarded, they are ongoing, we have added several classrooms and as at last count we have added 600 classrooms to the already existing ones.’’
He also disclosed that the state owned tertiary institutions including the Niger Deta University ( NDU) and the Bayelsa Medical University ( BMU) are doing well in terms of accreditation as the National Universities commission ( NUC) has approved several courses .
Crowder further explained: “We are proud that our tertiary institutions are doing well. Recently the NUC declared that out of universities in the entire country that had accreditation for all their courses, only 25 universities had it and our NDU was part of the 25.
“Even our BMU is running eleven programs. Out of the eleven, nine of them were successful, and certain structures are being put in place for full accreditation,” he added.
On road projects, the commissioner disclosed that there are multi-billion Naira road projects government is embarking upon such as the Oporoma road within few kilometers away, to terminate at Angiama community where the inhabitants would soon enjoy movement on road.
He stated also that other road projects are on course, and these included the ongoing Ekeremo road , the Egbedi road, the AIT road , the Igbogene outer ring road, as part of it is asphalted. He revealed also that the bus terminal project at Igbogene is ongoing and would be in use very soon as commuters will soon end up at the Igbogene terminal.
Speaking about efforts of government at prompt payment to contractors, the commissioner explained that since mobilization of contractors to commence most recent road projects, no road project has been stalled as contractors continued to enjoy government timely payment for quick completion of project.
“Since we came on board and mobilized contractors to site, no road project we started had stopped or stalled for whatever reason”‘ declared Crowder, as he assured Bayesians of judicious use of whatever funds that come to the state for the good of the people.
In his remarks at the event, Maxwell Ebibai, the Commissioner for Finance, told reporters that by February 2022 some of the competed projects will be commissioned for Bayelsans to see what the government has been doing with their money.
“The government has been very focused in spending. So by February a number of projects will be commissioned for all of us to see that the government has really been working, despite the financial challenges of the economy”
Ebibai also assured that whatever moneys due to the state that has been withheld anywhere at the federal level would be pursued vigorously to ensure that it is brought to the state’s coffers in 2022.
“Any money that is due to Bayelsa state, the government of Senator Douye Diri will vigorously pursue to ensure that whatever that is due to us that has been withheld by any party, by the grace of God it is clear now that by 2022 some of these things will happen and it will cushion the effect of projects that government wants to undertake”
Mr. Timipre Seipulou, the Technical Adviser on treasury also gave a break down on the inflow and out flow of allocations in the month of September and October.