A female member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Koku Obiyai has explained the reasons for the N25 billion loan approval that was given to the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson to complete ongoing projects in the State.
The lawmaker said that although the timing of the Governor’s request and the approval may have been misconstrued by the opposition and unrepentant critics of the present administration, the decision of the State House of Assembly to approve the loan request was based on the evident need to complete the numerous projects under the administration for the benefit of the people of the State.
Obiyai who is a member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2 and former Chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said the request and approval followed due process.
“We gave the approval based on the evidence that it will be judiciously used. This is a government that has never gone for a loan. There was a government before now that went for over N600 billion loan and there was nothing to show for it.
“But after an analysis of what the Dickson’s administration intend to do with the loan, we approved such amount. That was the modest we could approve. It may not be able to finish the projects, but it will go a long way.”
On the rising criticism by some politicians within the ranks of the State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) over the delayed implementation of the promotions and payment of gratuity to workers in the State, Obiyai dismissed the critism as misplaced and cheap propaganda.
Obiyai, who heads the House Committee on Public Service and Establishments, said that although the opposition agreed that the present administration did well in the area of prompt payment of workers salary, the huge debts incurred by the past administrations in the State and the negative impacts of the deductions from federal allocations were responsible for the Dickson’s inability to pay gratuities and implement promotions in the Civil Service.
According to Obiyai said, “The critics of the Dickson’s administration are unfair in their judgement on labour issues in the State. Dickson has tried and it is unfair for anyone to say he has not done well.The performance of the present administration is evidence based.”
“Most of these critics in opposition were given position of authority in the past. What did they do? I have repeatedly encouraged Bayelsa people to shine their eyes. If these people want to condemn a performing Governor, they should tell us what they did better when they were in authority.
“We have some of them leaving indebtedness to the tune of over N272 billion.This government has paid. It is not enough that because of elections, you will say the man has not performed.
“The issue of the unpaid gratuity and non-implementation of promotion were created during the past administration because of the huge loans and the deductions being made at the Federal level. Because of these debts and deductions, the little that comes are used for prompt payment of salaries and other development plans.
“If not for the prudence of the Dickson’s administration, the sum of N272 billion paid out of the N500 billion accrued to the state would not have been. If these people don’t owe,Dickson would have done more for the state.
“There is gain in continuity. And I want the people of the State to vote for continuity.Let Dickson continue. When people talk about Akwa Ibom and that Former Governor Akpabio performed.
“I always tell them that he stayed for 8years.In this State,we have had Four Governors in 16 years and it has reduced our development.Let Dickson finish his 8 years and see what Bayelsa will be.”