ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has challenged civil servants and other stakeholders directly involved in revenue generation and collection in the state to complement government’s efforts at blocking leakages in the system to improve the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Diri gave the challenge at the Trade Union Congress (TUC) maiden Public Lecture and Awards Night at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa.
The governor, who spoke through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the challenge of leakages in IGR was a great source of concern to the state.
He lamented the low IGR profile of the state, urging all the relevant stakeholders to see the task of blocking the existing leakages in the system as a collective responsibility that must be done in the interest of the state.
While calling for effective synergy among stakeholders, Diri stressed the need to first identify the sources of leakages in the revenue chain with a view to plugging them.
According to him, Bayelsa has only one major source of income and therefore called for increased private sector support to enable government succeed in diversifying the local economy to expand the state revenue base.
Diri, who described the relationship between his administration and labour as cordial, commended the TUC and other labour unions for their patience and understanding in the face of the current harsh economic realities in the country.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Julius Laye, commended the Diri-led administration for the prompt payment of salaries, monthly disbursement of funds for the payment of gratuity arrears as well as the approval and implementation of workers’ promotion till date.
Laye said the public lecture with the theme, ‘Blocking the Leakages in the IGR of Bayelsa State: The Role of Civil Servants’, was put together with a view to enabling stakeholders look inwards and take measures to help increase the state IGR.
Speaking as chairman of the occasion, Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei, said the public lecture was quite timely given the steady decline in the volume of statutory allocations to the state.
Ayawei, who was represented by the Technical Adviser to the Governor on Treasury and Accounts, Mr. Timipre Seipulou, urged all stakeholders to make the best out of the lecture by proffering solutions to identified leakages.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of outstanding service awards to Governor and his Deputy in recognition of their commitment towards workers’ welfare and the growth of TUC in the state.