Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson has said revenue accruing to the state from the Federal Government has reduced by N5bn.
Dickson insisted that the allocations in the past months nosedived by about N5bn, lamenting that drastic measures must be taken to diversify the economy.
He said if necessary economic measures were not put in place, the situation would have serious impact on the economy of the state.
Dickson, who spoke on Thursday while signing the state’s 2014 appropriation bill of N332bn into law, called for the expansion of the revenue base of the state.
The governor said, “From when I started till now, our monthly revenue has dropped by over N5bn. So, if we are not careful to build alternative revenue sources, we will get to a situation where the federal revenue will not be enough to enable us to meet our minimum obligation as a state, particularly bearing in mind the very high wage bill that is higher than that of any other state in this country.”
He blamed the recent economic downturn for the development, which he said had affected the Federation Account.
A statement by Dickson’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the governor assented the bill during an event that was attended by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Konbowei Benson.
He said his administration had taken steps to create alternative sources of income to boost the revenue profile of the state.
He directed members of his economic team to work out modalities to cut down on the state wage bills.
Dickson said remunerations approved for parastatals and travel allowances for government functionaries including himself would be affected.
He added, “We are also experiencing a terrible decline in our inflows. This is why we have always exercised maximum prudence particularly in approvals that are related to recurrent expenditure.
“I am directing the economic team to implement an appropriate reduction of all recurrent approvals beginning with Government House expenditures.”