Bayelsa Landslide: Govt. Calls Seeks Federal Intervention

Bayelsa Signs MOU For Management of HospitalThe Bayelsa State government on Wednesday made a passionate appeal to the Federal Ministry of Environment, to join its efforts in combating coastal erosion.

It is also asking agencies and other well-meaning organisations to support its efforts in addressing environmental disasters ravaging the state.

The Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (Rtd), made the appeal, shortly after inspecting a landslide site at Okoloba Community in the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.

Lamenting the loss of houses and other valuable property to the disaster, Rear Admiral Jonah urged the Federal Government to participate more effectively in the protection of the Bayelsa environment, which he noted, had suffered serious degradation owing to erosion and oil exploration activities.

According to the Deputy Governor, several communities in the state, including Koluama, which had been washed away by ocean surge and coastal erosion are now in their new settlements.

In his words: “There are lots of erosion sites in Bayelsa State. This is just one of them. We have been reporting about how the ocean surge has been washing off our communities including Koluama.

“There is need for the Federal Ministry of Environment to look into Bayelsa case more seriously now with this wake up call that we have got today. We shall inform the Federal Government on the need for them to participate more effectively in the protection of our environment”.

He sympathised with the victims, assuring them that the government would do everything within its reach to provide them with some temporary relief, while proffering long-standing solutions to the problem.

Rear admiral Jonah, however, cautioned people of the state to be more safety conscious and take proactive measures by avoiding development of houses and other facilities in areas that were prone to natural disasters.

On the issue of providing shoreline protection for the community, the Deputy Governor said: “I understand there is a record that, the government had planned to provide shore protection here. We will look at that and see where the plan stalled and put pressure as much as we can to see that that project comes back to light”.

Giving eyewitness accounts, some of the victims, who are indigenes of Okoloba community, Mr Titus Yeigbagha and Mr Imomoemi Officer, said the incident occurred thrice at about 8:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. respectively on Monday this week.

Mr Yeigbagha, who lamented that property worth several millions of Naira including six houses were wiped away by the slide, called on the government to come to the aid of the victims and the Okoloba community by providing shoreline protection for the area.

Also speaking, the Governor’s Special Representative in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area, Mr Iselema Gbaranbiri, recounted a similar incident that occurred in the community in 2008, 2013 and 2015 and appealed for the urgent attention of the government.

Bayelsa Targets N150m Monthly Revenue From Environmental Sanitation Authority

Bayelsa Govt. Targets N150m Monthly Revenue From Environmental Sanitation AuthorityThe Bayelsa State Government says it is targeting 150 million Naira monthly revenue from activities of the state environmental sanitation authority.

This is part of efforts to boost its internally generated revenue.

Chairman of the Bayelsa Environmental Sanitation Authority, Robert Enogha, disclosed this in Yenagoa at the inauguration of the state Environmental Authority Enforcement House.

Enogha, who hailed the state government’s support for its activities, said the office could make about N150 million monthly.

According to him, there is the need to improve activities of the authority because it would go a long way in boosting the revenue of the state.

“I am appealing for more support, which includes supply of equipment like wheelbarrows, patrol vehicles among others,” he said.

The Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (Rtd), who attended the event said the government is poised to achieve a clean and fresh environment.

“Clean environment does a lot of good to the human health, therefore, we cannot neglect nature of cleanliness. We will continue to improve for the betterment of our people.

“On revenue, we are no longer going to allow cash payments of fines and levies to avoid missing of funds, by next year, all tax and levies are going to be visible.

“We are not going to tolerate any form of harassment by officers who are going to be in charge. I urge every officer to step up in their conduct as the state is strategizing to improve its internally generated revenue through this agency”, he said.

Bayelsa Govt. Declares N1.27bn As Deficit Balance

Deputy Governor of bayelsa state Gboribiogha JonahThe Bayelsa State Government has declared a deficit balance of 1.27 billion Naira as funds available after meeting its financial obligations amounting to 6.9 billion Naira  for October 2015.

Presenting the figures during the monthly transparency briefing in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Tuesday, the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (Rtd), said that the state received a gross inflow of 6.5 billion Naira, out of which a total of 2.2 billion Naira was removed as Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) deductions.

On the inflow, he announced a statutory allocation from FAAC as 1.8 billion Naira, derivation as 4 billion Naira; Value Added Tax – 512 million Naira; exchange differentials of 115 million Naira, while Internally Generated Revenue for the month of September stood at 522 million Naira.

Giving a breakdown of the FAAC deductions, Mr Jonah said that the state expended 1.2 billion Naira as bond repayment, 18 million Naira on foreign loans to the state inherited from previous administration, as well as Commercial Agricultural Loan Scheme which amounted to 66.7 billion Naira.

On the outflows, the Deputy Governor stated that a total of 6.09 billion Naira was spent in October, comprising bank loan repayments of 1 billion Naira; salaries of civil servants at 3.6 billion Naira while that of political appointees stood at 515 million Naira. This is in addition to pension arrears for August 2015 which is 459 million Naira.