As part of its efforts to boost transparency and accountability, the Bayelsa State government, has approved the creation of a website to be known as ‘The Bayelsa Watch’ where its monthly income and expenditure can be accessed.
Disclosing this to newsmen at the end of the 59th Executive Council meeting, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite, said the website would be domiciled in the State Ministry of Information and Orientation.
The Commissioner said the website would enable citizens to have unfettered access to information, especially on issues relating to the finances of the state.
Describing the development as an improvement on the existing transparency initiative of the state, Obuebite maintained that the monthly presentation of the state’s unaudited account to the general public would go a long way in reducing speculations on the financial transactions of the administration.
According to him, on assumption of office in 2011, the State Governor, Seriake Dickson, promised the people of the state that he would run an all inclusive and transparent government.He stated that the Governor has kept faith with the pledge in the last four and half years.
He stressed that with the opening of the website, the general public, especially Bayelsans at home and in the Diaspora, would be able to access financial information about the state government and raise appropriate questions, where necessary.
On the present economic situation in the state, the Commissioner blamed it on the indebtedness caused by the previous administration, adding that over 85 per cent of the monthly allocation from the Federation Account was being spent on the servicing of its debts, including bonds, loans and overpayments.
He alleged that Bayelsa is the most disadvantaged on all the indices used in computing revenues that accrue to states from the Federal Allocation, except derivation, which has been adversely depleted by the drop in oil production, occasioned by the activities of militants in the region.