The Bayelsa state house of assembly on Thursday passed N318b 2018 appropriation bill into law.
The N318b estimate passed by the State Assembly is an increase from the N295 billion presented by the state governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, on the 22nd December, 2017. The bill is with a differential of N21.78billion.
The speaker of the Bayelsa assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson, while speaking on what transpired at the committee of supply stage where the final consideration was made, assured that when signed into law, the executive arm will ensure proper implementation.
Hon. Benson commended members of the house of assembly for the roles they played by attending to the over 20 MDAs during budget defense.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa state deputy governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), has declared that those involved in the prompt payment of taxes have the constitutional right to hold government accountable on spending and development plans.
According to him, though the present administration of Governor Seriake Dickson strongly believes in accountability and good governance, those involved in the public assessment of the activities of government should endeavour to pay their taxes as at when due and only then can they hold government accountable.
He made this known in Yenagoa during a call on him by the president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) , Chief Cyril Ikemefuna Ede, who flagged off an executive training programme in the state,
He said the present administration of Governor Seriake Dickson, in answer to constitutional rights of tax payers, introduced the policy of transparency briefing where the state government publicly declares its revenue and expenditure profile on a monthly basis.
Rear Admiral Jonah further said that revenue from IGR was a mere fifty million naira when the current administration came on board in 2012 but there is now tremendous improvement in the IGR, stressing that the ultimate goal of the state government is to ensure that its IGR takes care of its monthly salary bill.
He also stated that all tax payers in the state benefit from tax payments as 5% of the IGR was remitted to accounts of both the school feeding programme and the health insurance scheme.
Earlier, the National President of the CITN, Chief Cyril Ikemefuna Ede, commended the state government for its transparent disposition by declaring its income and revenue profile to the citizenry.
Chief Ede also lauded the state government for its development strategy, pointing out that massive development has taken place in the state.
He also intimated that he was in the state for the institute’s mandatory professional training programme as part of its capacity building strategies for its members.
He informed the deputy governor that the institute will be holding its 20th annual tax conference scheduled to hold in Abuja in May this year with the theme, “institutionalizing tax culture in a developing economy.”