How Alamieyeseigha, Jonathan And Silva Looted Bayelsa Treasury
Nigeria: officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean.
Nigeria’s major source of earning is crude oil and the financial structure of the government is such that all national earnings are managed at the federal level and shared between the three tiers of government: The Federal, The State and the Local government. So every month our 36 state governors’ head to Abuja to get a cheque for monies accrued to the states and their local governments respectively.
The state governors are supposed to use the funds from the federal government as well as internally generated revenues to develop and run their respective states; the level of development in every state cannot go beyond the level of the management competence and integrity of managers in the state, so we have had a situation in Nigeria were money meant for development and creation of opportunities for the people of the state are mismanaged and in most cases out rightly stolen. You might see some work done at the state capitals but a step into other towns and villages outside the capital in all states you will be attacked by such a high level of poverty, lack of opportunities, failed or no infrastructures at all, a crumbled educational setup and a hopeless future for children born in such communities.
Since 1960, over $600 billion in oil revenues has flowed into Nigeria’s coffers; it represents an opportunity unavailable to much of the developing world. These petrodollars could have been spent productively, and could have transformed agriculture, laid the foundation for an effective public education system, provided much-needed infrastructure. Yet, according to the World Bank, of that $600 billion, $300 billion has simply disappeared into overseas bank accounts through theft and corruption. We paid a visit to some of the states in Nigeria and below are what we found out about there budgets on projects and how public funds are looted:
In Bayelsa State, the state of President Goodluck Jonathan, and former governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who was convicted and pardoned by the President, the state government planned upgrading of 5 secondary schools to boarding schools, N2B ($12.5M) was budgeted in 2012 and N135M ($850k) in 2010. We paid a visit to Sagbama, Kaiama, Nembe and Ogbia. No Upgrade was done.
Fencing of schools – N200M ($1.3M) in 2012, N200M ($1.3M) in 2011 and N150M ($1M) in 2010. In all schools visited no fencing exists at most you see very old fences like this one.
At Chief Melford Okilo Memorial Hospital – N1.4B ($8.8M) was budget in 2012, N6B ($37.5M) in 2011, N415M ($2.6M) in 2010, N3.5B ($22M) in 2009. The project has been completed but abandoned and non-functional.
Completion of on-going health facilities- N350M ($2.2M) was budgeted in 2012, N986M ($6.2M) in 2011 but no facility was completed in 2012 or 2011.
Construction and renovation of General Hospitals- N1.8B ($12M) was budgeted in 2012 on visit to the general hospital Sagbama, no renovation has taken place.
At the General Hospital Ogbia, the facility has stopped being a hospital out of neglect, being rented out as apartment, even though its been budgeted for by the state government.
Fencing and Landscaping of “School-to-Land Authority” Premises – N45m ($280K) was budgeted and nothing was done. The facility is currently abandoned.
Bayelsa State Rice Training and Seed Multiplication center – N150M ($1M) was budgeted, site is abandoned and no work done.
Construction of veterinary clinic and provision of equipment at Edepie – N100M ($625K) was budget in 2012, N60m ($375K) in 2010, and N100M ($625k) in 2009. No construction done at all.
Construction and Development of storage facilities of aquaculture center at Edepie – N300M ($1.9M) was budgeted in 2012 at the project site no construction was done.
Home Economics Center at St. Jude Girls Secondary school Amarata – N11.7M ($73K) was budgeted in 2012, but the existing facility no longer exists as the dilapidated infrastructure has been taken over by the police: see photo below:
Construction of 3 Senatorial Model Secondary Schools in Nembe, Sagbama & Yenagoa; N2billion ($12.5M) was budgeted in 2012; N1.4billion ($8.75M) in 2011; N2billion ($12.5M) in 2010
At Yenago site of project, 80% completion recorded, but was being used as a flood relief camp when we visited.
In Sagbama, the site was covered by flood, but community said no work had begun.
At Nembe site work was just 10 percent, but had since stopped. Nothing was done in 2012
Medical equipment for health centres: N300million ($1.9M) was budgeted. At Kaiama Comprehensive Health Center, last supply was 2010
Medical equipment for health centres: N300million ($1.9M) was budgeted. At Sagbama Comprehensive Health Center, last supply was 2010
Medical equipment for health centres: N300million ($1.9M) Comprehensive Heath Nembe. No supply was made.
Medical equipment for health centres: N300m ($1.9M). Comprehensive Health Centre Ogbia. No supply. When we visited, no beds in place.
In the same year these projects were not implemented, Bayelsa State government got N115.7billion ($724M) from the Federation Account.
Bayelsa State has a population of 1.7million, the lowest in Nigeria, 8 LGAs, also the lowest, but it got the 6th largest allocation in 2012.
This is the reason why this state is not like Dubai today. One will naturally think that a combination of low population and high revenue will produce development. But not in Bayelsa State. The last Nigerian Living Standards Survey said that more than 90 percent of Bayelsans are still poor.
World Bank Doing business report 2010 said Bayelsa is most difficult place to start a business in Nigeria due to bureaucratic harassments. The state depends entirely on oil revenue and has lower than 2 percent of internally generated revenue.
Until recently government officials created a leaking pipe for 11,132 “Ghost Workers” who withdrew salaries from government coffers showing corruption might have been elevated to state policy.
UNDP Niger Delta Development Report says that the State has the lowest index in the whole of the Niger Delta. The UNDP report showed that more that 86 percent of Bayelsans depend on kerosene for lightening up their lamps as their only source of light.
The UNDP Report also shows that only 8 percent of Bayelsans have access to pipe borne water. In 2007, only 434 Bayelsans got admission into universities, compared to its neighboring state Rivers State which had 1500. Take a look at the sources of revenue for bayelsa 2012 budget!
Bayelsa has arguably the largest recurrent expenditure profile in Nigeria. In 2010 it was 64% and 2011 it was 58%.
Reports indicate that Bayelsa State has a debt liability of N167.1billion and is only second to Lagos State in Nigeria’s debt burden. As at 2012 ending, Bayelsa state owed external debt of $28billion (I don’t know how else to enslave a generation – so sad).
2012 Security Vote for the Bayelsa State Governor was N3billion ($18.8M) – Higher than funds to Social Development, Rural Development, Water Supply and Industry, combined! (The security vote is an amount allocated to all the state governors by the president for them to secure themselves and the governors are not required to account for it).
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