.. decries state’s debt profile
Former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva has accused his successor Seriake Dickson of financially strangling the state.
According to Sylva, a chieftain of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Dickson has turned Bayelsa State into his private Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
Sylva who described as “pure falsehood” an allegation that he incurred a N120 billion loan during his time in office as Governor of the State from 2007 to 2011, levelled by Dickson.
According to the former Governor, the current administration has mortgaged the future of state with huge loans fraudulently tied to several white elephant projects.
He challenged Dickson to defend the N130 billion loan allegedly incurred by the current administration, which according to him has placed Bayelsa people below the poverty line.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Julius Bokoru, Sylva said that contrary to the present administration’s alleged false claims, his administration left a healthy account balance to his successor.
He expressed regrets that the government that took over from him plunged the state into huge debts.
He said Dickson is one of the most fortunate Governors having been in the saddle in an era that the state received the highest allocations. Unfortunately, however, “the State is indebted to the sum of N130 billion it has not been able to service,” Sylva lamented.
His words: “As long as we know, the Dickson led administration took a loan of N50 billion. A loan he claimed he has used to build an airport for the state. The ironic thing about that loan is that it is expected to be serviced with a N32 billion interest fee, making the total sum of the loan N82 billion. Where does that happen?
“We still have the case of a 66 million Euros he took from the the Bank of Poland in 2013 to build a maritime university in the State. I am not sure there is any maritime university in this State. In fact, the only maritime university we have in the South-South of the country is the one at Okerenkoko, Delta State.”
Sylva continued: “So, these are the obvious scams. Rather than pay attention to their own short comings, they have resorted to casting aspersions, focusing on Sylva who was Governor of this State almost eight years ago.
“Just yesterday, the Debt Management Office made a publication indicating that Bayelsa is the seventh most indebted state in Nigeria. It explained that the state is indebted to the tune of N130 billion. That goes to show how much Dickson has mortgaged Bayelsa with a series of loans.”
He said it had become necessary to explain the debt profile of Bayelsa State where, according to him, the government is bent on witch-hunting Sylva.
“This government led by its pretentious Governor still feels haunted by the ghost of Sylva. For crying out loud, Sylva was Governor almost eight years ago. By this time, Bayelsans expect that they should be explaining the milestone of their achievements and not to keep talking about Sylva” , he added.