The Bayelsa government with a domestic debt of N130.04 billion has reported that it remains the least indebted among the states of the South South geopolitical Zone.
Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Commissioner for Information in Bayelsa who made the position known in a statement issued in Yenagoa did not however disclose the debt profile of the state.
He said that the state’s debt profile as released by the Debt Management Office was moderate because of the frugality and judicious Management of state resources by Gov. Seriake Dickson.
Bayelsa domestic debt stock as at Dec.31, 2018 stood at N130.04 bn and ranks the 7th in the nation according to figures on the Debt Management Office (DMO) portal.
According to the DMO figures, for States in the South-South region, Delta was 2nd in the Countrty with debt of N228,80 bn, Rivers 3rd with N225.59 bn debt, Akwa Ibom followed on the 4th position with N 198.66 bn.
Also, Cross River ranked 5th on the list of the most highly indebted states in Nigeria with N167.955 while Bayelsa was ranked 7th with N130.04 bn while Edo was 17th on the list with N86.82 bn, the least indebted in the Niger Delta region.
The Commissioner said that the Government inherited a bond of N120 billion from the Chief Timipre Sylva led Administration at inception in 2012 and would complete repayment in June.
The Commissioner noted that Dickson should be commended for keeping the debt status of the state low in spite of the various big ticket projects in the critical sectors that were successfully executed and ongoing in the state.
He recalled that the State Government recently completed the Bayelsa International Cargo/Passenger Airport at a cost of N65 billion aside the multi billion projects in Education, Health, Agricultural sectors.
The Commissioner said that Sylva and members of the APC who have been making false claims about the debt profile of the state had a responsibility to tell Bayelsa people what they did with the N120 bn loan they left behind.
“It is worthy of note that the Bayelsa still remains the least indebted state in the whole of the South South region.
“This is in spite of the massive projection execution that has taken place since 2012 when the Restoration Government took over.
“The debt status of the state is modest because of the prudent and judicious management of state resources by the Governor in spite of the several completed development projects in the state.
“By this month, we will finish paying Chief Timipre Sylva’s bonds which is about N120 billion which of course, he didn’t use for anything.
“When such people make claims, they should be reminded that they have a duty to tell Bayelsans what they did with N120 billion they foisted on the state,” Iworiso-Markson said.