JUST as Bayelsans have continued to pass through the harrowing experience of the high cost of rent, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has said part of his new year policy programmes would be directed to address the housing deficit and its attendant pain of high cost of rent in the state.
Dickson gave the assurance at the maiden monthly transparency briefing for the New Year held at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Yenagoa.
He reiterated that the Restoration Government would prioritise investment in the housing sector to salvage the burden of high cost of rent and to provide affordable accommodation for low and middle-class income earners in the state.
He said, ‘’100 hectares of land has been acquired and mapped out at Agbura and Ayama communities in Yenagoa and Southern Ijaw local government areas targeted at low and middle-income earners.
According to him, 800 hectares of land has also been earmarked for the new Yenagoa City, across the Epie Creek at the Government Reserved Area, GRA.
The Governor urged Bayelsans to take advantage of the opportunity, assuring that, they would receive their certificate of occupancy within 60 days, as the state government has liberalised the process since inception in 2012.
Presenting the income and expenditure profile of the state for the months of November and December 2017, the Governor said the government recorded a deficit balance of about N1.4 billion in November.
According to him, the state government received a gross inflow of N12.4 billion while total deductions from the federation account stood at N1.6 billion, leaving a balance of N10.8 billion.
Dickson said a total of N8.5 billion was expended on outflows, which include, N3.6 billion for civil servant salaries while that of political appointees gulped N293 million.
He explained that capital and recurrent payments stood at about N5.8 billion.
Also rendering the financial profile for the month of December, the Governor explained that the state received N12.2 billion as gross inflow, while total deductions at source amounted to N1.6billion leaving the state with a balance of about N10.6 billion.
On outflows, he said bank deductions gulped N3.6 billion, salaries of civil servants N3.6 billion, while capital and recurrent expenditure stood at N7.5 billion.