Gov Diri Swears In 14 Commissioners, LG, Revenue Board Chairmen

….. Promises not to touch Council funds

Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, on Monday, swore in 14 new commissioners, newly-elected chairmen of the eight local government councils, their vice chairmen as well as the chairman of the Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue, Daniel Iniekezimene.

The ceremony took place inside the Executive Council Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa.

According to a presa release on Monday, 29th April 2024 aigned by the Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor, Daniel Alabrah, said that the re-appointed cabinet members, who served in the governor’s first term and retained their portfolios, include Biriyai Dambo SAN (Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice), Moses Teibowei (Works and Infrastructure), Maxwell Ebibai (Finance), Dr. Gentle Emelah (Education), Daniel Igali (Sports Development) and Preye Brodricks (Special Duties, Bayelsa East).

Others who returned but were re-deployed are Dr Ebieri Jones, who was assigned to Trade and Industry from Mineral Resources while Flint George, who served as Special Duties, Bayelsa Central, was assigned to Budget and Economic Planning.

The newly appointed commissioners are Mrs Ebiwou Koku-Obiyai (Labour and Productivity), Michael Magbisa (Special Duties, Bayelsa West), Elizabeth Bidei (Women Affairs), Peter Afagha (Mineral Resources), and Komuku Kharim (Power).

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri (middle), his wife, Dr Gloria Diri (5th right), Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo (5th left) and the newly sworn-in eight local government chairmen in Government House, Yenagoa, on Monday

Senator Diri said the ceremony marked a pivotal moment in the state’s journey as he commences his second term.

He said during the first tenure, the administration laid the groundwork for a prosperous Bayelsa across various sectors, noting, however, that there was still much work to be done.

According to him, “this event underscores your dedication to fostering inclusive prosperity for all Bayelsans. On behalf of the government and the people of our state, I extend my sincere congratulations to each of you.

“As we embark on this journey, let us remember that our success will be judged not by individual accomplishments but by the collective impact we make.

“Your selection and election among a pool of highly qualified persons inspire confidence in your ability to serve with utmost commitment and distinction, fulfilling the aspirations of all Bayelsans.”

He charged them to initiate legacy projects and programmes in their various ministries as their role carried significant responsibilities to accelerate development of the state.

The governor equally charged them to exercise prudent financial management to ensure efficient resource utilisation and foster collaboration among their peers for effective synergy, as their functions complement each other.

He added that his administration would define measurable indicators to evaluate the periodic performance of each ministry and track progress towards set objectives.

The governor further urged the commissioners to establish strong connections with the grassroots, understand their needs, and incorporate them into government policies.

To the newly sworn-in local government chairmen and vice chairmen, Diri stressed that the Prosperity Government was poised to strengthening the third-tier of government to foster development in communities.

“I want you to uphold the tenets of transparency, consultation and keep in touch with the people as you are the closest to the grassroots. Ensure that you live a peaceful and quiet life. We want to see peace and development in your local governments.

“We will not tamper with local government funds. Rather we will assist you with your development. And l reiterate that local government chairmen should desist from obtaining loans with interest.”

The new council chairmen are Lucky Febo (Brass), Isaac Oniye (Ekeremor), Tariye Isaac (Kolokuma/Opokuma ), David Alagoa (Nembe), Golden Jeremiah (Ogbia), Mrs. Alice Tangi (Sagbama), Target Segibo (Southern Ijaw) and Boludisiye Ndiwari (Yenagoa).

The state’s helmsman also encouraged the chairmen to maintain the reforms initiated during the administration’s first term and reaffirmed the importance of operating from their council headquarters as well as prioritise the prompt payment of salaries.

He equally enjoined them to leverage on their recent four-day orientation programme to enhance governance and improve service delivery in their various local government areas.

While inaugurating chairman of the Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue, Diri charged Mr. Eniekezimene to devise strategies to enhance the state’s internally generated revenue and partner with relevant agencies to strengthen the tax/revenue generation process as well as promptly address loopholes in the system.

Describing internal revenue as very crucial to achieving theobjectives of government, he noted that the board plays a critical role in the financial well-being of the state.

“We acknowledge the challenges with revenue generation, stemming from federal laws and our relationships with IOCs and business operators within the state. I believe our revenue still falls short of expectations.”

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