By Omeiza Ajayi
DEPUTY National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Yekini Nabena, has cautioned the Federal Government against releasing to the Bayelsa State Government the sum of N7 billion being refund for Value Added Tax, VAT, meant for the state saying the caution is necessary to avoid using the funds for vote-buying ahead of the November 16 governorship poll.
Nabena gave the charge in a statement in Abuja.
The statement specifically urged the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to delay approval of the VAT refund to the Bayelsa state government until after the conduct of the election.
“There is a N7 billion VAT refund to Bayelsa State awaiting the Minister of Finance’s approval. The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has committed to a commercial bank to give him the N7 billion with an agreement that the Ministry will in turn pay the money to them”, the Bayelsa-born APC chieftain disclosed.
The APC deputy spokesman believed that if the money is released to the outgoing government in the state it will not serve the purpose it is meant to achieve.
“The Minister is advised not to approve the VAT refund until after the governorship election. Governor Dickson has recently been in the news on account of several schemes to raise money through diversion of state funds to fund the election of his stooge and Bayelsa governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
“Bayelsans are still smarting from the exposed plan of Governor Dickson to sell off an oil field, Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) belonging to the state, months to the his handover. Governor Dickson must be stopped from achieving his selfish and desperate plan to buy votes using state funds and rig the election in favour of his unpopular candidate,” Nabena added.