Pages

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

NAFEST 2013: BAYELSA EMERGES OVERAL BEST


NAFEST 2013: BAYELSA EMERGES OVERAL BEST

Bayelsa State has emerged overall best at the just concluded 27th edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), clinching the first position in traditional storytelling, traditional wrestling, and traditional cuisine/food fair. 

Bayelsa state also took second position in traditional dance and music, 4thposition in Arts and Crafts, 2nd position in traditional furnished apartment, and 4th position in essay writing.

Niger State emerged the overall second having taken first in three of the competitive events; Cross Rivers State emerged as third overall best; while Ebonyi and Rivers State emerged 4th overall bests.

It was seven good days of festivities, as Bayelsans from all works of life turned up en masse to savour the 27th National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2013), organized by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), at the Gloryland Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital. 

The festival lived up to its billing, as the diversity of the nation’s rich cultural practices were projected through dances, songs, wrestling, storytelling, costumes, arts and crafts expo, traditional furnished apartments, and cultural market, to the delight of spectators.

Speaking at the occasion, the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, Who was represented by the Bayelsa State Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodulo, lauded President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his support, and the Government and people of Bayelsa State for successfully hosting the event.

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, represented by His Deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), while declaring the event closed, thanked the various contingents for participating, adding that the annual fiesta is an asset that has contributed greatly to national development and peaceful co-existence.

In his vote of thanks, the Executive Director of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mr. Mwajim Malgwi Maidugu, who is also the Festival Director, applauded the Bayelsa State Government for providing the necessary logistics that made the event a success. 

According to the NCAC boss, throughout the duration of the event, there were no complaints of any form from participants, and also lauded the contingents, NGOs and the media for their support throughout the duration of the event.

It will be recalled that the first hosting of NAFEST by Bayelsa State in 2006 was aborted because of the ill-fated plane crash that claimed many military officers, as the event was opened and closed at the same time.



JONATHAN DIDN'T SIGN ANY AGREEMENT SAYS HON. ISENAH

LGM PRESS STATEMENT 

JONATHAN DIDN'T SIGN ANY AGREEMENT SAYS HON. ISENAH 

Hon. Tonye Isenah, a member of the Bayelsa House of Assembly has said President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan did not sign any agreement not to go for a second term.
Isenah stated this when the national body of the Local Governments Grassroot Mobilization for President Goodluck Jonathan 2015, LGMs paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
According to the legislator, the purported 'agreement' signed in 2010 between President Jonathan and the Governor's Forum was allegedly signed by a group of governors on his behalf.
Hon. Isenah queried why such an agreement would be signed on his behalf and used against him (GEJ) in the forth coming general election in 2015.
Isenah, who is also the deputy majority leader of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly expressed total support for the group to deliver Mr. President in 2015.
In his welcome speech, The National Co-ordinator, Mr. Barakumo Solomon Odede said the group is poised to mobilize and galvanize supporters  for Mr. President at the Grassroot level.
According to the Co-ordinator, President Goodluck Jonathan has performed remarkably in the various sectors of the economy and therefore needs the support of all.
He told the legislator about the forth-forth coming solidarity rally for Mr. President on October 19, 2013 to kick-start the mobilization process for the elections.

Saint Mienpamo

Acting National Media and Publicity secretary
23/09/2013




Tuesday, 17 September 2013

BAYELSA GOVT APPROVES 5 MONTHS ARREARS OF N18, 000 MINIMUM WAGE FOR WORKERS

17/09/2013
BAYELSA GOVT APPROVES 5 MONTHS ARREARS OF N18, 000 MINIMUM WAGE FOR WORKERS
 
In the spirit of promoting cordial Government - Labour relations the Bayelsa State Government has approved the payment of the 5 months arrears of the N18, 000 minimum wage to its workers.
 
Similarly, pensioners who are yet to receive their retirement benefits would soon have cause to smile as the government has also approved the release of another N500 million for that purpose.
 
The state government announced the approvals during an interactive session with leadership of the various workers’ unions under the state chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress at the Executive Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa.
 
It however said payment of the arrears would take effect from January 2014, as budgetary provisions were not made for it in the current fiscal year.
 
Addressing the labour leaders, Governor Seriake Dickson expressed appreciation to the state workforce for their abiding support and dedication to the implementation of government’s policies and programmes.
 
He particularly praised them for cooperating with government in the enforcement of the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), as required by the laws of the country.
 
“Let me commend all the workers both in the public and private sectors for their dedication and for keying into the restoration agenda of Government.
 
“Government has no problems with labour and will not have any; we exist to serve you and the people of this state. We will however not shy away from taking decisions that are in the best overall interest of the state. Going forward, I can only assure you of a cordial working relationship as I have always assured other segments of the Bayelsa population.   
 
Restating the commitment of Government to the welfare of workers, the governor noted that his administration would not pay lip service to the issue of staff training and re-training, describing it as a veritable means of increasing efficiency and productivity in the service.
 
Briefing the press on the outcome of the meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Deacon Markson Fefegha, pointed out that government acceded to most of the demands of labour to strengthen the existing harmonious working relationship between them.
 
In his remarks, the Head of Service, Sir Fraser Okuoru assured pensioners that the next batch of retirees would receive their gratuities as soon as the approved funds were released.
 
He said, “The issue of PITA as you know is a national law that the state government is implementing. It is not an invention of the Governor. For the arrears, we have agreed that government would commence payment as from January 2014, which would be spread for not less than 2 years. The reason behind shifting it to January is to enable government budget for it. For instance this year there is no budgetary provision to pay that kind of arrears.
 
Also speaking, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mrs. Ebiuwou Koku Obiyai and her Trade Union counterpart, Mr Tari Dounana stated that labour accepted government’s position on the current tax regime since it was in conformity with the national law.
 
They however announced that government has agreed to pay a 15 per cent rebate of whatever amount collected as tax from workers.    
 
 According to Mrs Obiyai, “On the issue of six banks, we were made to understand that, they have even increased it to ten. But we are also looking at other modalities of bringing in more banks. We are in touch and we have been told that workers are not supposed to immediately begin to open account with the said banks until all the processes are completed.
 
 “We also discussed the issue of other allowances like overtime. The Governor is in support that overtime allowances be paid to the people that are actually doing overtime. He reassured us of training and retraining and also promised to acquire a place to construct the public service institute which was demolished some years ago.”
 
Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State

Saturday, 14 September 2013

PAKISTANI BUSINESSMEN URGED TO EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES IN BAYELSA

Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah(rtd) has urged the Pakistani business community to take advantage of various business opportunities and potentials available in the state.

He said this at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa when an 18-member Trade Delegation from Pakistan paid him a courtesy call.

He also noted that Nigeria and Pakistan have a long standing bi-lateral relationship, leading to increased trading activities as well as military partnership that has been mutually beneficial to both countries adding that Nigeria and Pakistan have close economic indicators in terms of population and Gross Domestic Product but noted sadly that while Nigeria has a high unemployment rate, Pakistan has a low unemployment figure.

He also assured the visiting Pakistani Trade Delegation that Bayelsa State was prepared to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive by way of provision of infrastructure as well as security as the current administration believes in zero-tolerance for crime and criminality.

Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah(rtd), expressed appreciation  to the Pakistani Trade Delegation for choosing Bayelsa as one of the states it selected to visit on its business tour to Nigeria.

Earlier, Nigeria’s high Commissioner to Pakistan, Ambassador Dauda Danladi stated that the Trade Delegation from Pakistan was a further consolidation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s foreign policy thrust of citizenship and economic diplomacy of the Transformation Agenda of the current administration.

Ambassador Danladi also observed that the current peace and tranquility in Bayelsa State clearly debunks the state of insecurity propagated by the international media, assuring that the Pakistan business community was ready to invest in Bayelsa, given the existing peaceful atmosphere.

He, therefore, called on the Bayelsa State Government and business men in the State to partner with their Pakistani counterparts to grow their businesses.

In his speech, the leader of the delegation, Mr Haram-Ul-Haq explained that the aim of the Trade Delegation from Pakistan is to ascertain and explore business opportunities in Nigeria, stressing that Nigeria and Pakistan as members of the D-8 countries have a lot to share and benefit by partnering in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

The leader of the Delegation also seized the opportunity of the visit to invite Bayelsa businessmen to visit Pakistan and get first-hand information from various industrial estates that produce textile materials, agricultural equipment, sporting equipment as well as surgical and dental instruments.

 

Ebi Evinson

Senior Special Assistant on Media

to the Deputy Governor

September 03, 2013


BAYELSA DEP GOV URGES FLOOD AGENCIES TO WORK IN SYNERGY


Governor Seriake Dickson has urged all relevant government agencies to work in synergy as they prepare proactively to effectively combat this year’s flood, when it eventually comes, given the predictions of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).

He said this during a one-day Flood Preparedness and Management Workshop with the theme, “towards effective flood management,” organized by the State Post-Flood Management Committee and the Flood Research Group of the Federal University, Otuoke at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa.

Speaking through his deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah(rtd), he further said that the landscape of Bayelsa State is 70% water, as such, the challenges of flooding and other related issues will always continue to confront us as a people, and therefore, called on all and sundry to brace up.

While acknowledging the significance of theoretical concepts in disaster management, he also added that such theoretical postulations should be simplified for easy application by the common man in order to have the desired results.

The deputy governor also explained that every military formation, including police stations should have disaster management units, so as to ensure quick response because they have the relevant facilities and the right training.

In view of the experiences of last year’s devasting flood, he also stressed that the State Government had already disbursed N500million to mitigate the effects of this year’s impending flood.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the Post-Flood Management Committee, Chief Francis Doukpola, noted that the scourge of annual flooding has become one of the serious developmental challenges of Bayelsa State, adding that preventing flood is better than managing it.

He also recalled that a good number of persons in the communities lost their houses as a result of last year’s flood which informed the committee’s decision to provide bags of cement and other building materials to such persons to enable them rebuild their houses.

Top government functionaries attended the one-day workshop, including the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Edmond Allison-Oguru, Commissioners, Senior Military Officers, and the Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, King Godwin Igodo.

Lead presenters and discussants of papers include, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Otuoke, Prof. Bio Nyanayo and Prof. Steve Nwabuzor, both of the Federal University Otuoke, Dr P.A. Bariweni and Prof Effiom Antia, of the Niger Delta University, Prof. Chidi Ibe of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. T.K.S. Abam of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt as well as Chief Iboro Ige-Edaba, Executive Secretary, Capital City Development Authority.


Ebi Evinson

Senior Special Assistant on Media

to the Deputy Governor

September 03, 2013


Friday, 13 September 2013

DICKSON CHARGE CONTRACTORS ON COMPLETION OF ONGOING PROJECTS


13/09/2013
Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Friday embarked on an on-the-spot assessment of the ongoing developmental projects in the State, urging the contractors to expedite action on their completion.
Accompanied by top government functionaries, the Governor expressed satisfaction with the pace of work on most of the projects inspected, explaining that the inspection was to ensure that the jobs were executed according to the specifications.
The project sites visited include,  the Governor and Deputy Governors’ Office complex, Government House Clinic, new Secretariat Annexes, modern police officers’ mess, and the site for the construction of the state Archives, Museum and Language Centre.
Others were the Gloryland Cultural Centre, Pharmaceutical Storage and Distribution Complex, Ring Road Project from Bayelsa-Palm to AIT, Elebele and Flyover Bridge project at the NNPC mega station/Julius Berger Junction.
At the GloryLand Cultural Centre, where reconstruction work has reached an advance stage of completion, the Governor was impressed with the quality of new sculptural works put in place to enhance the aesthetics of the Events centre.
Hon. Dickson, however, ordered the redesigning of the stage and some parts of the edifice to make it world-class and directed the Commissioner for State Capital Development, Mr. Zuwa Konugha to liaise with its Culture and Ijaw National Affairs counterpart to adorn the city with more sculptural pieces portraying Ijaw culture and values.
The State Chief Executive also directed the Commissioner for works and Infrastructure, Mr. Lawrence Ewrudjakpo to ensure the construction of a befitting road to link the archives, museum and language center, which is sited opposite the newly completed modern police officers’ mess.
On the flyover project, the Governor noted that its timely completion would go a long way to ease the chaotic traffic situation in Yenagoa due to the influx of people into the state capital.
Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

"NO NEW PDP IN BAYELSA STATE" STATE SECRETARY AFFIRMS

"NO NEW PDP IN BAYELSA STATE" STATE SECRETARY AFFIRMS

The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has denied the existence of a new PDP in the state, saying the party remained a united body marching ahead to fulfill its destiny as laid down by the founding fathers.

In a statement in Yenagoa, the ,Secretary of PDP in the state, Hon. Keku Godpower stated that any insinuation to the contrary was false and could only be the handiwork of mischief makers, adding that the state chapter of the PDP was not factionalized and will continue to be committed to President Goodluck Jonathan, the state governor, Hon.Seriake Dickson and the national leadership of the party.

The statement which was made available to the press read in parts:" Our attention has been drawn to the rumour making the rounds that our great party, the PDP, now has a new faction in Bayelsa State. We want to make it abundantly clear that there is nothing like that in the state"

"The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State remains one and indivisible body, marching ahead spiritedly to fulfill its destiny as laid down by the founding fathers"

" We are one family resolute in the basic ideals of democracy, leadership and development of our people. We are not factionalized and no amount of rumour mongering, insinuation or even incitement will change the situation because we have elected long ago to be democrats in all our ways and to be steadfast to the basic principles of that leadership entails. Indeed, we must state it without equivocation that we are resolutely behind President Goodluck Jonathan, our dear Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson and the national leadership of our great party. For the avoidance of doubt, we in the BayelsaState chapter of the PDP joined other state chairmen just yesterday in Abuja to affirm our loyalty and outright support to the Bamangar Tukur leadership and we stand by this conviction as a matter of honour and decency."

The party Secretary further stated: ""We urge all our members to continue to support the PDP and its sole leadership in the state and at other levels for the purpose of further entrenchingdemocracy in our country. It is by so doing that we can also benefit more from the dividends of good governance as facilitated by democracy and as we have also witnessed in Bayelsa State in particular and the nation in general. We must stand up for something as our conscience could lead us and indeed we must stand up to be counted that we are guided by what is right and never by any inordinate ambition. We are conscious of the greater good to us when we continue to co-exist in an atmosphere of peace and unity we have in the state."
   

Friday, 6 September 2013

GOV DICKSON GETS PLAUDITS FOR GIVEN PRIORITY TO THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY AND DEVELOPMENTAL STRIDES

GOV DICKSON GETS PLAUDITS FOR GIVEN PRIORITY TO THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY AND DEVELOPMENTAL STRIDES
Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson has been lauded for the massive attention and priority accorded the entertainment and tourism industry in the State.
Musicians under the aegis of the All Izon Owigiri Musicians Group also commended the Governor for his unrelenting efforts at creating a conducive environment for the entertainment industry to thrive in the State.
Representatives of the group, who spoke to newsmen shortly after visiting some project sites in Yenagoa and its environs, expressed satisfaction with the number of development projects being undertaken by the administration, describing it as a show of love and patriotism and urged him not to relent.
In their separate remarks, some of the Izon musicians, Barrister S. Smooth, Sir Abraham young and Izonebi Alfred, also applauded the Governor for the return of night life to Yenagoa and called on the people of the State to remain supportive to the programmes and policies of the government.
They also expressed gratitude to the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Domestic, Mr. Ebipade Richman Samuel for initiating the meeting for bringing all Izon musicians from all Izon speaking areas of the Niger Delta under one umbrella and assured the government of their cooperation at all times.
They were equally appreciative of the recognition accorded them and the efforts made to unite Izon musicians from across the Niger Delta and the culture of the people.
According to them, musicians now travel to perform in all parts of the State without any form of molestation or fear of attack and pledged their unalloyed support for the programmes and policies of the Hon. Dickson led restoration administration in the Bayelsa State.
“As individuals and as a group, we have never had this kind of recognition, support and encouragement from a government as we are having now. Government for the first time appointed one of us (King Robert Ebizimor) as Special Assistant on Culture, among others”
 
The group expressed gratitude to the Governor for the steps taken to provide security in the creeks around the State to check cases of sea piracy and other negative vices associated with the area.
 “It is heartwarming that, today we are enjoying peace in the State and we give kudos to our amiable Governor, who gas demonstrated tremendous courage and commitment in running the affairs of the State” the statement read in part.
The musicians also used the opportunity to call on Youths to disassociate themselves from of illegal bunkering and refining activities, noting that, the activities were counterproductive to the economy of State and Country.
They equally condemned in its entirety, the activities of sea piracy and undue harassment of travelers on the waterways and called for a change of attitude amongst youths in the State.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

BRIDGE DID NOT COLLAPSE IN BAYELSA -- GOV'T

BRIDGE DID NOT COLLAPSE IN BAYELSA -- GOV'T

Yenagoa — Bayelsa State government yesterday dismissed the claim that the 45years old iron bridge linking the Igbogene and Okoloibiri communities in Yenagoa local government area of the state collapse, saying it was only shut down to motorists due to noticeable defects.

The narrow bridge, used by the community and motorists traveling in and outside the state, was built by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in the late 60s due to its exploration activity of the Ekelebo oil well in Okolobiri.

The State Commander of the FRSC, Mr Vincent Jack, was quoted by some online news media as confirming the collapse of the bridge and stating that his men were engaged in rescue effort at the scene.

But the Bayelsa government, through the Works and Infrastructure Commissioner, Lawrence Erudjakpo, said the reported collapse was not true.

"Let me confirm to you that we got a report on the defective nature of the bridge and the possible threat of collapse. 

We quickly asked the construction firm working in the area to shut down the bridge from motorists.If you go there, you will see that it is still been used by pendestrians but not motorists," he said.


GOV DICKSON BREAKS VACATION FOR PDP, GIVES KUDOS TO BAYELSA DELEGATES



02/09/2013
Bayelsa State Governor and Chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, National Reconciliation Committee, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has commended Bayelsa delegates to the just concluded PDP Special National Convention for their matured disposition and oneness of purpose.
The Governor, who punctuated his annual vacation to attend the convention in Abuja over the weekend, also described as heartwarming, the general outcome of the convention, which has put the party in a better stead to deliver the dividends of democracy at all levels of government.
Governor Dickson, who stated this while fielding questions from journalists, noted that the outcome of the convention has again clearly portrayed the PDP as a truly democratic and the party that means well for the people of Nigeria.
“We have as a party, once again demonstrated that, we are true democrats, who well for our people. And, as the leader of the party in my State, I will like to thank our delegates for their unity and commitment to the progress of the party at State and National levels”
He also commended the party leadership at the national level for the matured manner they have administered the affairs of the party and urged party faithful at all levels to remain supportive to the National Working Committee of the party.
The Bayelsa State Chief Executive also expressed satisfaction with the steady progress being recorded by President Goodluck Jonathan in virtually every sector and renewed his call on Nigerians to remain steadfast in the ability of the President to improve the lots of the people in line with his transformation agenda.
The Governor, who is continuing his vacation, is expected to resume duty later this month.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State


GOV DICKSON BREAKS VACATION FOR PDP, GIVES KUDOS TO BAYELSA DELEGATES



02/09/2013
Bayelsa State Governor and Chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, National Reconciliation Committee, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has commended Bayelsa delegates to the just concluded PDP Special National Convention for their matured disposition and oneness of purpose.
The Governor, who punctuated his annual vacation to attend the convention in Abuja over the weekend, also described as heartwarming, the general outcome of the convention, which has put the party in a better stead to deliver the dividends of democracy at all levels of government.
Governor Dickson, who stated this while fielding questions from journalists, noted that the outcome of the convention has again clearly portrayed the PDP as a truly democratic and the party that means well for the people of Nigeria.
“We have as a party, once again demonstrated that, we are true democrats, who well for our people. And, as the leader of the party in my State, I will like to thank our delegates for their unity and commitment to the progress of the party at State and National levels”
He also commended the party leadership at the national level for the matured manner they have administered the affairs of the party and urged party faithful at all levels to remain supportive to the National Working Committee of the party.
The Bayelsa State Chief Executive also expressed satisfaction with the steady progress being recorded by President Goodluck Jonathan in virtually every sector and renewed his call on Nigerians to remain steadfast in the ability of the President to improve the lots of the people in line with his transformation agenda.
The Governor, who is continuing his vacation, is expected to resume duty later this month.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State