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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

BAYELSA GOVT CONDEMNS ACTS OF LAWLESSNESS AND BRIGANDAGE, TO DEAL DECISIVELY WITH PERPETRATORS

BAYELSA GOVT CONDEMNS ACTS OF LAWLESSNESS AND BRIGANDAGE, TO DEAL DECISIVELY WITH PERPETRATORS

21/11/2013

Bayelsa State Government strongly condemns the constant recourse to lawlessness and brigandage, often exhibited by some known criminal gangs, Cult leaders and their fellow cultistsfunded by Political opponents, who have formed the habit of blocking federal highways and infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens.

A Government House statement noted with dismay, the disruption of human and vehicular movements at the Mbiama end of the ever busy East/West road by cult leaders and their followers and warned in strong terms that, henceforth Government will no longer tolerate such acts of lawlessness and ensure that, any person irrespective of his or her status, who takes the laws into his or hands is dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land.

Government, according to the statement views the action of Tuesday, 20th of November, 2013, with serious dismay, whereby innocent citizens were subjected to untold hardship by criminal elements, who clearly avoided carrying out their action in Bayelsa State, knowing the Government’s posture of zero tolerance on crime and criminality.

We urge security agencies across the States in the country to share information, with a view to tracking down acts of crime and criminality.

The statement is hereby warning these disgruntled persons to desist from such acts, as Government will not fold its arms and watch such acts of lawlessness, as it will collaborate with Federal law enforcement agencies to ensure that such persons are brought to book.

Security operatives have been put on red alert to prevent any re-occurrence of this dastardly act.

Be warned that, Security agencies operating in Bayelsa State are federal agencies and can deal with any breach of the law anywhere.

 

Col. Bernard Kenebai, Rtd

Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters

NURTURING THE SPIRIT OF GENUINE RESTORATION IN BAYELSA STATE by: Idumange



John Idumange: The veritable starting point is to take a scriptural reference from the Bible. In Joel 2: 25 -26. The good book says thus on Restoration “ I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. ‘You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. The Bible further says “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you”. 


Restoration implies recovering what has been lost and improving upon what has been recovered. This requires bidding farewell to the way things were done in the past and re-inventing the way and manner things are to be properly done. It connotes reconfiguring the architecture of how things are done and introduce the element of excellence. Restoration means restructuring and learning to do common things in an uncommon way.


When Governor Henry Seriake Dickson assumed office, about 20 months ago, he was confronted with three main problems namely: an empty treasury, a bloated wage bill and an inexplicable debt burden. Perhaps the worst challenge was the chaotic atmosphere characterized by insecurity, crime and criminality and gangland wars. The streets of Yenagoa were theatres of cult battles. That scary situation boded-ill for investors, tourists, and investment security and even disrupted the development of physical infrastructure. Militants and criminals found very convenient havens in Government House under official cover. It was a free reign of terror. 


Recognizing the fact that security is the solid rock on which any development stands, Governor Seriake Dickson reconfigured the security infrastructure and after brainstorming with experts, he got a crack team of experienced people to constitute what has become known as DOO AKPOR – the security outfit that has brought about sustainable peace and security. Today, Bayelsa State is the centre of gravity of all national and international events. The State has so far hosted the African Movie Academy Award, AMAA; the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, MDGN; the National Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST, the International World Tourism Day among others. There is no gainsaying that in Nigeria, Bayelsa State is the only State where such massive events can take place peacefully. Today, his award as the best security Governor in West Africa did not come as a fluke. It is a function of hard work, strategizing and massive investment in security. Congratulations our Governor!

Governor Dickson has not minced words in placing premium on Human capital development. Government has adopted a three-pronged approach in this enterprise. Firstly, Government awarded 789 scholarships 137 PhDs; 260 Masters Degrees, 142 undergraduates and 250 post-primary scholarships. Secondly, Government went into massive building and comprehensive renovation of schools and teachers quarters. At the last count. 


Now, Bayelsa scholarship recipients are scattered all over the 31 countries of the world. This has made coordination of the programme difficult and haphazard. Government is thinking of a one-short solution to that problem. The strategy Government wants to adopt is to select a few prestigious universities in the UK, the USA and Asia where Bayelsa Students will acquire quality education with minimal challenges of coordination. This will facilitate the operations of the scheme in terms of coordination, remittances and monitoring progress – all to facilitate the acquisition of quality education for Bayelsa students. 


Knowing that unemployment is one of the challenges facing Bayelsa State, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson is working assiduously to ensure that an investment-friendly environment is created for Bayelsa to benefit from Foreign Direct Investment. One strategy the Restoration Government is trying to adopt is to ensure the State partners world class institutions and sign MoU’s to facilitate industrialization. Within the past months, the Restoration Administration has signed several MoUs with local and international development with a view to creating jobs and reducing poverty. Some of them include: 


1. Lagray Chemicals, USA for the development of Pharmaceutical Products.

2. DST Petroleum Ltd for the establishment of a fertilizer plant in Brass. 

3. Octopol Energy Ltd for Gas Conversion.

4. Goshen Treasures Ltd: for the Development of Bayelsa Plastic Industry.

5. KABLETECH Nigeria Limited: For manufacturing of Electricity Cable.

6. Ugboduma and Sons Ltd for the Development of Tourism city.

7. Alyn Global Services Ltd: for building of Aquarium Facility.

8. Clinotech Tunkey Management, Canada for the Production of quarry and other concrete works.


9. Sivan Design to develop a world-class Computerized System to run its Geographic Information System (BGIS) with Complementary Service including Aerial Mapping.


10. An MOU with the prestigious Polish Maritime Academy to establish the Bayelsa Maritime Academy 


11. A memorandum of Understanding with Lincoln University in the area of human capital development


MoUs also exist in the hospitality industry, Agriculture, education, health and training. The dividends of these MoUs will yield dividend sooner than later. With the implementation of these MoUs, the scourge of unemployment will be mitigated. The aim of government provide for the well-being of the people. 

Already, the Restoration Government has employed of over 300 science Teachers to boost the teaching of Sciences in our Secondary schools. Similarly, some magistrates Chairmen of Customary Courts have been employed. As more schools and health centers are built, more people will be employed. Some teachers are undergoing specialized training in Ijaw Language. This is part of efforts of the Restoration Administration to encourage the teaching and learning of Ijaw language, culture and traditions. It is a kind of cultural Risorgimento for the Ijaw ethnic nationality. 

The Restoration Administration is a people-oriented government. Apart from providing physical infrastructure, the State Government through the office of the SSA Civil Society, gathered about 10,000 youths who voluntary renounced cultism and criminality, promising that they will be given a new lease of life. Now, government has started to evolve capacity building programmes that will impart skills, capacities and competences and abilities that will enable them manipulate economic processes and be gainfully employed. Whereas past administrations created and funded cultism, gangland wars and spread terror, Governor Seriake Dickson has integrated these youths into society as indispensable members of the civil society. 


Biometrics has been concluded some months ago. Now, identity Cards are being printed and after the process, a huge number of the youths will be employed as traffic warders; some will be absorbed into the security surveillance system, others will be trained in mechanized agriculture while others will be engaged in craft works. These plans have been laid out to empower youths in Bayelsa State. 


As a demonstration of the prevailing peace and security in the State, Yenagoa has played host to the African Movie Academy Award, AMAA; the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, MBGN, the Nigerian Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST, the International World Tourism Day among others. This has made Yenagoa the Tourism Centre of Nigeria. As the Tourism Ministry and the Bayelsa State Museums and Monuments Board work in synergy to rejuvenate tourist sites in Bayelsa State, it is obvious that the Restoration Administration is now looking beyond crude oil as a means of sustenance survival and fast-tracking development. 


The Ministry of Science, Technology and Manpower Development and the Youth Development are intensifying efforts to roll out youth empowerment capacity programmes. Already, so many youths have benefited and it is an on-going process and many more will benefit. The Restoration Transport Scheme is working effectively, kudos to the Commissioner who has worked out a mechanism to monitor their operations and to track progress. 


In the court of public opinion, what appears to be the greatest achievement of the Restoration government is the reconfiguration of governance architecture. The hitherto laissez faire ways in which the affairs of the State were managed have given way for a well thought-out, properly organized and well-planned modus operandi of executing government programmes. What stands tall in this endeavour is the teaching of attitudinal change, the sprouting of the seeds of transparency and the exponential expansion of accountability as pillars of government across the State. Even the ardent critics of Restoration will lavishly concede that Governor Dickson’s efforts are worthy of commendation. As an achiever with a sense of mission, the CONTRIMAN Governor stands tall among his contemporaries. It is just 20 months and we have come thus far. The vision is clear, the mission is achievable and the strategy is effective. The road ahead is clear and blissful. 


What is very clear is that all departments of government are working in synch with one another. The office of the Millennium Development Goals is delivering its mandate. All around the LGAs, there are solar powered water projects, supply of laboratory equipment to schools; building. Comrade Apere Embeleakpo, the Senior Special Assistant to the Bayelsa State Governor on MDGs presented his score card, reiterated that funds for the MDGs are tied to specific projects on yearly basis and that his administration have completed the projects of 2011 which were hitherto, uncompleted because of the promotion of Chief Ogbe Remember Ogbe as Chairman of Southern/Ijaw. To further consolidate on the achievements so far recorded, his office has intensified the buildings of Health Centres and provision of drugs and equipment for the 2012 as follows:

Eleven health centres and three health posts;

Provision of Health Facilities (11 Staff quarters) for 2012. 

Construction of two classroom blocks

Provision of 28 motorized boreholes

Provision of 19 Solar power projects

Provision of VIP toilets for schools

Distribution of Ambulances and Referral boats to communities

Distribution of health equipment to 48 health centres across the state

Provision of 16,000 desks for school pupils 

Distribution of 960 hybrid banana suckers to farmers

Provision of grants to cooperatives


The MDG boss stated that, his office has procured of 2,500 pieces of phones for distribution to the poorest of Bayelsans. The office has also concluded plans to pay such persons monthly stipends of Five Thousand Naira as a measure of empowerment. Already, Governor Dickson has been implementing this empowerment strategy statewide for those who are 75 years and above – a gesture that gives succour to the elderly. Governor Henry Seriake Dickson promptly released, the 2012 counterpart funding which has earned him the title of the MDG compliant Governor. I think he is also the most prudent and transparent Governor and if you doubt me, please attend just one monthly Transparency Briefing and you will be convinced how prudently resources are being allocated. 


The Ministry of Education and the State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB, are working round the clock to turn around the fortunes of education in the State. During the Great Flood of 2012, more than 80% of the schools were devastated along with their furniture, laboratories and libraries. Presently, about 400 schools have been rebuilt, comprehensively renovated and furnished and refurbished, teachers quarters inclusive. The wooden furniture are being replaced with plastic furniture to forestall that experience. This is in line with the priority attention given to human capacity development in the Restoration Government. Recognizing the urgency of the need for implementing the free education programme, school uniforms are now being made in Nigeria. In fact every local government has a responsibility to produce the free school uniforms for the students in the LGA. The obvious challenge in the way of free education in our clime is dearth of funds, especially in an era of dwindling allocations accruing to the States. (No thanks to the oil thieves)


With the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure furiously turning the State into a massive construction site, Bayelsa State is ready to welcome investors. The Restoration administration is well on her way to fulfilling the three macroeconomic objectives of poverty reduction, employment generation and wealth creation. With the planned refurbishing of the Bayelsa Plastic Industry and the Bayelsa Palm Limited, youth employment will be reduced to the barest minimum. 


With prudence, transparency and accountability as hallmarks of the administration, Bayelsa State stands on a very strong pedestal to be a leader in tourism, education, works and infrastructure and other indices of development. With the administrative style of the helmsman, the momentum can only be sustained. The only way to appreciate good governance in the landscape is to nurture the spirit of genuine Restoration across all governmental boundaries and political hierarchies. This can be achieved through a conscientious and well-articulated attitudinal change in the geography of the glory of all lands. 



John Idumange, writes from Yenagoa.

DICKSON ORDERS IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF KIDNAPPED BAYELSA SENIOR CITIZENS ..... SAYS IT IS AIMED AT DESTABILIZING THE STATE


28/11/2013

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has ordered immediate release of Pa Nelson Tempurah, father of the State Commissioner for Tourism Development, Mr. Nelson Belief and Mrs Gbalipre Turner abducted few days ago by suspected kidnappers, submitting that the act is aimed at giving the international community wrong impression about the security situation at the home base of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Speaking at a civic reception organised in his honour by the people of Ogbia Local Government Area during his thank you tour to the area, the Governor warned the people against being used by criminal elements within and outside the State.

Calling on the people of the State to be watchful, especially as the nation is warming up for the conduct of the 2015 general election, Hon. Dickson said some criminal elements are looking for means of breaching the security situation in the state.

 He disclosed that necessary security measures are being put in place to checkmate the activities of the miscreants and make the State an investment haven.

His words, ‘some of those people who are working hard to destabilize our State and discredit the home base of the President may not be even too far. Very few of them are even among us working in collaboration with the people outside to destabilize Bayelsa. But, I know that they will not succeed.

‘If anything bad happens here, it gives our detractors happiness. So, I want to use this opportunity to condemn the recent acts of kidnapping that are particularly targeted at Ogbia area to discredit us and create a feeling of insecurity in this Local Government Area.

Anything they do to Bayelsa is hot news that makes front page of newspapers. So, you need to caution yourselves. My message to them (kidnappers) is that the people being held captive, particularly the innocent wife of ours should be released without further delay.

‘For those who are thinking of that as a lifestyle, we call on you to desist because it is in your interest to do so’

While expressing appreciation to the people for their support during and after his election as Governor, Hon. Dickson acknowledged the contributions of the wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan and traditional rulers of the area including the Paramount ruler of Opume community, King Amalate Turner in moving the State forward.

Hon. Dickson who was conferred with the Chieftancy title of ‘Edi 1’ of Ogbia kingdom meaning ‘Pillar of support’ promised the people of a better deal in the present administration’s scheme of things.

Responding to requests made by the people, Chief Dickson sympathised with them on the hardship they are currently facing due to the breakdown of the Imiringi Gas Turbine and one of the bridges linking the area to the State capital, assuring that Government was taking actions to address the problems.

According to him, the power outage in the area will be fixed before Christmas even as he pledged to build a befitting Governor’s lodge in Ogbia town in line with his policy of decentralizing development.

In their separate addresses, the Chairman of Ogbia Local Government, Mr. Enaye Abah and representative of the Obhanoban of Ogbia kingdom, Chief A.M. Aduba commended the Governor for living up to his electioneering promises to the people of the State.

While thanking Governor Dickson for locating some people oriented projects and appointing indigenes into political offices, they called for more Government presence in the area with critical infrastructure such as roads.

In a goodwill message, a chieftain of the PDP, King Amalate Turner described Governor Dickson as a man of impeccable character, commending him for his efforts at restoring the glory of the State.

Also, the State PDP chairman, Colonel Sam Inokoba and his Ogbia Local Government counterpart, Hon. Budget Isaiah were among dignitaries that presented goodwill messages at the event.

 

FALLOUT OF GOV DICKSON’S TOUR TO LGAs: GOVT APPROVES N3BN FOR THE COMPLETION OF OGBIA/NEMBE ROAD


FALLOUT OF GOV DICKSON’S TOUR TO LGAs: GOVT APPROVES N3BN FOR THE COMPLETION OF OGBIA/NEMBE ROAD


29/11/2013

Bayelsa State Government has approved an intervention fund of N3bn for the completion of the Ogbia/Nembe road which is expected to be completed by 2015.

The State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson during his Thank You tour to Nembe local government area of the state on Tuesday assured the people that the road would be completed by 2015, noting his economic relevance to the growth of the State.

Briefing the newsmen at the end of the 30th Executive Council meeting on Thursday, the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Deacon Markson Fefegha flanked by his works counterpart, Mr. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the Special Adviser on Political Matters, Chief Fred Agbedi said the construction of the road would reduce sea piracy on the waterways as well as boost commerce in the area.

The commissioner stated that the decision to seek for the intervention fund was in line with the promise made by the Governor during his Thank You tour to the area.

Speaking in the same vein, the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ewhrudjakpo said the road was jointly awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) and Shell Petroleum Development Company in 2004 to SETRACO Plc, adding that the Government would hold discussions with the two organizations to ensure that the contractor is mobilized back to site.

The Commissioner noted that the present administration’s plan of constructing a road from Nembe to Brass would not be achieved without the completion of Ogbia/Nembe road.

He submitted, “ordinarily, we wouldn’t have been bothering ourselves with Ogbia-Nembe road but we have to do it for three reasons; the Ogbia-Nembe road, if not completed, our dream of hitting the Atlantic through the Eastern flank, which the Governor promised, and to connect Brass will not be achieved because there is no reason constructing a road between Nembe and Brass when you don’t have a road between Ogbia and Nembe. It will be foolhardy.

“Secondly, that road has become a necessity because of the need to reduce piracy and open up that area for development. Quite a good number of communities are on that alignment, and not only that; we also feel bad about the delay that road has suffered. That road was awarded in 2003/2004 and there has been variation upon variation and so we are worried.

Aside the completion of Nembe/Ogbia road, the Council, according to the Commissioner has approved the award of contract for the repair of Otuasega/Ogbia bridge and construction of internal roads in Ogbia Town.

In a related development, Government has approved the sum of N1.2bn for the payment of compensation to property owners around the Etegwe area for the construction of the second flyover in the State capital.

The compensation as disclosed by the Commissioner would be paid in phases.

His words, ‘we want to use this opportunity to reassure property owners around that area that has been marked for the construction of flyover in Etegwe that in the next one or two weeks, we will start payment of compensation and we will pay it in phases.

‘We, therefore, call for understanding from the affected property owners, so that they don’t feel as if government is not living up to its obligations. We will definitely complete the payment but you know the figure for the compensation is about N1.2 billion and you know what that means, especially since it was not planned or budgeted for.

We have to handle it in such a way that we don’t distort the budget and also breach the appropriation laws.”  

Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Chief Fred Agbedi said the Council acknowledged the warm reception that was accorded the Governor and his entourage during the Thank You tour of the Eastern Senatorial district, comprising Brass, Nembe and Ogbia Local Government Areas of the State.

The tour, according to the Chief Agbedi, was broken into phases to enable the governor attend to other pressing matters.

GOV DICKSON TO HIGHLIGHT BAYELSA’S INVESTMENT POTENTIALS AT ADDIS ABABA SUMMIT

GOV DICKSON TO HIGHLIGHT BAYELSA’S INVESTMENT POTENTIALS AT ADDIS ABABA SUMMIT

01/12/2012

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson will be one of the key speakers at this year’s edition of the Economist African High Growth Markets Summit at the Sheraton Hotel, in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital on Tuesday.

Governor Dickson, who is expected to speak on the topic, Case study – African growth and investment, the Bayelsa Renaissance: Big strides in a small State, will be presenting to the world the investment opportunities in the oil rich state and the development strides of his administration.

The Governor will also use the opportunity to hold discussions with investors from different parts of the world on the investment potentials in the State.

Also expected to speak at the summit is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn and the country’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Safian Ahmed, who will be speaking on the Rise of Africa within the global economy.

Other stakeholders, expected to brainstorm on African economic Market growth at the summit are Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, the founder and owner MIDROC and Saudi star, Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary General, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and WANG YONG, vice president, China, Africa Development Fund.

Governor Dickson, who left the State Today been the  01/12/2012  is expected back later in the week.


HARD TIMES AWAIT OIL THIEVES, PIPELINE VANDALS IN BAYELSA -GOV DICKSON

HARD TIMES AWAIT OIL THIEVES, PIPELINE VANDALS IN BAYELSA -GOV DICKSON 

…….AS DICKSON RELEASES N105M WOMEN EMPOWERMENT FUND TO BAYELSA COMMUNITY

09/12/2013

Hard times await oil thieves and vandals of petroleum products pipelines in Bayelsa State, as Governor Seriake Dickson on Monday warned the perpetrators to desist from the unwholesome practice or face dire consequences as from 2014.

This is just as he presented a cheque of N105m to women in seven Rural Development Authorities, (RDAs) in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the State.

Speaking at Oporoma, headquarters of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area during his thank you tour to the area, Chief Dickson said Government was disturbed by the alarming rate of oil theft and its effects on the State and Nation’s economy, stressing that stringent measures would be taken to stop it.

Accompanied by the first civilian Governor of the State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, (rtd), top Government functionaries, captains of industry and host of others, Hon. Dickson disclosed that necessary security apparatus is being put in place to curtail the act.

According to him, a crack taskforce will be set up to clamp down on the perpetrators of the criminal acts, warning that anybody caught in the act will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Calling for the support of the people in the area at ensuring security of lives and property, the Governor disclosed that his administration has invested so much in security as it is the only way to attract local and foreign investors to the State.

Thanking the people for their support during and after his election in 2012 as Governor of the state, he said that he would not renege on his promise, especially the completion of Yenagoa-Oporoma road.

“When I came here in 2012 to seek for your support during our campaign, I made promises; some have been fulfilled while we are still working on some. I am re-assuring you that all the promises made would be kept. Ours is a listening Government. Already, we are working on the Yenagoa-Oporoma road; Clearing of that road has got to Angiama while sand-filling has reached Aguobiri which is close to Oporoma. As you know, we are also working on the general hospital and model secondary school projects and several others here in Oporoma and other parts of Southern Ijaw”

The Governor, who was conferred with a traditional title of Ibefiniowei 1of Southern Ijaw said aside his administration’s huge investment on infrastructures, other sectors of the economy including health, education are being given due attention.

In his goodwill message, the first civilian Governor of the State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha described the Thank you tour embarked upon by the Governor as the first of its kind in the annals of the State.

Making allusion to the biblical ten lepers, Chief Alamieyeseigha said Governor’s decision would further endear him to the people of the State.

Speaking in the same vein,  a first class traditional ruler in the State, King Joshua Igbugburu said the conferment of chieftaincy title on the Governor is a confirmation of the people’s love and support for his administration.

Also speaking, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Konbowei Benson said the development strides of the Governor in the area and the entire State has vindicated his supporters and assured him of the people continued support.

The governor also used the opportunity of the visit to inspect some ongoing projects in the area including the general hospital, Governor’s lodge and the model secondary school at Oporoma

GOV DICKSON READS RIOT ACT TO KIDNAPPERS, CULTISTS IN BAYELSA

GOV DICKSON READS RIOT ACT TO KIDNAPPERS, CULTISTS IN BAYELSA


11/12/2013


The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Tuesday reiterated his administration’s commitment to zero tolerance for crime and criminality, warning the few criminal elements including cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers and perpetrators of other related vices in the State to desist from such acts or incur the wrath of the law.


Condemning the resurgence of kidnapping in the Eastern senatorial district of the State during his ‘Thank You’ tour visit to the Yenagoa Local Government area of the State, Hon. Dickson said the State is no longer a haven of criminals.


Describing a crime free society as panacea to economic growth, Hon. Dickson bemoaned the security situation in the State prior to his assumption of office barely two years ago.


According to him, “investors were being scared of investing in the State as a result of the alarming crime rate then but today people can sleep with their two eyes closed as necessary security measures are being put in place by the present administration.


“Bayelsa is being adjudged as one of the most peaceful States in the country. Local and foreign investors have expressed willingness to partner with the State at ensuring rapid development of our Local economy.


The State is not ready to be drawn back by criminal elements, that is why I am calling on the landlords to work closely with the security agencies in fishing out the few criminal elements left in the State.


We want to attract people to the State. We want them to come and do business with us and the only way this can be done is through the creation of enabling environment.


We have a robust security agenda as you all know. So continue to talk your friends, brothers and sisters and all those you have as tenants. The few cultists and criminals that are left, warn them that Yenagoa will no longer be haven for criminals.


If you are a cultist and you don’t want to repent, leave Yenagoa. If you are an armed robber, kidnapper or a criminal of any description, Bayelsa is not a place for you to be.”


On infrastructural development, the Governor said his administration would consolidate on the gains of 2013 by constructing additional 15 internal roads in 2014.


However, he called for the understanding of the people as more structures would be pulled down in order to pave way for a befitting State capital.


He said necessary arrangements have been put in place at ensuring prompt payment of compensation to owners of the affected structures, warning the people against playing politics with the ongoing developmental strides in the State.


Governor Dickson, who decried comments being made concerning demolition of structures cautioned people not to politicize Government’s developmental efforts pointing out that his personal residence was one of the first properties pulled down in the State capital.


In a welcome address, the Chairman of Yenagoa Local Government, Hon. Chubby Ben-Walson praised Governor Dickson for transforming the State capital and carrying the people of the area along in the scheme of things.


Consequently, he announced the decision of stakeholders of the area endorsing the Governor for a second term in office and highlighted some of the achievements of the council to include award of projects in fifteen wards with contractors fully mobilized to sites.


Governor Dickson, who decried comments being made concerning demolition of structures cautioned people not to politicize government’s developmental efforts as his personal residence was one of the first properties pulled down in the state capital.


At the event, N45 million was disbursed for the three Rural Development Areas in Yenagoa Local Government while N370 million Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was provided for women empowerment as grant.


In attendance were; the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, (retd), members of the National and State Assemblies, top government functionaries, captains of industry, renowned poet, Dr Gabriel Okara and host of others.

GOV DICKSON THANK YOU TOUR: DAY FOUR, KALEIDOSCOPE OF BRILLIANT COLOR IN SOUTHERN IJAW LGA

GOV DICKSON THANK YOU TOUR: DAY FOUR, KALEIDOSCOPE OF BRILLIANT COLOR IN SOUTHERN IJAW LGA


Governor Dickson and his entourage embarked on day four of his visit to LGA`s in Bayelsa state and this time it was the turn of Southern Ijaw. In what now looks like routine, thanks in no small measure to a well planned event, a huge crowd numbering close to three thousand people was on hand to welcome the visitors.


Travelling from Yenagoa to Southern Ijaw, the river banks are different from what we saw with for instance, enroute Brass or Nembe LGA`s. The entire journey showed off not mangrove swamps with stilted plants and trees, but forests on dry land. It was quite revealing to see that Bayelsa has so much variety in terms of forests and land. The river had a dusty hue and there were quite a few locals fishing or ferrying sand along the route that took us about forty five minutes to cover.


Southern Ijaw was ready for the Governors visit. From the jetty where Governor Dickson`s dependable ally and Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah John (rtd) waited with dignitaries like the Deputy  Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon Victor Ateke, The Chairman of SILGA  and serving commissioners  of Health and Agriculture among others for his arrival, to traditional chiefs who were gathered to meet His Excellency. A civic reception was also in the waiting Opuruma Secondary School where a tumultuous crowd was already building  into a frenzy.


Elegantly dressed ladies in fluorescent colored tshirts and branded shirt wearing men dotted the Island, while banners and posters outnumbered the vendors of snacks and refreshments. Mobile bands and dancers on hand to add colour to the event streamed past by the minute each trying to outshine the other as the most vibrant group at the venue. Security did not seem as stern as in the previous visits but was however no less effective as the human chain of beefy young men dressed in black formed a barricade for the Governors procession at all times. Other security outfits were also courteous yet firm in their interactions with the crowd.


Oporoma is the Headquarters of Southern Ijaw Local Government, the largest LGA in Nigeria,, and it is an impressive layout of little houses along concrete roads of about fifteen feet wide. There are also existing gutters to channel water across the Island, which seem to imply some effort is being made in environmental matters. As usual some people were shy to take photographs and needed a little coaxing. Others bluntly refused, while most were eager and willing for a photo of them to be taken. I saw a young boy who made shoes out of empty can drinks.I  saw well dressed students,  and I met regular people who made us feel welcome.


My initial impression of the Local Government still tally`s with my impressions from visits to the other LGA`s. Bayelsa state will do well to invest in Toursim on the Islands. Some locations could easily be developed into a mecca for visitors and holiday makers.


The sum of One Hundred and Five million Naira was presented to seven groups as a revolving grant scheme and a whooping amount, Three Hundred and Seventy Million Naira was presented to over two thousand people of the LGA by the MDG office.


Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Kombowei Benson, ascended the podium and fired up the crowd with his superb remarks explaining why the good people of the LGA had turned out in such large numbers. They were simply happy with the Governors achievements, especially with regards to the ongoing Yenagoa-Oporoma road development project. Also to speak was former Governor of the state   DSP Alamieyeseigha who thanks the  Governor Dickson for his tour and noted it as a first by any serving Governor. Other speakers included State Chairman of the PDP, Colonel Inokoba(rtd) as well as Commissioners and members of the House of Assembly.


Entertainment included cultural displays and a remarkable war dance that thrilled the crowd before Governor Dickson approached the podium. He spoke mostly in the Ijaw dialect but his message could easily be understood with his body language and the English words and sentences he used sparingly. He spoke of security, sea piracy and other vices and urged the good people of the LGA to live up to their responsibility of  pointing out suspicious characters and happening to the security agents and their elders too.


Governor Dickson and his entourage then went of an inspection visit of some projects that were ready for commissioning, before retiring to Governors lodge where dinner was served.


It was a somewhat different atmosphere in SILGA. The people have a solid political structure,  well supported and organised, and if they can come out in such huge numbers to receive Governor Dickson, their action speaks positive volumes for the administration.


Ejiro Eghagha  Writer, Social commentator.


DICKSON RESTATES COMMITMENT TO YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES

DICKSON RESTATES COMMITMENT TO YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES



14/12/2013


Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson at the weekend restated his administration’s commitment to youth empowerment, as he rounded off a 2-week state-wide thank you tour with a visit to Sagbama Local Government Area of the State.


Speaking at a reception organized in his honour in Sagbama, the Governor who attributed his success in politics to God’s abiding grace and goodwill of the people advised the youth to take advantage of various empowerment programmes put in place by the present administration.


The Governor who was accompanied on the trip by his wife, Dr. Rachael Dickson, the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, leadership of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party in the State and a host of others, said his administration would not condone any acts of indiscipline, stating that the era of thuggery and political brigandage was over in the State.


He hinted that all necessary machinery has been put in place to deal decisively with anyone who runs foul of his administration’s policy of zero tolerance for crime and criminality.


According to him, for Bayelsa State to thrive economically and politically, “we need peace. I have said it times without number, this administration will not condone any act of indiscipline. Don’t allow selfish and office seeking politicians to use you as tools to destabilize the State.


Our youth are dear to us. This administration has put in place many empowerment programmes. Some of your colleagues just came back from Songhai in Port Novo, Benin Republic while others will be leaving for United States in January to further their studies at the Lincoln University.


Expressing gratitude to the chiefs and people of the area for the honour bestowed on him, especially the conferment of the chieftaincy titles of Ibe-Agurai and Ibe-tokoniowei of Tarakiri in Kumbowei kingdoms, the Governor re-assured them of his commitment to the development of not only the area, but the entire State as a whole.


Hon. Dickson recalled how his kith and kin voted him overwhelmingly twice to the Federal House of Representatives and as Governor in the 2012 election and, therefore, re-assured them of opening up the area for development in line with the present administration’s policy of decentralization.


 

DICKSON PROPOSES N299.2BN BUDGET FOR 2014


17/12/2013


The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has proposed a N299.2bn appropriation bill comprising N162.5bn Recurrent expenditure and N136.7bn Capital expenditure for the 2014 fiscal year as against N304.05bn passed into law by the State House of Assembly in 2013.


Presenting the appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Governor said the bill would be financed from a total revenue projection of N282.6bn and capital receipts of N16.5bn.


Tagged “Budget of Further Consolidation”, Hon. Dickson who restated his commitment to diversification from Oil and Gas sector in his estimation said the budget revenue profile consists of Statutory Allocation of N262.7bn, Value Added Tax; N7.8bn, Internal Generated Revenue; N12.2bn and Capital Receipts of N26.7bn.  


On the estimated expenditures of N299.2bn, the breakdown, according to the Governor includes; Personnel cost; N39.003bn, Overhead cost; N51.5bn, Consolidated Revenue Charges; N58.8bn, Human Capital Development; N13.3bn and Capital expenditure; N146.7bn.


The budget which is aimed at completing all the massive infrastructural projects being embarked upon and stimulate agricultural and industrial production, according to the Governor would be private sector driven.


In his Sectoral analysis, Works and Infrastructure top the chart with a budget proposal of N40.005bn, Agriculture sector; N6.98bn, Education sector; N26.9bn and Human Capital Development; N13.3bn.


Other sectors include; Health; N7.5bn, Public Utilities; N7.7bn, Sports Development; N4.1bn, Social Development and Women Empowerment N1.6bn, Information and Communications, N2.1bn, Trade and Industry; N1.2bn, Tourism, N2.34bn, Transport, N3.7bn, Housing and Urban Development, N2.5bn and Ministry of State Capital Development, N2.96bn.


On budget implementation and monitoring of projects, the Governor stressed the need for budget discipline, adding that in compliance with the National chart of accounts, MDAs are required to adhere strictly to approved budget provisions in the 2014 financial year.


His words, the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning through the State Budget Office is hereby directed to ensure the realization of this lofty target. I demand quarterly reports in this regard. In addition, the Due Process bureau and the Directorate of Project Monitoring must work in concert to ensure that all the projects slated for completion are completed on schedule.   


Sunday, 1 December 2013

IJAW ELDERS AND LEADERS OF THOUGHT PASSES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ON PRESIDENT JONATHAN, THANK NIGERIANS FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT


IJAW ELDERS AND LEADERS OF THOUGHT PASSES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ON PRESIDENT JONATHAN, THANK NIGERIANS FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT

01/12/2013

President Goodluck Jonathan has again been urged to remain steadfast, selfless and committed to his responsibilities as President of the country.

This was part the resolutions reached at the end of a one-day consultative meeting of Ijaw elders and leaders of thought in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital over the weekend.

The Ijaw opinion leaders also passed a vote of confidence on the President, expressing satisfaction with what they described as his uncommon commitment to the progress, peace, harmony and stability of the country.

A communiqué issued at the end of the consultative meeting condemned in its entirety, the various voices of distraction aimed at thwarting the lofty achievements of the Federal Government under the leadership of Dr. Jonathan and called on the generality of Nigerians to work with Government in its efforts at building a peaceful and progressive country.

It noted with appreciation, the decision of the Federal Government to create a platform for discussion, dialogue and brotherly exchange of ideas, stressing that, the decision underscores the President’s deep rooted commitment to addressing the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.

According to the communiqué that was presented to newsmen by former Minister of Science and technology, Professor Turner Isoun, the Ijaw elders and leaders of thought commended the Federal Government for the uncommon level of international respect and acceptance it has attracted to the country as reflected in the outcome of the President’s visits to South Africa, Kenya, China, and the United States as well as Israel and Nigeria’s landmark election into the United Nation’s Security Council.

“President Goodluck Jonathan has brought Nigeria to an uncommon level of International respect, acceptance and prestige as reflected in the outcome of recent visits to South Africa, Kenya, China, United States, Israel, and in Nigeria’s recent election into the United Nation’s Security Council.

The Federal Government has done remarkably well in restoring peace to various troubled parts of the country ravaged by the Boko Haram menace. The measures taken by the Federal Government are yielding positive results”

The communiqué applauded the determination of the Federal Government to continue to uphold the rule of law, due process and constitutionalism in the nation’s body polity, especially in the run up to 2015, stating that, it was a clear manifestation of the commitment of Government to building on the globally acclaimed success and transparency of the 2011 elections and subsequent polls across the country.

The communiqué further read in part “That the transformation agenda of the Federal Government led by President Goodluck Jonathan is making steady progress in various areas. These include rehabilitation of roads, railways and airports nationwide, power sector reforms, the completion of NIPP projects, job creation through SURE-P and YouWin, massive healthcare reform through upgrading and modernization teaching hospitals and Federal Medical centres”

The consultative meeting, which was presided over by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, was also attended by former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State Retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, one time member of Armed Forces Ruling Council, Retired Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni, among others.

LATE CHIEF SEKIBO WILL BE GREATLY MISSED – PRESIDENT JONATHAN

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE


LATE CHIEF SEKIBO WILL BE GREATLY MISSED – PRESIDENT JONATHAN


President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has received with much sadness, news of the sudden passing away of the highly respected president of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Chief Tari Sekibo.


On behalf of himself and the Federal Government, President Jonathan extends sincerest condolences to Chief Sekibo’s family, the people of his hometown, Okrika, the leadership of the INC and all Ijaw people.


The President joins them in mourning the former senator who served with distinction in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly between 1979 and 1983, doing his best, to defend the interests of his people while always upholding the unity and territorial integrity of Nigeria.


President Jonathan believes that Chief Sekibo, who brought immense sagacity, maturity and years of political experience to his leadership of the INC following his election as its president last May, will be greatly missed by the Ijaw and all lovers of peaceful co-existence and national unity.


The President prays that God Almighty will comfort Chief Sekibo’s family, his colleagues in the leadership of the INC and other members of the pan-Ijaw socio-cultural association as they mourn their departed patriarch and leader.


Reuben Abati

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

November 19, 2013

GOV DICKSON TO HIGHLIGHT BAYELSA’S INVESTMENT POTENTIALS AT ADDIS ABABA SUMMIT

GOV DICKSON TO HIGHLIGHT BAYELSA’S INVESTMENT POTENTIALS AT ADDIS ABABA SUMMIT

01/12/2012

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson will be one of the key speakers at this year’s edition of the Economist African High Growth Markets Summit at the Sheraton Hotel, in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital on Tuesday.

Governor Dickson, who is expected to speak on the topic, Case study – African growth and investment, the Bayelsa Renaissance: Big strides in a small State, will be presenting to the world the investment opportunities in the oil rich state and the development strides of his administration.

The Governor will also use the opportunity to hold discussions with investors from different parts of the world on the investment potentials in the State.

Also expected to speak at the summit is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn and the country’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Safian Ahmed, who will be speaking on the Rise of Africa within the global economy.

Other stakeholders, expected to brainstorm on African economic Market growth at the summit are Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, the founder and owner MIDROC and Saudi star, Sindiso Ngwenya, the Secretary General, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and WANG YONG, vice president, China, Africa Development Fund.

Governor Dickson, who left the State Today been the  01/12/2012  is expected back later in the week.


IJAW ELDERS AND LEADERS OF THOUGHT PASSES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ON PRESIDENT JONATHAN, THANK NIGERIANS FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT


IJAW ELDERS AND LEADERS OF THOUGHT PASSES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ON PRESIDENT JONATHAN, THANK NIGERIANS FOR CONTINUED SUPPORT

01/12/2013

President Goodluck Jonathan has again been urged to remain steadfast, selfless and committed to his responsibilities as President of the country.

This was part the resolutions reached at the end of a one-day consultative meeting of Ijaw elders and leaders of thought in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital over the weekend.

The Ijaw opinion leaders also passed a vote of confidence on the President, expressing satisfaction with what they described as his uncommon commitment to the progress, peace, harmony and stability of the country.

A communiqué issued at the end of the consultative meeting condemned in its entirety, the various voices of distraction aimed at thwarting the lofty achievements of the Federal Government under the leadership of Dr. Jonathan and called on the generality of Nigerians to work with Government in its efforts at building a peaceful and progressive country.

It noted with appreciation, the decision of the Federal Government to create a platform for discussion, dialogue and brotherly exchange of ideas, stressing that, the decision underscores the President’s deep rooted commitment to addressing the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.

According to the communiqué that was presented to newsmen by former Minister of Science and technology, Professor Turner Isoun, the Ijaw elders and leaders of thought commended the Federal Government for the uncommon level of international respect and acceptance it has attracted to the country as reflected in the outcome of the President’s visits to South Africa, Kenya, China, and the United States as well as Israel and Nigeria’s landmark election into the United Nation’s Security Council.

“President Goodluck Jonathan has brought Nigeria to an uncommon level of International respect, acceptance and prestige as reflected in the outcome of recent visits to South Africa, Kenya, China, United States, Israel, and in Nigeria’s recent election into the United Nation’s Security Council.

The Federal Government has done remarkably well in restoring peace to various troubled parts of the country ravaged by the Boko Haram menace. The measures taken by the Federal Government are yielding positive results”

The communiqué applauded the determination of the Federal Government to continue to uphold the rule of law, due process and constitutionalism in the nation’s body polity, especially in the run up to 2015, stating that, it was a clear manifestation of the commitment of Government to building on the globally acclaimed success and transparency of the 2011 elections and subsequent polls across the country.

The communiqué further read in part “That the transformation agenda of the Federal Government led by President Goodluck Jonathan is making steady progress in various areas. These include rehabilitation of roads, railways and airports nationwide, power sector reforms, the completion of NIPP projects, job creation through SURE-P and YouWin, massive healthcare reform through upgrading and modernization teaching hospitals and Federal Medical centres”

The consultative meeting, which was presided over by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, was also attended by former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State Retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, one time member of Armed Forces Ruling Council, Retired Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni, among others.