Bayelsa Is One Of Most Secure Places To Do Business – Seriake Dickson

Seriake DicksonThe Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson has urged both local and foreign investors to pitch their tents in the oil-producing State, noting that it is one of the most secure places to do business in Nigeria.

Dickson, who made the call at the on-going maiden edition of the Bayelsa Investment and Economic Forum, in Yenagoa, commended security agencies for doing a good job of keeping the peace in the State, thereby making it a choice destination for investors.

Investors and Government officials from both Federal and State levels, who had gathered for the ceremony, included the Vice President, Nnamadi Sambo, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga.

While delivering his speech, Governor Dickson made a strong case for his state, urging investors to do business in the land as his administration had made plans to position Bayelsa as a major vibrant economy.

Dickson, who described Bayelsa as Nigeria’s best kept economic and leisure secret, noted that his administration was “working hard to lay the foundation for a vibrant economy,” he said, noting that the government had embarked on several projects in some sectors, including education, power, agriculture, fashion, tourism e.t.c.

“In the past 2 years, we have built schools and schools and schools,” he emphasized, noting that over 600 primary schools had been built, including teachers’ quarters.

He disclosed plans to have a school in every state House Constituency of the House of Assembly.

He further highlighted that education is free in the State and that the government also paid for external examinations, maintaining that “our goal is education for the economy”.

According to him, human capacity development is the nation’s greatest challenge, hence different schools for music, agriculture, language studies, driving, fashion, photography are being set up to develop the youths.

He also called on investors in the fashion and tourism sector to pitch their tents in the State as the government was already making preparations to train youths.

The governor also spoke about power generation, maintaining that “we are aspiring to be the number one in power generation” and since the State produced about 40% of the nation’s crude oil and mineral resources, “we are aspiring to be the nation’s power hub”.

He stressed that the government was also interested in palm oil production, as well as aqua-culture. He disclosed that the State was targeting production of 3000 tonnes of fish for local consumption and export.

Also, the governor stated that about 6000 hectares of land set aside for cassava planting as the largest cassava processing company was stationed in the State.

Governor Dickson also addressed people of the State to reduce their dependency on the government. “We have got to move away from over-dependence on government and into production,” he stressed.

“You the people of Bayelsa must also do your part… don’t live a life of dependence. Take responsibility for your livelihood,” he said.

Recurrent Expenditure Escalated Due To Struggle For ‘National Cake’ – Etomi

A former Chairman of the Business Law section of the Nigerian Bar Association, George Etomi on Friday explained that the reason the recurrent expenditure has risen far above the capital expenditure is as a result of the hustle to partake of the ‘national cake’.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Business Morning, Mr Etomi explained that until government reduces its recurrent expenditure, infrastructural development nationwide will continue to be a pipe dream adding that “Nigeria is built on lie” because the indices by which we plan are false.

He averred that statistics of the nation’s population and its distribution are most likely not what they are said to be.

“In this struggle for this national cake, everybody is putting pressure on the federal system so recurrent expenditure has grown from less that 50 percent of the total GDP to nearly 80 or 90 percent,” he said.

Speaking on the state of infrastructure and development since the nation gained independence; he said “if we are going to make an assessment across board, I think it would be fair to say that we have not reached the level of infrastructural development that we could have reached, given where we started from”.

“There was a time actually in this country people had steady supply of electricity and good roads” Although they were not wide and there was no population pressure.

“What any sensible government should do would have been to plan well ahead for population explosion”

The problem now is a lot of these facilities are now overstretched and no sooner do we create new ones, they are instantly over stretched, he added.

In terms of social infrastructure, Mr Etomi said “we’ve become a much wiser people” adding that “everywhere you go in the world, they will tell you that if there is any set of Negroids who are self-confident, who know what they want, it’s Nigerians”.

Citing the entertainment industry he said the youths are doing well adding that “in terms of social development, we’ve done phenomenally well.”

Reiterating the opinion that Nigerians do not have a maintenance culture, Mr Etomi attributed the collapse of the nation’s infrastructure to a lack of ‘forward planning’.

“Forward planning is also not our strength even though we have had several development plans”

He also blamed lack of continuity in government administrations for the break down in infrastructure as new governments fail to continue with what the older government started.