GOV DICKSON CLOSES BAYELSA INVESTMENT AND ECONOMIC FORUM…….SAYS TRANSFORMATION OF STATE TO AN AGRICULTURAL AND POWER HUB ARE REALIZABLE, ASSURES ON SECURITY OF INVESTMENTS, AS RENEWS CALL FOR PARTNERSHIPS
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Friday described his administration’s decision to diversify the state economy with the target of transforming it into an agricultural production and power supply hub in the Gulf of Guinea as ambitious, but realisable.
He said the state government is placing so much premium on the two sectors, because of the comparative advantage Bayelsa has in those areas, noting that, more manufacturers and other businesses would be attracted to the state as soon as the power needs are fixed.
The Governor, who spoke while declaring the 2-day investment and economic forum closed in Yenagoa, commended the Federal Government for approving the location of Brass Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone in the state.
He however, called on the Federal Government to expedite the execution of the free trade area(FTA) as well as facilitate the take-off of the Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (BLNG) to stimulate investment and business activities with a view to expanding the country’s revenue base.
Governor Dickson assured willing investors of the safety of their investments, stressing that, the present administration has already provided the enabling environment ranging from provision of security, land and prompt issuance of certificate of occupancy to the existence of effective legal framework.
Calling for effective partnership in the power sector, he said the state government would do everything within its reach to perform the ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed Eco-Industrial Park at Gbarantoru in Yenagoa Local Government Area before the end of this year.
He also used the opportunity to express gratitude to partners, who contributed to the success of the Forum, disclosing that, the government spent less than ten per cent of what was required to organise the summit.
His words, ” This is not a state jamboree. The Government of Bayelsa State virtually contributed less than 10% to the cost of hosting of this summit. That is a major step forward and want to use this opportunity to personally express our profound gratitude to all our partners, and to say that the third edition next year will be better and more profitable.
“We are going to sign and close more deals. We want to see more serious investors and all of you, who have been working with us. You have seen for the past three days that Bayelsa means business.
Meanwhile panelists at the summit, including the Managing Director of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, Mr Rumundaka Wonodi and his counterpart at Bayelsa Electricity Company Limited, Mr Olice Kemenanabo, have said the state has potentials that could be harnessed to make it a net exporter of power in the country.
Speaking on the topic, “Fixing Nigeria’s Power Needs: Gas, Transmission and Greenfield Projects”, the panelists identified proximity to raw materials as a key factor in determining where to site transmission facilities, arguing that the cost of building pipelines far outstrips that of transmission line from the source of fuel.
According to Mr Kemenanabo, “Bayelsa State stands at the terminal end of a radial transmission network, which is a straight network from its source and terminates in Bayelsa, and therefore, there is a gap between the state and the net power plant, where the transmission Network radiate from in Delta State. We have an opportunity to close that loop and once that is done, then we stand to be net exporters of power to the national grid.