Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has sounded it loud and clear that anyone who is opposed to the relocation of Oil companies to the Niger Delta as directed by the Federal Government, is clearly against the peace and stability of the region.
A statement issued on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworison-Markson, said the governor stated this while speaking at a special dinner organized by the State government as a major sideline event as part of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
The event which drew an impressive audience of key industry stakeholders and captains of multinational companies in the oil and gas sector, was appropriately tagged as the “Bayelsa/Oloibiri Roundtable”.
The governor while making his remark further espoused on the vision of his administration in its effort to drive investment and support the growth of the state’s economy through active engagement of the private sector.
Dickson reiterated on the establishment of three modular refineries in each of the senatorial zones, for which he says it has already set up the Bayelsa Petrochemical and Refinery company Limited and added that the board and management of the company will be constituted upon his return back to the State.
According to him, the company will engage and partner with willing investors to ensure that work on the establishment of the modular refineries starts in earnest and assured his audience that the State would provide the necessary institutional backing, coupled with the enabling environment to ensure that the project succeed.
He said: “Part of what we are doing as a government to further indicate our seriousness to would-be investors is to provide land for their investment and to fast track all titles and documents relating to the acquisition of the land complete with a signed C of O within a month. This is in addition to the Industrial Park for which we have acquired the land measuring over 213 hectares in size and as we speak clearing is going on and the dredging of the land will commence soon. We will provide 24 hours power to the industrial park and so investors should be rest assured of their power needs round the clock “.
Dickson used the occasion to speak extensively on some of the steps taken by his administration in the last five years to put in place the required critical infrastructure needed to drive industrialization and to enhance a conducive business atmosphere.
“We have in the last five years invested massively in virtually all the critical sectors of our state economy, like in the area of security which many would readily attest has earned us numerous awards where the State is now rated as one of the safest in the region and indeed the country as whole”.
“Our government’s huge investment in security, which is by deliberate and determined deployment of combination of legislation, policy, decisive and clear-headed leadership, has within a given space of time made the State one of the safest places to live and do business in the country”.
This point was corroborated by some of the captains of industries who spoke at the event in their various goodwill messages like the Country Chairman of Daewoo, Joe Pinawe who was full of praises for the countryman governor for his developmental strides, particularly in the area of security, noting that Daewoo has not recorded any case of kidnapping of its expatriate workers who are all living and working in Yenagoa.
On his part, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, poured encomuims on Governor Dickson for his massive investment in education, especially in the award of scholarships and the provision of modern schools with compulsory boarding facilities across the State, which he said will go a long way to chart a roadmap for the future.
Alaibe said “We must put politics aside and commend Governor Dickson for providing leadership where it matters most. The education of our children is key and what the governor is doing will go a long way to help our educated youths to achieve economic success in the future”.
Other dignitaries like the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Wabote as well as SPDC’s Managing Director Country Chairman of all Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr.Osagie Okunbor, also commended the governor for his visionary leadership and his quest at industrializing the State, noting that his approach was on point and promised to support the government to achieve its desired goal.
According to the SPDC chief executive “Bayelsa is the present and the future and we at SPDC will partner with the government of Bayelsa State to drive this process to bring about the desired development for the benefit of the people of the State”.
Earlier in the day, Dickson led a high powered delegation to visit the headquarters of Schlumberger in Houston, Texas to hold crucial talks of how the company can partner with government to train and mentor some of its youths to acquire their latest technical skills and manpower.
The governor also visited the management of Lee Engineering in Houston, Texas, alongside Senator Foster Ogola, Hon. Fred Agbedi, Secretary to the State Government, Serena Dokubo-Spiff, Prof. Steve Azaiki, Arc. Rueben Okoye, Chief Economic Adviser, Duate Iyabe and the Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Kemela Okara, among other top aides.