JOHN IGOCHE ON BAYELSA STATE`S ECONOMIC ROADMAP
by John George Igoche
One thing is getting clearer by the day about Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, which is that he is becoming a very prominent proponent of economic development activities in the South South and South East zones of the country within just over a year in Government House,Yenagoa.
With the recent formal constitution of the Board of Directors for the newly inaugurated Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation, BDIC, the stage is set for this Governor to stamp his vision of restoration and ultimate transformation dynamics on the economic development architecture of the Niger Delta Region and that of the South East too!
Always one for innovation, even as a new comer on the scene, Governor Dickson has installed a BDIC branch in South Africa to generate and draw investment initiatives into Bayelsa State and informed findings indicate that he will soon be opening another branch in the United Kingdom for the same purpose.
The aggressive investment drive embarked upon by the governor is awakening the business community in the state to the limitless opportunities that abound in the various economic sectors with which local and foreign investors can develop the business potentials of the state economy.
The major international and local entertainment events like the AMAA Awards, the Most Beautiful Girl pageants that have been hosted in Bayelsa State since the governor resumed in Yenagoa, have created a viable platform for the development of the tourism infrastructure in his state.
Any dispassionate observer can agree that the restless foray of the Governor into the various alternatives of income generation well away from the oil economy of Bayelsa State has also occasioned his interstate and international trips which have been bearing fruit for all to see: Bayelsa State is these days becoming a visible economic hub in the region, with so much viable initiatives directed at opening the economic space for enterprise especially beyond the oil industry.
I am of the strong view that the restoration agenda of the governor has more than generated a passing interest to observers, as he has indeed so far also established with conviction the possibility of growing even further the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan right through from the Zuma and Aso rocks of Abuja into the creeks of the Bayelsa State aquatic culture and ecosystem!
There is therefore no gainsaying the fact that Governor Seriake Dickson represents the new face of youth in leadership in the politics of Nigeria today lacking so much in this aspect, considering that a lot of young leaders in the political scene before him have invariably failed to deliver in terms of innovation and viability in handling the onerous responsibility of leadership and governance.
While examining the style of His Excellency Governor Dickson in the running of the affairs of state it was easy to identify his mode of delegation and tasking with the ultimate intention of keeping the machinery of state well-oiled and in its continuity, giving a sense of belonging and participation to all officers of his administration to play their roles with confidence towards established rules and set out regulations. It was evident during the visit of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to Yenagoa when the Deputy Governor, Retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, on behalf of the Governor, managed the interactive session with the members and staff at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House Yenagoa.
On the overall assessment of the economic roadmap of Bayelsa State which the Governor Seriake Dickson is treading, one can safely conclude in conjecture that the economy of Bayelsa State is undergoing a revolution towards appropriate restoration and it is set to experience a boom in the coming years when these initiatives begin to blossom into fruition to the benefit of the people of the state in all ramifications of economic activity.
First four years, Governor Dickson hit the ground running after taking his oath of office; he is yet to take a deserved rest as he said himself recently that there was too much to do and little time within which to achieve his vision for his people, even into a second term, which if his people demanded, he will gladly oblige them to put the state on the map as a viable economic entity.(
(John George Igoche (Public Affairs Commentator)