Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Friday, gave account of his stewardship since mounting the saddle 20 months ago.
Governor Diri, in a state broadcast aired on Yenagoa-based television and radio stations to mark Nigeria’s 61st independence and the 25th anniversary of Bayelsa State, said the state had made good progress so far.
The governor also eulogized the state’s heroes, founding fathers and late General Sani Abacha for their courageous acts that led to the creation of Bayelsa.
Senator Diri said under his Prosperity Administration, the state had recorded some significant milestones in infrastructure development.
“My Government of Prosperity has sustained ongoing construction of the Yenagoa-Oporoma road in Central Senatorial District and the Sagbama-Ekeremor road in Bayelsa West Senatorial District.
“Also we are constructing the collapsed Elebele bridge in Ogbia local government, the 4.5 kilometre Igbedi road in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, phase 2 of the Gloryland Drive Road in Yenagoa as well as construction of the Nembe Unity Bridge in the East Senatorial District.”
He equally listed construction of the outer ring road from Elebele to Igbogene, phase 2 of the Isaac Boro Expressway in Yenagoa, completion and commissioning of Imiringi bridge and completion of the Onopa bridge and construction of the access road into the new Yenagoa city.
The governor further noted that under his leadership, 51 internal roads in Yenagoa were rehabilitated in addition to 20 new roads under construction.
He highlighted construction of the media complex, which has reached advanced stages of completion, for the three state-owned media organisations namely Radio Bayelsa, Niger Delta Television and New Waves Newspaper.
In the area of agriculture, Diri said that the state in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria allocated land and seedlings to 3,500 farmers in the eight local government areas.
Also, he disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Africa Atlantic Gulf of Guinea Fisheries, a European consortium, to create 4,000 jobs and train 2,500 youths in fish farming.
Under the agreement, a boat building yard and fish processing plants of over 20,000 metric tonnes capacity are to be set up.
On health, the state’s helmsman said the Kaiama referral hospital was completed and commissioned with similar health facilities being replicated in the other local government areas as well as setting up of a fully equipped molecular laboratory in Yenagoa for improved COVID-19 screening and testing.
In the education sector, Senator Diri pointed out that construction of new science and technical colleges are underway in line with his government’s policy to promote vocational education.
“Almost all the programmes in our state-owned tertiary institutions have been fully accredited within our short period in government and we have embarked on rehabilitation of primary and post-primary schools across all LGAs,” the governor said.
He urged Bayelsans to appreciate God for creation of the state, saying it has witnessed remarkable development in 25 years of its existence.
The governor noted that although the state had not developed to the level it desired to be, it has recorded appreciable growth in terms of human and infrastructure development compared to when it was part of the old Rivers State.
While calling on sons and daughters of the state to close ranks and support his administration to move the state forward, Diri stressed that there was no other state they can call theirs, urging them to avoid acts that would pull the state backward.
Giving an overview of achievements of the state within 25 years of creation, the governor said Bayelsa has established higher institutions that are producing quality graduates, constructed and dualised several roads linking seven local government areas as well as being connected to the national grid and also now has a functional airport where commercial flight operations commenced on August 19, 2021.
Describing the development of the state as steady, the governor thanked his predecessors for their developmental efforts, which his administration is building on, saying that it is a demonstration of the fact that “team work makes the dream work.”
Governor Diri also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in line with the desire of citizens of the Niger Delta.
He stressed that Bayelsa and the rest of the Niger Delta states needed to be fairly and equitably treated in the distribution of resources to bring about robust development of the region and country as a whole.