Bayelsa economy collapses: Eyewitness account by visiting journalist

Posted by News Express | 22 April 2016 | 4,115 times

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The economy of oil-rich Bayelsa State has collapsed, according to an award-winning journalist who just visited the state.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Olola Seun Akioye, who is based in Lagos, where he works for The Nation, painted the picture of a state which is at the verge of collapse following the apparent mismanagement of the windfall that came its way during the six-year reign of its distinguished son, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, as Nigeria’s President, which was cut short on May 29, 2015 following his loss of the March 28, 2015 presidential election to retired General Muhammdu Buhari of the then-opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). Bayelsa remains under the governorship of Hon. Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was recently sworn-in for a second four-year term after effectively fighting off the fierce challenge from his predecessor, Chief Timipre Sylva of APC.

Here is Mr. Akioye’s eyewitness account of the prevailing economic situation in Bayelsa, one of the leading oil-producing states in the country, by virtue of which it gets a bigger share of the country’s revenue than less blessed states: “Bayelsa is in trouble. The economy has fallen down. No sales and prices have crashed. Hotels are worst hit in Yenagoa, they beg you to stay, rooms that sold for N40k, pretty receptionists beg you to take it for N8k. They took my bag inside already. The voice of my hometown of ijebu said price it further to. N5k. Am not joking. In Atemer pepersoup joint on INEC road, am the lone diner. Everyone looked at me in amazement. We price everything and they beg you to take it. One man said his laundry business has not made 1k for a week. Car parks filled with cars, no money. Abuja park is deserted “nobody goes to Abuja since Goodluck lost election,” a man said. Clubs are deserted, even prostitutes (reputed for wearing only underwears) on hospital road are crying. Even thrift collectors are hit as civil servants (main stay of economy) have not been paid. A man told me: “We lost Abuja and then oil prices went down, our politicians mismanaged what was left, that’s why we are suffering.”

•Photo shows Governor Dickson.

Source: News Express

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