Dickson woos foreign investors in Abidjan, says Bayelsa is world’s investment secret

Posted by News Express | 28 March 2018 | 2,442 times

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•Governor Dickson


The investment drive of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has continued to yield positive result as more investors have indicated interest in investing in Agriculture, Tourism and Oil & Gas sectors. 

A statement issued on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, said this was the outcome of Dickson’s presentation at the 6th edition of the Africa CEO Forum currently holding in Abidjan, the capital of Cote d’Ivoire. 

Participants at the event include President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Alassane Ouattara of Coted d’Ivoire and former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Others are Stephanie von Friederberg, Chief Operating Officer, IFC, Akinwumi Adesina, President of Africa Development Bank, Paul Polman, CEO Unilever, Thierry Tanoh, Minister of Petroleum, Energy Development of Cote d’Ivoire, Guido Brusco, Executive Vice-President, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Eni, Nigeria’s Business magnets, Jim Ovia, Wale Tinubu, and many others.

Dickson, who described Bayelsa State as world’s best kept investment secret, called on African entrepreneurs to take advantage of the investment-friendly atmosphere created by his government to do business in the state, largely regarded as the epicentre of the Niger Delta region.

He said his participation at the Africa CEO Forum was meant to unveil those investment secrets by promoting the investment opportunities in Bayelsa to the world.

The Governor said the state is safe, peaceful and it is now ready to do business with the rest of the world, more than ever before. He said this prevailing conducive investment climate created by his Restoration Government has made investors to now have a high return on investments (ROI) in the Bayelsa State.   

Speaking on the topic, “Gas, A $2000BN Opportunity”, the Governor said: “Bayelsa State is synonymous with gas because there is gas everywhere and as you all know, the history of Oil & Gas started in my state.”

He stressed that the investment potentials of the state are yet to be fully tapped, he listed Tourism, Agriculture, Gas, Deep Sea Port, Eco-Industrial Park as top areas where his government want to partner with investors.      

To encourage investors to put their money in the Eco-Industrial Park, the Governor said his government has acquired massive land for which compensations have been paid for and designated for the Bayelsa Eco-Industrial Park.

He said: “This implies that investors no longer need to go through the rigour of searching for land. Relevant policies have also been put in place to safeguard investors and their investments as well. Appropriate stakeholders have been engaged to stand as intermediaries between the host communities and the investors.”

The Governor said Bayelsa State is at peace with itself, safe, peaceful and ready to do business with the rest of the world. He said Bayelsa State produces over 40% of the gas produced in Nigeria and as such, has the highest gas deposit in the country. 

“Bayelsa,” according to him, “has the largest gas reserves in Nigeria. Therefore, we’re trying to unlock the potential of gas-to-power and we are establishing an Exo-Industrial Park that will have a power generation plant fired by gas. We are going to use the gas that we have in abundance to serve as a catalyst for industrial development in Bayelsa. The first Eco-Industrial Park will be ready by the end of the year or first quarter of next year.”

On what Bayelsa is doing to encourage the inflow of investment into the state, Dickson said land title certification in the state has been liberalised and assured investors who wish to acquire lands in the state of getting their titles in 30 days.

Speaking on the topic, “The new Nigerian economy”, at another session on the second day of the Africa CEO Forum, the Bayelsa Governor said: “Investing in Nigeria is good business but investing in Bayelsa State is better business. We need to train the youths and give them the necessary skills needed to compete with their counterparts elsewhere. In Bayelsa, we are using agriculture to lift the youths. We are taking advantage of our terrain, which comprises of huge water body, to provide aquaculture villages. One is ready where we have the hatchery, feed mill and all other facilities that will help the youths in the area of skills acquisition and help address unemployment. Beyond that, we are working hard to use technology. We are working very hard to see that the youth are better trained. That’s why we are investing robustly in schools and democratising knowledge across the state.”

Source: News Express

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