Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has inaugurated a 22-member Bayelsa Business Council (BBC) to formulate policies aimed at attracting local and foreign investors to the state and as well as shoring up her revenue base.
The Governor, while inaugurating the BBC last Friday in Yenagoa, said the council has as part of its responsibilities the laying of solid economic foundation and formulation of economic policies that would be private sector driven.
He said the mentality of total dependence on the government has to change, noting that the only way to achieve this was to formulate economic policies that would have direct impact on the people.
“The state heavily relies on government and her resources, this mentality has to change. Our state is a land of opportunities; our state has potentials to grow its economy.
“In order to change the age-long mentality of our people and reposition the economy of the state and make it private sector driven, we need our business leaders who have done well in their private businesses to come together to explore and exploit the abundant business opportunities in the state.
“We need your inputs, your professional advice on how to change our story. We expect you to organise Bayelsa in such a way that her story will be told everywhere as a place that is investment friendly, a place that is ready for investment and as a place that understands the roles of a private sector,” Dickson said.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Kemela Okara (Esq), said the inauguration of the council would attract investment to the state and encourage young entrepreneurs.
In his remarks, the chairman of the council, Chief Ephraim Faloughi, thanked the governor for giving them the opportunity to serve and reposition the economy of the state through private sector participation.
He said the state had suffered over the years, adding that the government’s initiative of bringing together businessmen and women to rub minds on how to reposition the economy of the state would yield good results.
Other members of the council include Mr Harcourt Aduke, deputy chairman; Ambassador Godknows Igali, vice chairman, public sector; Gesiye Asamowei, vice chairman, private sector; Mr Tam Alazigha, secretary; and Idikio Warmate, assistant secretary.
Others are Ken Etete, Mrs Ebi Fumudor, Dr Eruani, Prof. Steve Azaiki, Mr Didi Ndiomu, Mr Guy Murray Bruce, Mr Elvis Donkemizuo, Mr Moses Siasia, Mr Joe Penewou, Chief Fumudoh, Chief Timi Alaibe, Mr Denzel Kentebe, Mrs. Funkazi Koroye Crooks, Ms. Patience Abbah, King A.J.K.Turner and Dr Daru Owei.