Dickson, Zuma and investment fever in Bayelsa

8

By FRANCIS OTTAH AGBO

Last month, precisely Friday, October 26, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and his Investment Team stormed Johannesburg, the business capital of South Africa, on the invitation of President Jacob Zuma. This visit and the power packed Investment summit, which held at the Hilton Hotel, upped the ante in the vortex of investment in Bayelsa State.

The October meeting was sequel to the governor’s visit to the country in May, where he and his team wooed investors to the state.  These businessmen are expected to replicate some of the infrastructure that make South Africa a strong economy in Bayelsa State. This novel drive of Hon. Dickson  is hinged on his belief that Bayelsa has a lot to tap from the South African economy, which he describes as having all the trappings of a first world economy. Expectedly, the governor’s first port of call was the South African State House in Pretoria.

President Zuma was at the University of Pretoria, where he was delivering a lecture on an occasion put together to honour the longest serving president of African National Congress (ANC), the late Oliver Thambo and others. When he was told that  Governor Dickson had arrived, there was no other way the South African strongman could have honoured the governor than to cut short his engagement, after his speech and rushed to his office to receive the governor and his team.

We had lunch with Mr. President and went straight to the business of the visit, which lasted for 30 minutes though memorable.    The governor thanked President Zuma for offering credible leadership to South Africans and conveyed the greetings of President Goodluck Jonathan to him. Governor Dickson informed his host that he was currently emulating his party, African National Congress (ANC) by running Bayelsa State from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) headquarters in Yenagoa, at least once in every month.

The governor advised African leaders to go beyond “political integration to integrate our people economically because it is when we build a strong economic base for our people that we can put food on their table.” While rolling out the investment potentials of his state, the governor proclaimed that government has put in place time-tested insurance policies for all investors and investment.

He said his government has turned the state into a construction site by embarking on massive road networks, the construction of Deep Sea Port in Angge, modern airport in Yenagoa and other  infrastructural drives, adding that unlike in the past, the state now has enough savings to meet up with contractual agreements and cater for the rainy day. What appeared to have impressed the president significantly was the free education policy of Bayelsa State and the fact that the governor did not go to the capital market to finance these lofty projects and programmes.

Responding, President Zuma praised Dickson, for enthroning probity and accountability in the governance culture of Bayelsa State. He also eulogised the governor for investing heavily in infrastructure and urged top South African businessmen to take advantage of the conducive business environment provided by Governor Dickson to invest in the littoral state. The President said all was set for the South African Infrastructure Development Cooperation (IDC) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bayelsa State Government this month on capacity building.

While relishing the bond between Governor Dickson and Bayelsans, the president enjoined the governor to sustain his love for his people because, according to him, “a good politician must always be in touch with his people because politics starts and ends with them.” He promised to visit Bayelsa State next year.

After the courtesy call, the governor and his team hosted what a pundit tagged mega Investment Forum at the Hilton Hotel in Johannesburg where the potentials of the glory of all lands were laid bare.  Hon. Dickson went down memory lane on why it was crucial for his state to partner with South Africa and assured investors of having a return for their money in Bayelsa State. He however, warned brief case businessmen and contractors to keep off from his state. He averred that he is the first governor in Nigeria to have enacted Compulsory Savings Law and Transparency and Accountability Law, which makes it compulsory for government to save money for the state and render account to the people of the state because in his words, “the electorate have the right to know the resources accruing to the state and how they are spent which to me is a cardinal principal of democracy.”

The governor said these laws and his approach to governance have enthroned probity, transparency, accountability and paradigm shift in governance, a development he stressed has won the confidence of the international community for the state, thereby attracting investors from the West to Bayelsa. He however, averred that the South African investors still have crucial roles to play in his state because according to him, “we want to integrate Africa economically and build African economy with Africans as drivers and in doing so, we have a lot to tap from the South African investors.” Being one of the most peaceful states in the country, as a result of the tight security network put in place by government, the governor said Bayelsa State is safe and waiting to be tapped by investors. Aside being the highest producer of oil and gas in the country, the governor told his audience that the glory of all lands offers a variety of investment opportunities in nine sectors such as agriculture, energy, fisheries, infrastructure, manufacturing, research, solid minerals, tourism, transportation and many more.

The governor declared: “We have a mandate of our people, which is firmly anchored on restoration and development of Bayelsans. To effectively do these, we must diversify our economy to be agro-business and tourism based. Luckily, the land and climate in Bayelsa State support tourism and the cultivation of both food and cash crops which include oil palm, rice, plantation, banana, yams, coco yam, cocoa, sweet potatoes, pineapple, cassava, sugar cane, coconut and many others.” The South African government was represented at the  investment forum by the First Lady, Mrs. Nompumelo Ntuli Zuma and the South African Deputy Minister of Economic Planning, Professor Elizabeth Thabelth Mukezi.

The minister looked forward to the signing of MoU between South African Infrastructure Development Corporation and Bayelsa State and emphasised the willingness of South Africa to partner with Bayelsa State because in her words, “Governor Dickson has put in place in-built parameters that are likely to make his state an investor’s destination.” While declaring that the procurement system in her country has undergone reforms, she urged the Bayelsa State Government to tighten up the procurement mechanism, a process, she claimed is often abused to perpetrate fraud in the system in Africa.

The Bayelsa initiative was unique in a number of ways: it was the first time that the South African First Lady would personally attend and endorse an investment summit organised by a Nigerian state government. Similarly, Bayelsa is the first and only state in Nigeria to enjoy President Zuma’s endorsement of its development plan. The organised private sector, renowned entrepreneurs,  top businessmen and investors drawn from South Africa and other Southern African countries participated actively in the forum. Prominent among them were Mr. Bart Dorrestein, Chairman, Legacy Group Holding, owners of Michelangelo Towers, Davinci Hotel, Raphael Apartment Suites, Michelangelo Hotels and Nelson Mandela Square. Others are Mr. Bongani Maseko, Managing Director, Airport Company of South Africa, owners of all the airports in South Africa, operators of international airports in India, Bombay, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Mr. Thulani Gcabashe, CEO of Built Africa, a leading Energy/ Power companies.

The interaction was rounded off with a dinner featuring an American international gospel singer, Dr. Jaunita Bynum. The climax of the Investment forum was the signing of letters of cooperation with Naidoo and Associates Consulting Engineers and Construction Management Company and the Black Business Council, which represents the 5th African Black Business Community. The governor also inspected the Bayelsa Development Corporation office billed to be commissioned in January. •Agbo, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from South Africa.

23 yrs boy started importation with N10,450. Read his story here!

Six weeks ago, I couldn't perform in bed. Here's my breakthrough

How to start a profitable importation biz with as low as N10,000 only

How Adetunji generated over N20 million online in 2014. Almost N2m in 2015

How to earn 40k-200k monthly from football matches almost on autopilot

3 Things I did to cure premature ejaculation after my wife left me

How to get flat belly in just 9 days. Click here!

Small manhood and premature ejaculation limited my performance for 4yrs!

Discover How I made N2m in 35 days from importation business

7 Simple yet amazing steps to earn over N200,000/monthly. Click here

Free Download! How to earn N200,000 monthly from importation business

Discover how I made N58000 in two weeks reselling bulksms to Nigerian companies

Click here now if you are interested in earning at least N7,500/daily

Share.

About Author

8 Comments

  1. DE FOREX MANAGER on

    Earn 10 – 30% of your capital monthly in the international currency market. Open your account and let the professionals manage it for profitably. call 08099048112

  2. Let us see how he will go about this event. I am sure its another of his propaganda network at play again! For Dickson has lost the trust the people of Bayelsa reposed in him. A man who builds a polo club in water logged Bayelsa state, cannot be said to be a serious individual. Look at the way he handled the flood–people are still holed in in those villages-he went on a tour of the zones in a chopper instead of a boat-failed to organize ppl to visit all the nooks and crannies of the state to save the elderly-the man is running a one man show-did he not promise to settle the benefits due pensioners-has he done it?

  3. These lazy journalists will never stop amusing and insulting Nigerians! Dickson went to deliver a dollar message to Zuma in connection with the Henry Orkar issue, and get feedback for his mentor. Please get that clear.

  4. SUBJECT: BECOME BITTER KOLA EXPORTER IN SMALL SCALE ( 50KG/500KG TRAIL ORDER)

    If you know the exact place to source for this products you have made it.

    HINTS :

    …Do you know that one Bitter kola nut is sold for one euro in Germany as at March 2012.

    …Do you know that exporting Bitter Kola does not require any Machine for processing as it can also be exported raw.

    Pls get more detail here, source: http://export-bitter-kola.blogspot.com
    Call for info : 08039454675 or 08058499904

  5. THE BEST THING TO DO FOR NIGERIA NOW IS DIVIDE NIGERIA LET THAT 19 STATE FROM NORTH GO THEIR OWN WAY, BIAFRA GO, ODUDUWA REPUBLIC GO NIGERIA IS IN A CAGE OF GUN POWDER WAITING TO EXPLODE, SINCE THE 1967 GENOCIDE AGAINST SOUTH-WEST, WHAT IS THE FACE OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO SOUTH EAST? SINCE WE SAID WE ARE ONE NIGERIA WHAT MAKES US ONE NIGERIA? EVERY THING IS SEND TO LAGOS, WHY CANT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DI CONGEST LAGOS?? MUST NIGERIA BUILD EVERYTHING IN LAGOS? WHAT HAPPENED TO OTHER PART OF SOUTH EAST? NOW THEY WANT TO BUILD BIG REFINERY IN LAGOS WHY? THEY CRY FOR BOKO HARAM SOON IF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS BOKO HARAM AS THEY SAID, ANOTHER BIG BOKO HARAM WILL EMERGE, IS ONLY IN NIGERIA THAT GOVERNMENT PAYS TERRORIST WHY? ARE WE SURE NIGERIA WILL EXIST IN 2015?? BIG SHAME TO USELESS PERSONAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, BIG SHAME TO YOU ALL FOOLS IN POWER

  6. THE WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS
    AS YOU MAY HAVE KNOWN, I AM FROM RIVERS STATE AND MARRIED AN IGBO WOMAN FROM UMUAHIA. THE ATTITUDE OF MY WIFE AND MY INLAWS TELL ME A LOT OF STORIES ABOUT THE IGBOS. I CAN CONFIRM THAT GOD IS WITH THE IGBOS. MY WIFE AND MY INLAWS ARE FANTASTIC PEOPLE. I HAVE 8 CHILDREN , FOUR BOYS AND FOUR GIRLS FROM MY DEAR WIFE. THEY ARE THE PRIDE OF MY COMMUNITY TODAY. MY SECOND WIFE IS FROM IS FROM AKURE AND SHE HAS 3 CHILDREN FOR ME. SHE ALWAYS COMMENDS THE IGBOS. SHE IS STILL WITH ME AND ALL OF US LIVE IN HARMONY TOGETHER.
    YORUBAS LISTEN. IT IS US NON-IGBOS THAT DID WRONG TO THE IGBOS DURING THE CIVIL WAR. THIS WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE LIES GOWON AND HIS BROTHERS TOLD US IN THE RIVERS STATE AT THAT TIME. THEY TOLD US THAT IF WE LEAVE THE PROPERTY OF THE IGBOS, WE WOULD BE THE GREATEST LOSERS. CEAZE THEIR PROPERTY AND THEY WILL NOT HAVE MEANS TO SURVIVE AND YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM THAT. THEY TOLD US THAT THE IGBOS ARE BAD AND WOULD BUILD ALL OVER THE STATE AND OUR CHILDREN WILL HAVE NO PLACE TO BUILD IN FUTURE. WE BELIVED THEM AND SEAZED THEIR PROPERTY. WE SACKED THEM FROM OUR STATE. THEY WENT TO THEIR STATE, SOUTH/EASTEN STATE. WE THOUGHT THEY WERE DYING. THEY SURVIVED MORE THAN US WHO WERE DECEIVED BY AND AWOLOWO. PLEASE DO NOT BE ANNOYED BECAUSE I MENTION AWOLOWO HERE. WE NIGERIANS OWE APOLOGY TO THE IGBOS BECAUSE WE DID THEM WRONG BY THE WAY WE TREATED THEM DURING THE WAR. I DO NOT KNOW HOW YOU WILL FEEL IF THE BUILDINGS YOU IN ONITSHA , OWERRI, ENUGU WERE TO BE SEAZED BY THESE STATES ESPECIALLY IF ANOTHER PERSON FROM ANOTHER STATE WERE TO INSTIGATE THAT SEISURE. IF YOU ARE FROM LAGOS , AND HAD BUILDINGS IN IBADAN, AKURE, ONDO OSHOGBO WERE TO BE SEIZED BY AN INSTIGATION FROM SOMEBODY FROM THE NORTH. YOU ARE FROM THE WESTERN REGION AS THE IGBOS WERE FROM THE EASTERN REGION. WE WERE THE SAME REGION UNTIL GOVWON DECEIVED US TO DO WHAT WE DID.
    HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU HAD £2,000,000, IN YOUR ACCOUNT AND SOMEBODY CAME AND SAID YOU HAVE RIGHT TO ONLY £20? THINK ABOUT IT. SURELY YOU WILL FEEL VERY BAD. DURING AND AFTER THE WAR ONE OF OUR BROTHERS, A WRITER WOULD NOT LET IGBOS TO REST. HE PAID FOR IT. YOU CANNOT SLAP A BABY AND AT THE SAME TIME TELL HIM NOT TO CRY. I AN NOW 84 YEARS OLD AND WHAT I SAY IS TRUE BECAUSE I WAS AROUND WHEN MEETINGS WERE HELD TO SEE WHAT TO DO WITH THE IGBOS. I DID NOT KNOW THE IMPLICATIONS UNTILL SOME FEW YEARS LATER. WE THOUGHT WE WOULD BE BETTER THAN THE IGBOS. WERE NOT.
    MY DEAR PEOPLE FROM YORUBA LAND, CHINUA ACHEBES WRITE-UP DID NOTN INSULT THE YORUBAS. HE TALKED ABOUTG ONE PERSON LATE CHIEF AWOWLO. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN IT AS IF ACHEBE INSULTED THE YORUBA RACE. YOU ARE WRONG. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY AND WRITE. THE HOUSAS ARE LAUGHING AT US HERE IN THE SOUTH IF YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT. THE OTHER DAY A FRIEND OF MINE TOOK US TO HOTEL PRESIDENTIAL IN PORT HARCOURT. THIS WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS CAME UP. ONE ALHAJI AND HIS FRIENDS WERE ON A DIFFERENT TABLE EATING AND DRINKING. I HEARD THEM SAY THAT IF THERE IS A WAY TO MAKE THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS FIGHT, THAT THEY IN THE NORTH WILL BE VERY HAPPY. I WANTED TO CHALLNGE THEM BUT MY FRIEND RESTRAINED ME FROM DOING SO. THE WRITING OF ACHEBE SHOULD NOT CAUSE THIS TYPE OF ACRIMONY. MY PEOPLE SAY NOW THAT IF THE IGBOS ARE ELIMINATED, IT WILL BE VERY EASY FOR THE NORTH TO OVER RUN THE SOUTH TO FULFILL WHAT AHMADU BELLOW SAID. THAT PUSHING THE SOUTH INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. YORUBA PEOPLE, PLEASE STOP THIS WAR.
    TO THE IGBOS
    YOU SUFFERED HUMILIATION AT THE INSTANT OF THE NORTHERNERS. YOU DID NOT DIE RATHER YOU CAME UP STRONGER THAN YOU WERE. I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO FORGIVE AND FORGETWHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST. LOOK AQT THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS. THEY SUFFERED AND NOW SEE HOW STRONG THEY ARE. MY FATHER USED TO TELL ME THAT IGBOS HAVE JEWS ORIGIN. MY SON WHO WENT TO ISRAEL LAST MONTH TOLD ME THAT SOME NAMES THERE ARE LIKE IGBO NAMES. A BOOK I READ SOME FOUR YEARS AGO SAID THAT THE IGBOS HAD THEIR ORIGIN IN THE HEBREW. THEY ARE GOD’S PEOPLE. PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THIS WAR OF WORDS TOBRING SOMETHING NASTY IN THE SOUTH. THE HAUSAS ARE LAUGHING AT US IN THE SOUTH. YORUBA/IGBO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. LET US IN THE SOUTH FORGE AHEAD TOGETHER. NO MORE RANCOUR, NO LOVE LOST. LET US LIVE TOGETHER. WOLE SONYINKA, PLEASE ADVISE YOUR PEOPLE. CHINUA ACHEBE, PLEASE ADVISE YOUR PEOPLETO STOP AND FORGIVE THE INJURIES THEY SUSTAINED. GOD WILL HELP THEM.
    LONG LIVE YORUBA, LONG LIVE IGBO, LONG LIVE US IN THE RIVERS STATE. I SAY RIVERS STATE BECAUSE WE HAVE MANY TIBES HERE. SO I PREFER TO USE THE WORD RIVERS STATE.

Leave A Reply