Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has promised that his administration would provide and guarantee the enabling environment for United Kingdom investments in the state.
Governor Diri gave the pledge last Monday when he met with the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs. Catriona Laing, in Abuja.
He requested the envoy to pave the way for British investments in the state in the areas of agriculture, transportation, education, maritime, aquaculture, ICT amongst others.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the relationship between the UK and Bayelsa predated the creation of Nigeria, which was further consolidated by the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities at Otuabagi, a community in the state, by Shell in February 1956.
He however noted that despite Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) being one of the leading oil companies in the state and the long history of economic relations with the UK, Bayelsa had nothing to show as there was no other investment from UK companies in the state.
Diri sought the UK government’s support and collaboration to establish a skills acquisition centre in the state that would train and empower women and youths in carpentry, refrigeration, solar power assembly, fashion designing and masonry.
Other areas are farming techniques for high-yield crops production, aquaculture, ICT as well as mechanical/electrical training.
“With Bayelsa occupying a major portion of Nigeria’s 853-kilometre coastline, the government intends to concentrate on fishery development, particularly deep-sea fishing.Bayelsa State has the best potential in Nigeria for the production of rice, cassava, yam, plantain, banana and palm produce. Our government is therefore embarking on a massive programme to train our youths in modern form of agriculture in order engage them in productive activities and divert them away from militancy, restiveness and criminal activities”, he said
“Bayelsa remains one of the main crude oil and gas production states both onshore and offshore. The state provides the best setting for oil and gas investment. About 60 per cent of Nigeria’s gas reserve is in Bayelsa and the government has resolved to create the best incentives and operating environment for all British investors through Public Private Partnership (PPP)”, he added.
Governor Diri also solicited support for undergraduate and postgraduate scholarship to Bayelsa students as well as inter-city collaboration with either the city of London, Liverpool or Manchester in order to enhance the state’s transportation infrastructure, urban planning and waste management.
“I equally seek grants from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to support the state government’s urban renewal efforts in the provision of potable water, rural electrification, construction of schools/learning materials. We are aware that the FCDO’s Overseas Development Assistance through the Conflict Overseas Stability and Security Fund programme worked through the Social Democtatic Network, an NGO, in some communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state to carry out rice farming, which was successful. But this stopped since March 2020 and we wish to request that it resumes, this time, with collaboration with the state government for better results and continuity”, the governor noted.
He commended the envoy for the warm reception and presented a copy of the interim report of the Bayelsa State Oil and Environment Commission (BSOEC) and an overview of its work, which he said highlighted the challenges Bayelsa people faced from decades of degradation of their environment.
In her brief response, the UK High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, thanked Governor Diri for the visit, saying the mission encouraged collaboration with states and organisations that border on mutual interests.
Laing said the UK was interested in the economic development of Bayelsa, particularly in the area of sustainable agriculture and other areas that the governor highlighted.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Rivers Police Burst Car Snatching Syndicate
The Rivers State Police Command says it has arrested an alleged member of car theft syndicate who specialises in robbing bolt drivers in the state and its environs.
In a press statement in Port Harcourt, the state capital, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Nnamdi Omoni said that operatives of Octopus Strike Force on September 15, 2021, at about 1750hrs, arrested one Nnali Osita, a 21-year-old member of a notorious car snatching syndicate that specialises in robbing Bolt/Uberdrivers in the state.
The statement said, that “while solving a case of car snatching reported by one Yusuf Ogunshola ‘m’, a Bolt driver who was hired from Effurun in Delta State to Port Harcourt, only to be taken to Abel Jumbo Street in Mile 2,Diobu, Port Harcourt, where two other members were already waiting”.
The statement further stated that the Bolt driver,on arrival, was attacked at gunpoint and dispossessed of his personal belongings, including withdrawing the sum of N87,000 from his bank account, adding that he was thereafter locked in a toilet belonging to a new generation church on the same street.
“In the course of our investigation, operatives got some clues which ultimately led them to Gambia Street in Diobu, where they had perfected plans to sell the said car. However, on sighting the police, they abandoned the car, and took to flight but the suspect; Nnali Osita was not lucky, as he was arrested, while others escaped.
“Meanwhile, efforts have been intensified to ensure that the fleeing gang members are arrested and their operational weapons recovered.
“The Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka has vowed to come hard on all miscreants in the state, and is hereby advising all Bolt/Uber or anybody in the transportation business to be circumspect and shun all mouth-watering offers; being the antics deployed by these criminals to attack their victims.” the statement added.
By: Akujobi Amadi
Federal Varsity Admits 2,423 Students,Holds 10th Matriculation
The Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State has admitted new 2,423 students for its 2021/2022 academic session.
This was made known to newsmen at the weekend during the 10th matriculation ceremony of the institution.
The Tide learnt that the Federal University, Otuoke was amongst the 12 universities established during the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
In his matriculation speech, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Teddy Charles Adias cautioned the matriculants against engaging in nefarious activities as students.
He charged students to be serious with their academics, noting that the institution is described as a ‘Family University, just as he added that the school has more than ever become a grooming ground for intellectuals.
“Students of this university are groomed and trained in both intellectual and in character. You’re here to learn, but that you’ve done your matriculation doesn’t mean it’s the end.
“As students members of this family university, you should be Ambassadors of this institution wherever you find yourselves in both learning and character”, he said.
“No nation can develop without a good and competitive intellectual base,. And that is why this Family University was set up to amongst others be part of sister institutions that would build and develop the needed intellectual capacities for our development as a nation”, he added.
The Tide reports that the university admitted freshers into all of its six existing Faculties of Management Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences as well as Engineering and Education.
“A total of 5,692 persons applied for admission for the session, but out of these, a total of 2,423 were selected and granted admission, after going through all the required academic processes needed as qualifications for admission as students members of the university”, the Vice Chancellor said.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Police Move To Secure Abducted Doctor, Ex-Senator’s Release
The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 6, Usman Gomna, has ordered investigation into the abduction of a medical doctor, Nsidibe Umana and former-Akwa Ibom senator, Nelson Effiong.
The AIG’s order is coming even as the command said that it had put in place a crack team to trail the abductors of the two victims.
Nelson Effiong, a former senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial district, was abducted on Sunday, September 5, 2021 while relaxing in his sit-out along Oron Road; while the medical doctor was abducted in his compound in Orukaman Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
The AIG gave the charge last Friday while responding to a request by the chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Ime Sylvester Udoh, during a meeting with security stakeholders in the state.
Dr. Udoh had raised the alarm over the abduction of the medical doctor and had also called on the Police to rescue the victim alive.
Responding, the AIG said, “Before I came here, I have directed the CP of the command, Andrew Amiengheme, to intensify efforts to see how he can be rescued.”
He reiterated the commitment of the zone in tackling crime and criminality and called on stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the Police by revealing useful information that could help in tackling the crime rate in the states.
Speaking further on the kidnapped medical doctor, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, said a manhunt had already been put in place to effect the release of the doctor.
“Our men are in the field to ensure the release of that young doctor. Unfortunately, the abductors are asking for N20m and where will the family get that kind of money?
“That is part of the societal problems, and we are asking the stakeholders to quickly expose and not to give them a cover,” Amiengheme said.
On the abduction of the ex-senator, the CP said, “We’re very much on top of the situation. Care must be taken to protect his life in the first instance.
“We must not do anything that will jeopardise his life, a lot has been done, we are observing some restraints so that he is not killed and his perpetrators brought to book.”
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