Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson, yesterday, approved an additional N100 million for the provision of relief materials and the resettlement of flood victims across the eight local government areas of the state.
Governor Dickson had earlier approved N50 million towards ameliorating the plight of victims of the disaster.
The governor announced the approval when members of the Ijaw Professionals Association (IPA) led by chairman of its Board of Trustees, Gen. Paul Alaowei Toun (retd), paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
A press release by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as having directed the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Kemela Okara, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Rt. Hon. Talford Ongolo, and other senior government officials to coordinate the process of ensuring that displaced persons returned to their homes.
He commended members of the IPA for establishing a platform aimed at promoting the collective interests of Bayelsa and the entire Ijaw nation and for building linkages for the welfare and wellbeing of the people, describing the gesture as a rare spirit that needed to be encouraged.
Dickson, who stressed the need to build synergy on ways to attract investments that could transform the state’s economy, lauded the IPA for sacrificing time and resources in enlightening the people within and outside the state about the development efforts of his restoration government.
In his remarks, Gen. Toun said they were in the state to present the report of their tour of some key projects executed by the state government.
The IPA BoT chair, who applauded the government’s relentless effort at changing the narrative and landscape of the state, commended Governor Dickson and his counterparts in the Niger Delta for championing key issues affecting the region.
He particularly cited the joint initiative of Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states in securing the recent landmark judgement at the Supreme Court concerning the sharing of revenue accruing from the sale of crude oil, describing the effort as commendable.
Toun also emphasised the need to intensify collaboration among the South-South states as well as exercising leadership in reviving and co-funding the BRACED Commission for the purpose of building a viable regional economy.
According to him, there is need for more information on the status of key projects of the state such as the Eco-Industrial Park, Agge Deep Seaport, Brass Fertilizer, Brass Liquefied Natural Gas project and other opportunities that may be available for indigenous professionals.
Also speaking, president of the IPA Lagos chapter, Mr. Elaye Otrofanowei, said the group carried out an independent visit and inspection to about 22 project sites of the state government, including the ongoing Sagbama-Ekeremor road construction, the international airport project, the diagnostic centre, the Ijaw National Academy among other projects.
He said what they saw on ground convinced their team that the government had embarked on projects that related to the needs of the people.
Otrofanowei also said that Governor Dickson had done well and that the IPA is ready to support his administration in areas that require their professional input and competence.