Bayelsa State Governor Senator Douye Diri has said the state is safe and secure to attract investment opportunities.
Governor Diri stated this when he led a delegation to the Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ms. Samuela Isopi at the EU Embassy in Abuja at the weekend.
The governor who is seeking areas of partnership and economic cooperation with the EU and its member countries, said his administration had placed priority on security both on land and in the maritime domain.
Governor Diri told the EU officials that Bayelsa State was blessed with different natural and mineral resources including gas that has the largest deposits in the state.
“You talked about peace, security and good governance, Bayelsa State where we come from is the centre of the Niger Delta. My government has prioritised security, hence, our newly established State Safety Corps is headed by no less a personality than a retired brigadier-general who has been mandated to ensure the sustenance of the peace and security in the state.
“This law will also ensure we engage about 6,000 youths as security volunteers. This in itself will take many youths out of crime. It is a working model,” he said.
The governor said he was excited by the commitment of the ambassador to mobilise her colleagues from EU-member countries like France, Italy and Portugal to explore gas potentials in the state.
On education, Diri commended the EU for including Bayelsa State in its educational intervention programme for 2023 for training and capacity building for teachers.
He particularly commended the EU for the SEEFOR programme in which Bayelsa State benefitted before it was rested and urged them to initiate a similar impactful programme for youth and women in the state.
Responding to a concern raised by the EU ambassador on the forthcoming general elections, Governor Diri assured that the elections would be peaceful enough to return his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to power at the centre in 2023.
Earlier, Ms. Samuela Isopi said the EU was open to workable collaborative efforts with the Bayelsa State government to deepen possible areas of economic development.
The EU ambassador who accepted an invitation by the governor to visit Yenagoa as part of measures to boost the cooperation, said she was excited at the Education Development Trust Fund model employed by the Bayelsa government to improve access to education by the citizens.
Those in the delegation of the governor included Dr. Gentle Emelah, Commissioner for Education, Dr. Peter Akpe, Acting Chief of Staff, Government House, Professor Turner Isoun, Chairman, Bayelsa State Education Development Trust Fund, Dr. Alice Atuwo, Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State Education Development Trust Fund, and an Education consultant to the Trust Fund, Mr. Phillip Slaboh.