By Suoyo Ekubo
The governor of Bayelsa state senator Douye Diri has opined that investing in Bayelsa state is an “opportunity of a lifetime” while wooing investors to the state.
Diri stated this while presenting the economic potential of the State to investors at the Annual Investment Meeting (Dubai Expo 2020) held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
The governor noted that Bayelsa state is not only endowed with oil and gas resources but also blessed with rich vegetation, arable land, and a vast coastline suitable for commercial purposes.
Diri said, “Our state is one of the leading producers of oil and gas in Nigeria. There is, however, much more to Bayelsa than its abundant oil and gas deposits.
“These include but are not limited to aquaculture, Agriculture; where our arable land gives us a comparative advantage in the production of rice, cassava, sugarcane, palm tree, and plantain. We are blessed with a long and beautiful coastline, indeed the longest in our country, with serene beaches and exotic vegetation. Our extensive coastline is also suitable for commercial fishing.
“It gives me a special pleasure to introduce to you what I can sincerely describe as an opportunity of a lifetime – to come to Invest in Amazing Bayelsa State.
“We are, therefore, looking forward to welcoming and embracing genuine investors from all parts of the world to complement our local investors.”
Governor Diri emphasised that actions already taken have put the state on a positive trajectory, stating that a recent Ease-of-Doing Business report rated Bayelsa highest in the South-South region as well as being adjudged as one of the safest states to do business in the country.
“Our state is one of the leading producers of oil and gas in Nigeria. There is however much more to Bayelsa than its abundant oil and gas deposits. These include but are not limited to agriculture, where our arable land gives us comparative advantage in the production of rice, cassava, sugarcane, oil palm and plantain.
“In the area of tourism, with our lush mangrove forests and natural beaches, we have humongous unexploited opportunities to make the state a tourists’ paradise.
“Apart from captive fishery, which has done particularly well in our clime, our extensive coastline is also suitable for commercial fishing and for power generation ranging from wind to tidal and solar energy,” he said.
Stating that his administration was continuing with the construction of a deep-sea port, he assured investors that it would assiduously work to remove any impediments that would constrain their ability and investments.
It was reported that Governor Diri also held meetings with the UAE Minister of Economy, the country’s ambassador to Nigeria as well as representatives of the Saudi Arabia Fund for Development.
The Dubai Expo 2020, which ends on March 31, attracted exhibitors and participants from over 190 countries, including 14 states from Nigeria.
Other Nigerian governors present were Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).
Also in attendance were Solomon Lalong (Plateau), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger) and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State.
Sokoto, Yobe, Cross River and Enugu also participated at the forum.