Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has called for collaborative efforts between the Bayelsa State Government and the Republic of Ireland to boost the economy of the State.
According to him, the two governments can collaborate in the area of vocational and teachers training in the education sub-sector, among other areas, where the State has comparative advantage.
Governor Dickson, who made the call, when the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Sean Hoy called on him at his office in Government House, Yenagoa, explained that, the new Bayelsa is anchored on public private partnership.
The Bayelsa State Governor lauded the Irish government on its ongoing efforts at imparting entreprenuership skills on youths in Ikarama, community, Okordia in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, through the establishment of fish farms and the training of the youths on modern fish farming.
He used the opportunity to draw the attention of the Irish Government to to alarming rate of environmental pollution in the State occasioned by the activities of the multi national oil companies, pointing out that, Bayelsa State has suffered more environmental pollution than any other part of the world.
“Bayelsa State has suffered more than any state or country in the world, in the area of oil pollution, adding that over 260 environmental pollutions are recorded in the state yearly.
“The world has to rise up in solidarity to do something about it. Oil Companies have to conform to best practices as done everywhere in the world. They have taken advantage of the weak institutions and laws in the country.
“Oil companies have to partner with the government and people to bring real development to the state, and my government has taken the issue of security very critical in bringing investors”.
While expressing his appreciation for the sacrifices of the people of Ireland in the development of Nigeria and the Niger Delta, Governor Dickson noted that, Bayelsa is the heart and epicentre of all the issues in the Niger Delta.
In his remarks, the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Sean Hoy, said he is in the state to learn and understand the developmental challenges of the State and how his country could assist in surmounting them.
A member of the Ambassador’s delegation, Father Kevin O’Hara, lauded the state government for the existing peace and security in the state, noting that, he has been in the advocacy against environmental pollution and degradation in the Niger Delta.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State