Category: Education

Gov Diri Says Bayelsa Out-of-School Children Figure Alarming – Seeks Parents, Community Leaders’ Cooperation To Reverse Trend

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said an estimated 250,000 out-of-school children in the state was alarming.

He has therefore charged parents, traditional rulers and community leaders to join hands with government to ensure a reversal of the situation.

Governor Diri spoke on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, during the launch of a national campaign on out-of-school children organized by the Federal Ministry of Education.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor said his administration will do its part to ensure that education was accessible to every child of school age in the state and urged parents and community leaders to encourage their wards to enrol in schools.

He said the state government has continued to support free primary and secondary education in the state with the purchase of uniforms and other instructional materials.

Lamenting the number of out-of-school children in the state despite an existing law to check the menace, he implored the relevant ministries to ensure that the law was publicized and implemented to the letter.

He also called on the state House of Assembly to oversight its laws to ensure they are implemented.

Diri commended the Federal Ministry of Education for bringing the campaign to Bayelsa, saying the people of the state and the Niger Delta region will benefit from the initiative.

His words: “A law was passed by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on this matter in 2018. So, Mr. Minister, Bayelsa State had started addressing the issues long before now. But your coming is key as it has opened our eyes to the level of out-of-school children in our state.

“The issue is mostly about implementation. We have the laws to ensure that our children are educated. This law has to be implemented across all our communities. The Ministries of Information and Education must do all within their powers to ensure that the public is aware of this law and it is implemented.

“It is unbelievable that a law like this was enacted and assented to by a sitting Governor. Yet we have out-of-school children.

“Let me use this opportunity to call on parents to ensure that they take advantage of the provisions of government. There is free primary education. Uniforms and other instructional materials are being provided by government. So, why won’t parents send their children to school?

“As a state, we will continue to prioritize education and have a paradigm shift that will be beyond certificates. We have introduced technical education and by our third anniversary we will commission some of the schools.”

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah-Opiah, said education was a collective responsibility and called on all stakeholders to join forces to eradicate the menace of out-of-school children in the interest of the country.

He said the Federal Ministry of Education has put in place mechanisms to ensure that education was accessible to children of school age and appealed to the state government to continue to prioritize education.

The Minister lauded the Bayelsa government for its investment in the education sector, urging it not to relent.

Earlier, when he received the Minister in his office, Governor Diri called on the federal government to establish more tertiary institutions in the state to enhance and expand the frontiers of education.

He also urged the federal government to release its share of educational counterpart funds to the state.

“As we speak, Bayelsa has done its counterpart funding up till 2022 and now we are eagerly awaiting the federal government counterpart funding for 2022. Help us prevail on the Universal Basic Education Commission to fast-track its contribution to the fund to ensure that our educational requirements are met. As we speak now, we are even prepared for our counterpart funding for 2023.”

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Gov Diri Eulogises Alagoa, Others On Ijaw Book Project

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has applauded literary icons, Professors Ebiegberi Alagoa, the late Tekena Tamuno and John Clark and others for documenting the history of the Izon people.

Governor Diri spoke at the launch of a book, “The Izons of the Niger Delta” authored by the erudite scholars at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa.

The book launch held Thursday as part of activities marking the second anniversary of the governor in office. 

The governor, who re-emphasised the imperative to preserve the language and culture of the Izon people, added that trained teachers would soon be posted to schools in the state to commence the teaching of the language.

He noted that the programme was one of the most important in the anniversary celebration as it afforded the people the opportunity to self-examine themselves and take the necessary steps to make corrections.

The state’s helmsman urged Bayelsans to speak Izon with their children at home to preserve the language as it has been forecasted that it would soon go extinct.

His words; “What we are doing today as Izon people is very important. If you do not know where you are coming from, you actually do not know where you are going. Music icon, the late King Robert Ebizimor, sang that if you do not know what killed your father and you do not what killed your father or your mother, the same thing that killed them will certainly kill you.

“Our Professor EJ Alagoa, who is now 89 years, we are very proud of you and we appreciate you. These scholars were role models back in the day. When we heard their names, we used to say we want to be like Prof. Alagoa. We aspired to be like any of these academic giants in the Ivory Tower and that was what fired most of us.

“Two of the other authors are gone but we still have Prof. Alagoa with us. Let us therefore tap into the Alagoas and those that are still alive like the Diette-Spiffs. We still have much knowledge to tap from them. 

 “I am happy that this  programme is part of our second anniversary. As I have been saying, we can build all the bridges and roads but if we lose our identity, we have lost it all. For me, this is one of the star events of our anniversary programme. 

“Our language is one of those forecasted to become extinct in a few years and we do not want it to become extinct. So, your government is doing everything to ensure this does not happen. 

“As Izon people, let us all resolve that wherever we give birth to our children, we will speak Izon to them.”

In his remarks, Prof. Alagoa said the book was special because the ideas were from ordinary Ijaw folks.

He thanked the governor for his support that enabled them launch the book, which project started in 2004.

He also appreciated former President Goodluck Jonathan, whose financial support enabled the authors to source for relevant materials around the world.

Also speaking, President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba, noted that the book addresses critical issues of the Niger Delta question and urged leaders of the Izon nation to get acquainted with the content of the 849-page book.

He called for legislation to make the learning of Izon history compulsory in all educational institutions in the state in order to inculcate the values and language of the Izon people in future generations.

The INC president applauded Governor Diri for resuscitating the project, which he noted was abandoned several years ago.

Earlier, a second anniversary symposium was held at the same venue where resource persons x-rayed the challenges and proffered ways to develop different sectors of the economy.

Chairman of the symposium, High Chief Seiyefa Koroye, said the state has kept the dream of being the ‘ ‘Glory of all Lands’ in 25 years of it existence through various developmental programmes by successive administrations. 

He said being part of the second anniversary celebration of the Diri administration, the symposium is expected to provide a documentation as well as analysis of the governor’s interventions and innovations to drive governance towards growth and development.

In his welcome address, chairman of the symposium organising committee and Commissioner for Education, Gentle Emelah, noted that the event was for self- introspection about where the state was, where it is and also project where it should be in the near future.

He expressed the hope that the ideas articulated would add value to the growth and progress of the state.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
February 11, 2022

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Why My Administration Invested In Education – Jonathan – Commends Bayelsa Gov On Summit

Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has identified functional education as vital to the development of the manpower resources of any society.

Dr. Jonathan, who was the keynote speaker, stated this on Monday at the maiden five-day Bayelsa State Education Summit, with the theme: “Optimising the delivery, performance and sustainability of outcomes in the education sector,” in Yenagoa.

Highlighting the contributions he made in the development of the education sector when he was governor of the state and at the national level, Dr. Jonathan emphasised the important role of information and communication technology.

According to him, his administration made substantial investments at the national and state levels, including providing scholarship programmes.

He stressed that his recognition of the vital place of an educated citizenry was the reason behind his administration’s investment in almajiri schools in the North. 

His words: “Education is a strategic tool for national development and social change. You cannot make progress without educated citizenry. People cannot develop without functional education. 

 “Today, ICT is key. It is replacing almost everything. The teaching of ICT has to start right from the nursery schools.”

He applauded the vision of Governor Douye Diri and his team in holding the summit to fashion out a sustainable policy for the sector.

He urged the state government to legalise its educational policies so that successive government would not jettison them.

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Jonathan also charged stakeholders at the summit to consider introducing a common language in the educational curriculum.

“If we must come together, we must have a common language. When you want to develop our educational policies, do not forget the languages because language is very critical in creating global citizens.”

Declaring the summit open, Governor Douye Diri said at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bayelsa was handicapped as it lacked the equipment required in delivering remote learning.

On the need to back educational policies with a law, the governor said a bill would be sent to the House of Assembly to that effect.

Commenting on the need to adopt a common language, Senator Diri said already, the state executive council had adopted Kolokuma as the chosen dialect and directed the Ministries of Education and Ijaw National Affairs to ensure implementation of the policy.

According to him, “language is not only critical in education but also in establishing one’s identity and conscious efforts must be made to ensure our language does not go into extinction.”

He called on stakeholders in the sector to develop a 15-year education plan that could be reviewed periodically to enable Bayelsans take their rightful place in the country and the world.

Diri also assured that his administration would continue to support the model schools he inherited 

from his predecessor and called for support from the private sector, particularly the oil companies operating in the state.

Chairman of the state Education Development Trust Fund and one-time Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Turner Isoun represented by Prof Francis Sikoki, said the board remains committed to providing interventions in the education sector.

In their goodwill messages, chairman of the state traditional rulers council, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, representative of the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Dan Kikile, and a representative of the Managing Director, Sterling Bank, described Senator Diri’s vision on holding the summit as brilliant.

They said this was time to put Bayelsa on the global map.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
February 7, 2022

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Bayelsa NYSC Takes Possession of Permanent Orientation Camp – As Gov. Diri Welcomes NYSC Batch C Stream Bayelsa State

After 15 years of planning and construction of the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Bayelsa State, the corps have taken possession of the facilities at the Boro Town in Kaiama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area.

The Permanent Orientation camp has received the first set of the corps members for their orientation exercise.

Governor Douye Diri, who witnessed the swearing-in ceremony for the 2021 Batch C, Stream 2, charged the corps members to take Bayelsa as their new home.

“Let me welcome you all to the Glory of All Lands, Bayelsa State. I am indeed as excited as you are today. The reason is that, I am standing here in your permanent orientation camp, for the first time to receive you. I also join your State coordinator in cautioning you to the rules and regulations that guide the service.

Let me on behalf of the prosperity administration, our government is tagged “Prosperity Government”, as it follows, anybody that steps his or her feet on Bayelsa, you are stepping on prosperity.

So, I like to assure you that, Bayelsa is ready for you, for as long as you are ready for Bayelsa. And wherever you will be posted to, try and be part and parcel of that society, after all the essence of NYSC is cultural integration. 

I hereby declare 2021 Batch C, Stream 2 Orientation Camp Open.”

~Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State.

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Gov. Diri Rewards Nine-year-old African Chess Champion, Deborah Quickpen With Scholarship, N4m

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has honoured nine-year-old Deborah Quickpen following her heroic performance at the recent Africa Youth Chess Championship in Accra, Ghana.

Miss Quickpen emerged champion in the Under-10 category after winning nine out of 10 games.

Governor Diri, who received the Bayelsa-born Chess prodigy inside the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Yenagoa, announced a scholarship to university level whether in Nigeria or overseas, a N4m cash gift as well as appointed her a Youth Ambassador.

Speaking during the reception, Governor Diri said: “On behalf of the government and the good people of Bayelsa State, I welcome you home and say a very big congratulations. You are a worthy daughter of this state. Having started on this beautiful note, your government will support you.

“I therefore appoint you an Ambassador of Bayelsa State youths. Your appointment is in academics. I hereby announce that your academics be followed up with the game you already know how to play. You have to attend a school whether in Nigeria or overseas where you can combine both academics and sports, particularly chess.

“For making personal sacrifice alongside your parents and coaches, I also announce a cash gift of four million naira.

“Let me use this opportunity to appreciate your parents for training you up well. Every giant begins from the home. Today, you are the giant in your age bracket in Africa.“

Governor Diri urged parents to follow the example of Mr and Mrs Quickpen to train up their children in the way they should go so that they will  become assets to the society, the state and country.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, said three young Bayelsans represented Nigeria in three different categories at the championship, namely Deborah Quickpen, Treasure Ebiakpo and Shine Ekpore, who he said all made the state proud. 

Igali thanked the governor for the honour done her and other athletes in the state.

Miss Quickpen had also represented Bayelsa at the just concluded 6th National Youth Games at Ilorin, Kwara State, where she won three gold medals.

She is the youngest Nigerian and African to win the prestigious chess championship.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor 
November 3, 2021

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Governor Diri Launches ICT Empowerment Programme For Bayelsa Youths

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Wednesday, launched an ICT-based scheme to empower youths in the state.

Under the initiative tagged “Diri Digital Entrepreneurship Empowerment Programme (DDEEP),” 8,000 beneficiaries across the eight local government areas of the state would be trained and equipped with information communication and technology skills.

Governor Diri said during the launch that youth entrepreneurship and empowerment were key to achieving and sustaining prosperity in the state rather than the usual expectations of handouts from public office holders. 

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as expressing optimism that the DDEEP programme would make the beneficiaries not only self-reliant but also employers of labour.

He stated that his government’s commitment to the programme was premised on the huge opportunities in the ICT sector, which he said drives the global economy. 

He charged the beneficiaries to take the training seriously, saying so much was expected of them.

Diri assured that as part of efforts to develop the ICT sector, the government has concluded plans to complete the ICT innovation centre started by the previous administration, which is expected to be a technology hub, and also renovate and equip already existing ICT centres across the eight local government areas. 

He called for support and collaboration from the private and public sector as well as public-spirited individuals to enable the state develop its ICT sector.

His words: “This is the prosperity we have been preaching about. Youth entrepreneurship is the only road we can travel and hand over prosperity from one generation to another.  Prosperity is not by getting handouts from politicians and relatives. I appreciate the Commissioner and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology for living up to the expectations of the prosperity government. 

“From every local government area, we will have 1,000 youths trained for a period of four years. The vision of this programme is to make Bayelsa the ICT capital of Nigeria. I like to caution the trainees to see this as an opportunity to be self-reliant in order to become employers of labour.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Communication, Science and Technology, Dr. Promise Ekio, expressed appreciation to Governor Diri for approving the programme, which he said will affect the economy of the state positively. 

He stated that the world of communication is easier through the aid of digital technology and it is necessary for any society to develop, saying the programme would mobilise youths to contribute to development of the state.

Chairman of occasion, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu, said ICT drives the world, stressing that most millionaires were ICT entrepreneurs hence the importance of the programme. 

Prof. Etebu, who is also Vice Chancellor of the Bayelsa Medical University, lauded the ministry and  the state government for the initiative, which he said would impact positively on the state. 

In his keynote address, Dr. Samuel Gambo, the South South Zonal Coordinator, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said ICT can empower youths significantly and lauded the government for the programme while calling for its sustainance.

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NMCN Upgrades Bayelsa Nursing School – Commends Gov. Diri for Facilities at Institution

The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) has upgraded the Bayelsa State School of Nursing and Midwifery to the status of a college.

The NMCN Secretary General/ Registrar, Dr Farouk Abubakar, who led the accreditation team to the institution, stated this on Tuesday when he visited Governor Douye Diri in Government House, Yenagoa.

A press release by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted Dr Abubakar as saying that the upgrade to a College of Nursing, Midwifery and Sciences was as a result of the team’s satisfaction with the infrastructure and facilities in the institution.

He said the facilities qualified it to be upgraded to a college.

According to him, the upgrade would enable the college establish campuses in different parts of the state and also become affiliated to the Faculty of Nursing at the state-owned Niger Delta University. 

He said the council also approved a 150 per cent increase in admission into the institution.

Abubakar commended the governor and the state government for providing excellent facilities at the institution, for promoting health-related activities in the state as well as for keying into the health reforms of the country. 

Welcoming the development, Governor Douye Diri said measures would be put in place to implement the council’s recommendations.

The governor expressed his administration’s commitment to develop the health sector through the promotion of health education.

He noted that his administration placed a high premium on the health sector, especially. nursing and midwifery education, and would continue to implement policies to develop the sector.

His words: “We appreciate you for your favourable pronouncements, which include upgrading the school to a college, proposal for creation of additional campuses as well as proposing that the college be affiliated to the Niger Delta University.

“We assure you that we are equal to the task. The need for development of the infrastructure and multi-campuses will be considered. For us, health and education are two things we do not toy with.”

The governor thanked the NMCN for the standard used in training nurses in the country, which has made them employable outside the shores of Nigeria.

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Nigerian Idol Winner, Kingdom, Gets Bayelsa Govt Scholarship.

Winner of  Season Six of the recently concluded Nigerian Idol, Kingdom Kroseide, has been granted educational scholarship by the Bayelsa State Government.

Governor Douye Diri made the pronouncement on Friday when he received Kingdom and his team in Government House, Yenagoa. 

He said the government would henceforth bear the responsibility of the 24-year-old talented singer’s education at the Federal University, Otuoke, where he is a student and up to a Master degree level if he so desire.
The governor also appointed Kingdom as Youth Ambassador in the state.

Diri in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, advised youths of the state to put in their best in whatever they do in order to be successful in life.

His words: “In appreciation of the honour you have brought to the state, I hereby announce that you are on the scholarship of the Bayelsa State Government. As you finish your first degree and if you proceed for a Master degree, the scholarship would also cover your programme.

“You are also appointed as an ambassador of the youths of Bayelsa State.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on youths of Bayelsa State to see Mr. Timi Kingdom Kroseide as a role model; as one who out of hard work and the grace of God has brought honour to the state. I am sure that putting yourselves in legitimate careers, you would bring honour not only to yourselves but also to your state and country.”

While appreciating Kingdom for the honour done to the state, Diri advised him to strike a balance between his academics and his career, adding that with proper education and the grace of God, he would excel in his chosen career   even outside the shores of Nigeria.

He also advised Kingdom to continue to use his music to glorify God in order to move to greater heights.
The governor, who noted that Kingdom’s success story was that of all Nigerians, thanked the Nigerian Idol judges, the Nigerian Military School Old Boys Association and Nigerians for their different roles that led to the Bayelsa-born  contestant emerging as winner.

He also urged the relevant ministries and agencies to put modalities in place to establish a music school that would harness the musical talents that abound in the state.

Earlier, Kingdom Kroseide attributed his success to the grace of God and hard work.
He thanked the state government, Bayelsans and Nigerians for their support that enabled him win the contest.
In separate remarks, representative of the Amananaowei of Angalabiri Federated Community, Chief Peres Peretu, and Kingdom’s manager, Felix Kroseide, thanked the state government and everyone that supported and voted for him to win.

Chief Peretu appreciated Diri’s leadership style of uniting and galvanizing the support of the people to enable Bayelsans achieve great feats.

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Gov Diri Awards Scholarship To Another First Class Law Graduate

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has offered scholarship to another first class law graduate from the state, Miss Pere Esther Amazige.


Miss Amazige, who graduated from the Rivers State University in Port Harcourt, is the second female Law graduate to bag the scholarship after Miss Ebizi Eradiri that had a double First Class at the Niger Delta University and the Nigerian Law School.


Senator Diri made the offer on Tuesday while receiving Miss Amazige and her mother, Mrs Joy Amazige, in Government House, Yenagoa.


The governor, who assured her of his administration’s preparedness to sponsor her education up to doctorate level in any university of her choice within and outside the country, congratulated her for achieving the feat against all odds.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, Governor Diri saluted Amazige’s courage and resilience, pointing out that she was not deterred from achieving her dreams by her father’s death.

His words: “You have a lot of offers in the United Kingdom to go for your Master degree. Let me on behalf of the government declare that your admission in or outside the country will be taken over by the state government even up to Ph.D level.


“I use this opportunity to advise our young ones not to be discouraged by the circumstances they find themselves. Esther lost her father while in  secondary school. Nothing can stop you when you are determined to achieve your dreams.

“Let Esther be your role model. With all the daunting challenges she and her mother faced, she remained focused and today we are celebrating her success. I urge the youths to learn from her success story. 


He charged Miss Amazige to continue to be of good conduct and ambassador of the state and the country.
In his introductory remarks, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Biriyai Dambo (SAN), described Miss Amazige as an intelligent and promising young girl, who bagged First Class in 2018 but narrowly missed replicating it at the Nigeria Law School.

In her remarks, Miss Amazige expressed gratitude to the governor for the opportunity to advance her education, saying her academic success was in fulfillment of her determination to make her late father proud.
She said she already had five admission offers for a Master programme abroad and promised to fly the flag of the state and the country high at all times.


In a related development, Governor Diri also hosted three Bayelsans that are recipients of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Presidential Honours Award. 
The 2018/2019 presidential awardees are Dr Anointed Bagiri Riches, Engr. Abbott Temple Olotu and Bodisere Blessing Isaac.

He appreciated the awardees for positively promoting the image of Bayelsa at their places of primary assignment during their service year.


He noted that their feat was proof that given the opportunity and right environment, the youths of the state can compete favourably with their peers anywhere in the world.

His words: “That is why we keep preaching that the youths of Bayelsa are not lazy. The youths of Bayelsa are brilliant and can compete with anybody anywhere. You have just proven that to be part of the honorees of the President.”
He noted that the feat would spur other Bayelsa youths to excel.


While presenting the recipients, the Commissioner for Education, Hon. Gentle Emelah, stated that two of them were graduates of the state-owned Niger Delta University while the third graduated from the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro.

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