Category: Government

Diri Pays Tribute to Adokeme, Late Uniport Alumni President

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has described the late national president of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association, Chief Christopher Adokeme, as a man of many parts that impacted positively on various facets of life.

Governor Diri stated this on Tuesday evening at the service of songs in honour of the deceased at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa.

The governor, who is also an alumnus of the University of Port Harcourt, noted that Chief Adokeme was a goal-getter that stopped at nothing to achieve what he wanted.

He said he died when his services were still needed.

According to the governor, Adokeme, as an entrepreneur, was a pacesetter in the transportation sector in the state and influenced other Bayelsans to go into the business.

He said that the testimonies of various speakers about the life of the deceased attested to his indelible mark on those that came across him in his lifetime.

His words: “Chris was a man of many parts. He was a journalist, entrepreneur, sports administrator and lover. He was also a traditionalist and a goal-getter who went the whole hog to achieve whatever he wanted.

“Chris impacted not only on his family but also on Bayelsa State and Nigeria as a whole. He died when his services were needed most.”

He urged the family to take solace that he led a good life and had gone to meet his creator who every mortal would meet someday.

In his sermon, the Regional Overseer, Ogbia Region of the Mountain of Fire Ministries, Pastor O. Onuoha, advised all to always be conscious that their life on earth was temporal and that the living would die one day to meet their creator.

While calling on all to always be prepared to give account of their lives on earth, Pastor Onuoha said God sees and knows everything done in secret.

The programme featured prayers, praise and worship, goodwill messages by family members, friends and associates.

Daniel Alabrah
Chief Press Secretary to Bayelsa State Governor 
September 15, 2021

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Chinese Firm to Establish Smart Metering Plant In Bayelsa

A Chinese high-tech company, Clou, and its Nigerian partners, Jumbo Goois Global Services, are set to establish a smart prepaid metering   assembly factory in Bayelsa State.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jumbo Goois Global Services, Mr. Timipre Ogoibiri, who led the delegation, disclosed this in Government House, Yenagoa, during a presentation to Governor Douye Diri on Tuesday.
Presenting the company’s plan for the proposed project, the Head of Operations, Dr. Chris Osazuwa, said the specification of the meters were unique and would meet the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) standard.

Dr. Osazuwa said the prepaid meter was designed to function remotely, where a token can recharge the device from any location.

He also stated that the project was capable of engaging 1000 engineering and non-engineering graduates.
While requesting for the state government to provide the enabling environment for the project, he commended Governor Diri for the level of security witnessed in the state.
He said: “At the moment, the specification of the prepaid meter we are going to be producing for Bayelsa, only that of the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company is close to it.

“What we have designed is similar to the type in Ghana. It is capable of blocking any revenue leakages and these meters can communicate remotely. It means you can vend from your smartphone wherever you are and it recharges.
“Our first order is about 1500 of both single and three-phase prepaid meters. That would give us the opportunity to come and build an assembling plant here.

“Bayelsans would be employed. About 1000 youths, engineering and non-engineering graduates. What we are asking for is just the enabling environment.

“There is a whole lot that this meter can do. The first phase is pre-installation. Meaning we are going to engage about 500 youths to carry out enumeration of houses that would be keyed into the server.” 
Responding, Governor Douye Diri said  his government had opened its doors to development and investment partners.

He expressed the optimism that the partnership would bring a turning point in power as well as the economy of the state.
Recalling his administration’s recent agreement with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on power consumption, Governor Diri noted that electricity was not free.
He emphasised that the only way 24-hour electricity can be sustained was for consumers to pay for their consumption. 

He called on Bayelsans that yearn for 24-hour power supply to brace up for payment of electricity bills.
His words: “We welcome you because we have opened our doors and our state for investments with our two arms. We believe this will be a turning point in power and the economy of our state.

“I recall that just a week ago we signed a power purchase and consumption agreement with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board. And I made it clear that electricity is not free. The only way we can sustain power for 24 hours is for its consumption to be paid for.”

Diri frowned on the controversy over estimated billing, which he said over the years had caused friction between consumers and distributors of power.
He called on the company not to join in producing over-estimated meters but give the state a product that would give value for money.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary
to Bayelsa State Governor 
September 14, 2021

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Bayelsa Seeks UN Assistance On Environmental Challenges

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called for urgent remediation of the state’s environment following years of degradation and neglect.

Governor Diri made the call on Tuesday night at a state banquet in honour of the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon, in Yenagoa.

The governor decried the hardship suffered by the people due to the exploration activities of oil multinationals, which he said had destroyed the state’s ecosystem.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted Governor Diri as drawing the attention of the international community to the injustice and environmental despoliation of the land that has fed the nation economically.

He said despite measures by the federal government in addressing the issue, they only amounted to nothing due to insincerity and lack of political will.
His words: “I like to place on record that our environment that has been raped and degraded over the years is seeking remediation.

“The previous administration, as a result of the level of degradation, decided to set up an environmental commission headed by the immediate past  Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. Its report is yet to be fully addressed. We have some part of it and we believe that it would bring to limelight what the people of Bayelsa have suffered, particularly in the hands of oil exploitation and exploring companies.

“Our environment, particularly our water resources, are heavily polluted. Our economic activities have been crippled over the years because of the same reason and even when the federal government has taken some measures to address this, they are more like a slap on the wrist.”

He expressed the hope that the state’s partnership with the UN would address most of the issues highlighted and usher in sustainable development to the state.

Speaking earlier, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon, commended Governor Diri for stabilising and ensuring peace and security in the state, stating that there is no development without peace.
Mr. Kallon emphasised that peace and development were only possible when strong institutions drive development.
The UN coordinator also noted that the international body was not unaware of the injustice meted out to and the exploitation of the Niger Delta people and their environment.

Highpoint of the event was the honouring and decoration of Diri, his wife, Dr. Gloria, and the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Champions. 

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to Bayelsa State Governor 
September 8, 2021

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Bayelsa, NCDMB Sign Power Supply Agreement

Bayelsa State Government and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have entered into a purchase agreement to ensure regular power supply to the Government House complex in Yenagoa and environs.

NCDMB operates a 10-megawatt gas-powered independent plant located at Elebele in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
At the signing ceremony inside the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House on Wednesday, Governor Douye Diri described power as crucial to the development of any society.

He noted that the state was blessed with abundant gas resources, which had been largely under-utilised.
He stressed that his administration was determined to use the resources of the state for the benefit of the people. 
The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the importance of power cannot be over-emphasised as it has the capacity to improve the economic fortunes of any society.
Governor Diri appreciated the  NCDMB management and other partners that made the agreement possible, saying it was a sign of good things to come.

The state helmsman called on private investors to explore the abundance of natural gas in the state, saying the government was ready to partner with such investors to make power and other amenities available to the people.  
He called for the metering of power consumers so as end estimated billing and make payment of bills easier and more acceptable by people of the state. 

His words: “My administration is committed to providing power to people of the state. One of the first creations of God was light. So, we are delighted to talk about power. 
“We have taken bold steps and today is one of the manifestations with this agreement. I call on private investors to explore the abundance of gas resources in the state. We are ready to partner with them. My administration is poised to provide power to light up Bayelsa State.

“I commend my brother, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, for his sagacity and commitment to impact on the environment of his organisation.
“Let me also appreciate the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and other partners that made this possible. We must pay for power. Even in Freetown, nothing is free.”

In his remarks, the NCDMB Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Wabote, said the event marked the formal execution of the power purchase project. 
He described the agreement as a major  milestone given the importance of power to government and the state at larger.

Wabote noted that with the agreement, it is clear the state can enjoy uninterrupted power supply given its huge gas deposits. 

He said Bayelsa  has the capacity to produce 1.5million standard cubic feet of gas daily as the state with perhaps the highest gas deposit in the country.

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Gov Diri Rewards 30 Retired Perm. Secretaries

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has announced a cash reward of one million naira each to 30 retired permanent secretaries in the state.
Governor Diri said the cash gift was a token appreciation from the government for their meritorious service to the state and the nation. 

The Bayelsa governor, who stated this on Thursday evening at a sendforth organised by the Bayelsa State Permanent Secretaries Forum in Yenagoa, appealed to the former top civil servants to make themselves available whenever they were called upon to serve in future.

He stated that being aware that the ultimate goal of every civil servant is to receive his gratuity and pension at retirement, it was his administration’s policy not to deny retirees such benefits. 
The governor said plans were underway to collaborate with pension managers to ensure that retirees received their benefits as of when due irrespective of the government in power.

His words: “One of the focal points of every civil servant is that when they retire they expect their pension on monthly basis. We have promised not to treat our senior citizens with levity and would like to keep that promise as long as we remain in the saddle of governance in Bayelsa State.

“Today, we are celebrating you for the meritorious service you rendered to your dear state. I join in thanking and calling you to continue in the fashion that you have done while in service and to render services now as senior citizens of our dear state in terms of advice from the experience you have garnered over the years.”
Earlier, the retired permanent secretaries  commended  Governor Diri for ensuring prompt payment of their gratuities and monthly pension.

Chairman of the Retired Permanent  Secretaries, represented by Chief B.F. Amakiri, noted that the governor’s love for retirees in the state was unsurpassed by any other governor in neighbouring  states. 
According to him, retirees in the state were not feeling the hardship that comes with retirement due to prompt payment of their benefits.

He expressed the forum’s support for the administration and appealed to the governor not to relent in his developmental initiatives.
 Chief Amakiri said: “You have done very well. We have colleagues and have been to neighbouring states but here is nothing to compare to this. At the end of every month, there is no difference between retireees and those still in service. The gratuity we receive each month, you have placed a mandate that it is first to retire, first to get paid. And this is being followed religiously to the letter.”

In their goodwill messages, the Chief Whip and Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Establishments, Mrs. Ebiowo Koku-Obiyai as well as chairman of the Bayelsa State Civil Service Commission, Dr Peter Singabele, thanked the governor for not neglecting retired workers and prayed for more resources to enable him do more for them.

Also speaking, the Head of Service, Mrs Biobelemoye Charles-Onyema,  congratulated the retireees for successfully serving the state without blemish.
She said their services were invaluable to the growth of the civil service due to the experience they garnered while serving.

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CJ Hails Diri On Bayelsa Judiciary Autonomy

Bayelsa State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, has commended Governor Douye Diri for granting the state judiciary financial autonomy.

She said this has enabled it to function optimally.
Justice Abiri stated this on Wednesday in Yenagoa during the commissioning of a renovated court premises and an adapted Lady Justice statue.

The Chief Judge, who commended Governor Diri for prompt release of funds for the judiciary to enable it meet its financial obligations, noted that in her years of service, this was the first administration that had given the judicial arm of government the free hand to manage its resources.

She said: “The commissioning of the newly renovated court premises and the Lady Justice statue was made possible by the appreciable implementation of the financial autonomy in Bayelsa State by Governor Diri.
“In my many years as the head of the judiciary, this is the first time we have been given a free hand to fully manage our resources and build to our satisfaction.”

In his response, Governor Diri said he believes the judiciary should be given financial autonomy to enable it   function effectively.

According to him, as  a democrat, he believes the only way for democracy to thrive is to ensure checks and balances and the separation of powers of the arms of government. The governor also called for more collaboration among the various arms of government to work in synergy to achieve common goals.
He  commended the judiciary for making judicious use of the funds at its disposal, which led to the completion and commissioning of the project.

His words. “I believes in the doctrine of separation of powers and, of course, checks and balances. That is the only way our developing democracy can be fostered here in Nigeria.  So, I believe that the judiciary should have its autonomy to do what we are about to commission today; autonomy to manage its resources even though we all know that the arms of government are one and the same.

“For us as a state, we cannot afford at this time to be working at cross purposes, particularly the three arms of government. This is the time that we need each other. This is the time we need to function as one so that government as one body will be able to deliver the expectations of the people of Bayelsa State.”

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Federal Agencies Seek Bayelsa Govt’s Collaboration On Uncompleted Secretariat Project

Federal Government parastatals in Bayelsa State have solicited the cooperation of the state government in order to ease their office accommodation challenge. 
Heads of the federal agencies made the request on Tuesday in Government House, Yenagoa, during a courtesy visit to Governor Douye Diri. 

The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a press release, quoted Chairman of the Association of Heads of Federal Parastatals, Mr. Obaro Ologbo, as saying that the visit was to seek the governor’s intervention towards completing the federal secretariat in the state, which he said was 80 per cent completed. 

Ologbo lamented the difficulty faced by federal parastatals, which, according to him, are struggling to pay rents.
He appealed to Governor Diri to do all within his power to see that the secretariat project was completed. 
Ologbo lauded the governor’s developmental strides since he assumed office 18 months ago and pledged that the federal parastatals in the state would continue to support his administration.
Responding, Governor Douye Diri expressed the readiness of his administration to partner federal agencies in the state.  

The governor noted that the importance of collaboration between both parties cannot be over-emphasised as it would contribute to development of the state. 
While appreciating heads of the federal parastatals for the visit, he said it would open a new vista of opportunities for both the state and the federal agencies. 

On the request for his intervention on the federal secretariat project, Diri  promised to engage the Minister of Works and Housing on their behalf, expressing the optimism that the edifice would be completed and handed over to them. 
His words: “Firstly, I appreciate the way you see yourselves as Bayelsans. Listening to you, I do not think there is any difference between you and actual Bayelsans.

“There must be a synergy between you and the state government. It would be a misnormer if it does not exist. Your coming would open a new vista of opportunities for the state and federal agencies to collaborate for progress.
“I assure you that I will take it up with the Minister of Works and Housing. We are sure the Federal Government would listen to us and ensure the federal secretariat is completed and handed over to you.

“Whenever and wherever you need our support, do not hesitate. We will support you to make sure our state is developed.”

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Gov. Diri Tasks New Bayelsa CP On Respect For Human Rights

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has urged the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Echeng Eworo Echeng, to ensure utmost respect of the fundamental rights of residents while tackling crime. 
Governor Diri gave the charge when he  received CP Echeng in his office in Government House, Yenagoa, on Thursday. 

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as describing the coming of the new commissioner as a blessing to the state given his profile and track  record of achievement. 
Stating that Bayelsa had a policy of zero-tolerance to crime and criminality, he assured the new police boss of his administration’s readiness to partner with the force to rid the state of crime. 

He tasked Echeng to among other things check the rate of kidnapping in Yenagoa and other parts of the state, stressing that the ugly trend can no longer be tolerated.
The state helmsman urged people of the state to cooperate with the police to make it safe, saying security was a collective responsibility.

His words: “We prayed to have a worthy successor to the retired CP of Bayelsa State and from my findings we are happy to have you. You have the required character to serve. Your appointment is our prayer answered and we welcome you. Be assured that you will work in an environment of conviviality and friendliness. 

“As a government, we have said it that criminality does not discriminate. Our common resolve is to ensure that Bayelsa State is free of criminality and the policy of this government is zero tolerance to crime and criminality.
“We want the citizens of this state and residents to sleep with their two eyes closed. Listening to you, clearly you are not a new comer. You have been here before and your record showed you are well experienced and have the training that the state would benefit from. I assure you that as a government we would relate and work with you at all times so that Bayelsa would be crime free.”  

Earlier, CP Echeng stated that his visit to the governor was in recognition of his office as the Chief Security Officer of the state and to seek his support. 
While stating his zero tolerance for corruption in line with the policy direction of the Inspector General of Police, he said the police would work closely with the government to make the state safe. 
During the visit, commander of the state’s special security outfit, Operation Doo-Akpo, DCP Ibrahim Bakori, was decorated with his new rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.

In a related development, Governor Diri has appealed to the Federal Government to establish an outfit to secure waterways in riverine areas to reduce criminality and accidents. 
He made the call on Thursday when the Bayelsa State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Usman Ibrahim, paid him a visit in Government House, Yenagoa.

He stated that due to the riverine terrain of the state, there was need to establish an outfit like the FRSC and give equal treatment to the waterways.
The governor expressed delight that road accidents had drastically reduced in the state, and urged the command to do more to reduce it to the barest minimum.

Diri, who lamented the dearth of federal highways in the state, tasked men of the command to provide more signages at strategic positions and also educate road users on their meaning.   
He said: “Due to the dearth of highways and the special terrain of Bayelsa State, the waterways also ought to have equal treatment with the highways. I am sure that would bring to rest the issue of kidnapping and other criminal activities. May I use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government that we need equal treatment in our waterways.
“We are happy that crashes and other forms of accidents are not very common in Bayelsa. But that may be due to what I would describe as non-existent federal highways unlike other states.”

He thanked the FRSC for expressing its readiness to extend their operations to  the road leading to the Bayelsa International Airport and said the state would synergise with the command to ensure accident-free roads. 
Earlier, Commander Usman Ibrahim revealed that there has been no fatal road accident in the state since May 2021, attributing it to the good roads existing in the state.

According to him, with commencement of flight operations at the Bayelsa airport, the command would extend its operations to the road and ensure the safety of its users.

He said a road safety advisory council had been established at the national level and appealed to the state government to replicate it.
He also requested for land to enable the command build a permanent structure in the state.

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Jubilation as First Commercial Flight Lands at Bayelsa Airport

Commercial flight operations commenced at the Bayelsa State International Airport on Wednesday with the United Nigeria Airline (UNA) aircraft touching down about 3.45pm.

The aircraft, which took off from the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 (MMA2) in Lagos exactly 3pm, had on board the state governor, Senator Douye Diri, the airline’s chairman, Chief Obiora Okonkwo, Tokyo Olympics  Silver medallist in wrestling, Bayelsa-born Blessing Oborududu, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, Ambassador Boladei Igali, members of the Bayelsa National Assembly caucus as well as the state House of Assembly members and commissioners among other dignitaries. 

A mammoth crowd of jubilant Bayelsans had thronged the airport from early in the morning in order to witness the historic event.
Addressing the crowd on arrival, Governor Diri said full commercial flight would commence in two weeks based on bookings made.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, the governor noted that commencement of commercial flight signalled economic development of the state by bringing Bayelsa to the world and the world to Bayelsa.
His words: “This significant event is the culmination of the aspirations that was birthed by late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former governor of the state, which was eventually built by Senator Seriake Dickson, my predecessor. And it is under my administration that this project was crystallised. This is a demonstration that team work truly works.

“I am happy to report to you that the pilot of the United Nigeria Airline said our runway is one of the best in Nigeria. It is our  determination to make Bayelsa truly the Glory of All Lands and we are making Bayelsa a construction site.”
Senator Diri also expressed gratitude to his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, and his team whom he said worked tirelessly to bring the project to fruition.

Speaking on behalf of the state’s national  assembly caucus, Senator Moses Cleopas representing Central Senatorial District, congratulated Governor Diri and Bayelsans for achieving the feat and lauded him for his visionary leadership.

In their separate goodwill messages, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council and Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff as well as Chief Obiora Okonkwo said with the airport in place, it would open a plethora of economic opportunities and place Bayelsa on the world map.

They urged Bayelsans, particularly the youths, to take advantage of the opportunities that the airport facility world bring to empower themselves.

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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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