Author: John Yibowei

NDU STRIKE: Govt, ASUU sign MOU to end 4-month old strike

Following a meeting and the formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, between the Bayelsa State Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Niger Delta University chapter, the lecturers have agreed to suspend their 4 month old strike.
Addressing newsmen shortly after a joint meeting of ASUU and officials of the State Government at the House of Assembly Complex in Yenagoa, the Chairman of ASUU, NDU Chapter, Dr. Stanley Ogoun and the State Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite, both expressed satisfaction with the contents of the MOU, assuring that, they will ensure strict compliance with the various provisions of the document, as it affects them.
The ASUU Chairman, who commended the State Government’s mediating team headed by Dr. Seiyifa Koroye, pointed out that, part of the agreement it reached with the State Government is to improve on the infrastructure and other facilities needed to properly position the University for optimum result and recognition in the comity of Universities.
Dr. Ogoun, who commended the present administration repositioning the institution, however, blamed the state of affairs in the university on successive administrations of the State, stressing that, little or nothing was done to improve the infrastructure and basic needs of the university over the years.

PDP on self discovery, victory in 2019, says Dickson

Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Monday described the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), as a necessary phase of self-discovery.
According to him, the crisis would reposition the party for victory, in the subsequent general elections in the country.

Governor Henry  Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Monday described the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), as a necessary phase of self-discovery.

According to him, the crisis would reposition the party for victory, in the subsequent general elections in the country.

Governor Dickson stated this in an interview with journalists, shortly after conducting the Ondo State 2016 Gubernatorial Primary Election in which Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) emerged as the flag bearer of the PDP.

The Governor said that, although, what is happening in the PDP is not ideal, expressing hope that, the party would come out of the crisis stronger and united to re-invent a more prosperous Nigeria.

While commending the flag bearer and his co-contestant, Hon. Sakar Lawal for their show of maturity and love for the party, he urged Nigerians and PDP faithful not to despair in the face of the ongoing crisis, stressing that, the party has what it takes to get over it and provide a credible alternative in solving the socio-economic problems of the country.

The Governor, who is the chairman of the Electoral Committee also lauded the delegates and leaders of the party in the state, particularly Governor Olusegun Mimiko for providing purposeful leadership for the state and the party.

He said, “The PDP is going through an unfortunate phase. But as some say, it is an unnecessary phase of self-discovery and it is the first time the PDP has found itself in opposition. And now, without the centre, we are grappling to re-discover ourselves.

‘’The various players and party generally are adjusting ourselves to our new role as a party in opposition. Let me therefore, use this opportunity to call on Nigerians and party faithful not to lose hope even though what is going on is not ideal. But we hope to get over it and then give Nigerians what they are yearning for; and that is to provide a credible alternative for a new Nigeria.’’

Also speaking, the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jumoke Akindele, commended the Governor Dickson-led electoral panel for conducting what they described as the most transparent and freest primary election in the annals of the party in recent times.

He particularly appreciated Governor Dickson for bringing his integrity to bear on the conduct of the primaries, noting that, the transparent and fair manner it held speaks volumes of the seriousness with which the PDP is addressing its challenges, with a view to recapturing power at the centre in 2019.

Making reference to his achievements in the state in the last 7 years, Dr. Mimiko expressed optimism that, the PDP would win the Ondo State Governorship polls slated for November, this year convincingly.

In their separate speeches, the PDP standard bearer, Barr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) and his co-contestant Hon. Saka, Lawal, who polled 22 votes out of a total of 782 accredited voters, promised to close ranks and work for the victory of the party in the forthcoming election.

Bayelsa CJ’s son: Dickson mourns, demands probe of death

Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has expressed deep shock over the untimely death of Mr. Wariebi Abiri, son of Hon. Justice Kate Abiri, the Chief Judge of the State.
A statement issued on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said Dickson, made the lamentation after paying a condolence visit to the Chief Judge at her residence in Yenagoa.
A graduate of law and a student of the Nigerian Law School, Abuja, late Abiri reportedly died in a swimming pool last Friday night in the Federal capital.
The governor noted with regret, the circumstances under in which, the life of the young Wariebi Abiri was cut short.
According to him, the State government will collaborate with the Police and other relevant agencies, to unravel the real cause of his death.
He described the deceased as a focused and promising young man, who was clearly preparing to make a wonderful career in the law profession, adding that his demise remains a painful loss to the Abiri family and the State in general.
While urging the family to see what has happened as the will of God, Dickson prayed God to strengthen them and grant the grace and fortitude to bear the loss.

“As a Government, be rest assured that, we will stand with you shoulder to shoulder in this very, very challenging period, especially in working with the Police and other relevant agencies of the Government to unearth the real cause of his death”, he stated.

Bayelsa Geographic Information Systems Board Tasked on wealth creation through land titles Work in unity in all critical areas – Gov Dickson charges board

A nine-member board of the Bayelsa State Geographic and Information Systems, (BYGIS) has been inaugurated, with a mandate to formulate policies targeted at effectively managing all land related information, with a view to creating wealth and promotion of enterprise.

Performing the ceremony in Government House, Yenagoa on Friday, Governor Seriake Dickson described the agency as the brainchild of his administration conceived during the first tenure.

According to him, the establishment of BYGIS is part of the overall strategy in creating wealth and encouraging entrepreneurship and development in the state, in line with global practices to place value on landed properties.

Governor Dickson expressed the government’s expectation for the board and its management to work in unity on all critical issues, pointing out that, the Commissioner for Lands and Survey would play a supervisory role.

He also urged landowners to approach the Ministry of Lands and Survey as well as the BYGIS to process their Certificates of Occupancy, assuring that, within a time frame of 60 days such documents would be signed. 

His words: “What has happened in most developed societies, including ours is that, we have not been able to put a value on them to enable those, who own landed property trade with title and I wanted to deal with that.  The establishment of BYGIS is part of the overall strategy in creating wealth and encouraging entrepreneurship and development in our state.

 “When we got elected, we made that a cardinal programme of our government in the first term. In the first two years, we were able to initiate and develop the first and computerized Certificate of Occupancy system in Bayelsa State. And that is a product of the restoration revolution and that is up and running. Now, i have cause to inaugurate a board. Most of the members who are here also served on that board and they did well.

 “With the management that is ably under the control of Surveyor Assembly Goin and his team, they were able to re-negotiate the earlier contracts, re-organize the establishment and for sometime, the BYGIS has been functioning and producing C of Os regularly for me to sign.

 “And let me announce to you and to the whole state that, every morning when i come to the office, one of the first things i do is to look at the C of Os file and append my signature to the C of Os that have been processed and brought to me for signature. And you will recall that in the last couple of weeks, announcements have been to that effect. I want to call on all of you who intend to process your C of Os, know that they are being signed. I waste no time in signing them.”

Chief Alex Ekiotene is Chairman of the BYGIS Board, Chief Maclean Aduba is to serve as Vice Chairman, while the secretary is Surveyor Assembly Goin, who is expected to continue to serve Manager and Director.

Other members are, Hon. Nein Ebiakpo, former Assembly member, Chief Andy Godwin Toboro, Amanaowei of Ekowe, Chief Simeon Mathias, Paramount ruler of Ovom, Aboye Ebinimi Odibikuma, Retired Group Capt. John Yekoragha and Mr. Bright Yougha, former permanent secretary.

Responding Chairman of the BYGIS board, Chief Alex Ekiotene thanked Governor Dickson for the confidence reposed in the members of the agency and assured the government that, they would work towards achieving the task assigned them.

/ In Revenue and Economy / By John Yibowei / Comments Off on Bayelsa Geographic Information Systems Board Tasked on wealth creation through land titles Work in unity in all critical areas – Gov Dickson charges board

You are here Accreditation: We’re satisfied with Bayelsa College – NCCE …Dickson restates committed to completing ongoing projects

The National Commission for Colleges of Education has commended the Bayelsa State Government for putting in place quality facilities to enhance teaching and learning at the Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education, Sagbama in Sagbama Local Council Area of the state.

The National Commission for Colleges of Education has commended the Bayelsa State Government for putting in place quality facilities to enhance teaching and learning at the Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education, Sagbama in Sagbama Local Council Area of the state.

The acting Director of NCCE, Mr Vitalis Uji, gave the commendation on Thursday, during a courtesy call on Governor Henry Seriaki Dickson in Yenagoa.

According to him, although the College has its share of teething problems, most of the facilities already on the ground; such as the Art Theatre, were of high standard that would stand the test of time.

He said, “We want to commend you for the effort you have made. That is a new site, but what we have seen there is really commendable. The Art Theatre we have seen in that Campus, I must say, we have never seen in any other place. Not even in Colleges of Education owned by the Federal Government. So, we want to commend you for that.”

Justifying the inspection tour, he said the provisional approval that enabled the College to take off was based on an earlier verification exercise carried out on available facilities at the former site of the institution at Okpoama in Brass Local Government Area, pointing out that, the Commission cannot transfer the approval on the basis of what it verified on that campus.

Uji, who promised to furnish the Governor of the full report of the tour, however, called on the state government to provide perimeter fencing, practical workshops, a standard library, clinic and adequate academic as well as non-teaching staff for the college.

In his response, Dickson assured the NCCE delegation of his administration’s commitment to completing most of the ongoing projects at the institution, before the next inspection visit in spite of shortfalls in revenues accruing to the state.

He said education occupies a pride of place in the agenda of the present administration, stressing that, the government was not only determined to making proper investments in the state-owned tertiary institutions, but reposition them to attract students and the best manpower from within and outside the state.

Dickson, who explained that, the Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education was relocated to Sagbama in the best interest of the state, especially in the area of easy accessibility, thanked the team for their objective assessment of the institution.

He said, “We take education very seriously and we are also very ambitious in terms of putting our state forward in that sector. But, as you are aware, just like what is happening at the Federal and most other states, we have a lot of funding constraints.

“But that has not stopped and will not stop us from being ambitious. We are aware that, that college and all other tertiary institutions need more capital injection. The commitment I make today, on behalf of the government is that, we are going to look for all ways of providing adequate funding for that College, at least to complete most of the ambitious projects we have already embarked upon. As the government intends the College one of the best in the country.”

/ In Education / By John Yibowei / Comments Off on You are here Accreditation: We’re satisfied with Bayelsa College – NCCE …Dickson restates committed to completing ongoing projects

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson on Friday signed a bill known as the Revenue Court Bill into law, as part of efforts to boost its current tax drive.

Performing the ceremony in his office in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Dickson expressed optimism that, the passage and eventual signing of the bill has provided the much needed legal framework for the state government to shore up its revenues using legitimate means.

The Governor, who lamented that revenues accruing to the state have dropped almost by a quarter, underscored the need for the government to embark on an aggressive tax drive to strengthen its internally generated revenue base.

He said the legislation, which gives legal backing to the creation of a revenue court to adjudicate over tax related issues, would not only help to check the problem of tax evasion, but improve the IGR profile of the state to enable the government meet its development and welfare obligations to the people.

Governor Dickson, however, urged all taxable adults and corporate organizations, particularly multinational oil companies operating in the state to be alive to their tax obligations, as his administration would not hesitate to enforce extant laws to punish defaulters.

His words: “These are times that all citizens of our state, and all corporate organizations must fulfill their obligations to the state. From now on, with the signing of this bill, our tax drive will have an added impetus. Let me, therefore, use this opportunity again to call on the citizens of this state and all individuals in all our communities, especially those, who carry out economic activities in our capital to comply with the payment of their taxes for the good of the state.

“This call also goes to companies doing one form of business or the other, particularly the oil multinational firms operating in this state for several years and up till today, do not pay their commensurate tax liabilities. I like to inform them that the game has changed. With what the House of Assembly has done by passing this bill, and with the signing of it into law, we now have a new tax regime, where we have created a revenue court that will adjudicate over issues of tax liabilities for persons and companies.”

Presenting the bill for assent, Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Konbowei Benson said the bill was passed after subjecting it to a public hearing, where several non-governmental organizations made inputs.

According to the Speaker, the House gave the bill the attention it deserves, adding that, if properly implemented, the law will contribute immensely to increase revenues of the state.

/ In Revenue and Economy / By John Yibowei / Comments Off on Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson on Friday signed a bill known as the Revenue Court Bill into law, as part of efforts to boost its current tax drive.

Tertiary educations: Bayelsa formulates policies to reduce dependence on govt funding

The Bayelsa State Government said it would formulate a comprehensive policy that would guide the management of all its tertiary institutions and the government parastatals towards making them less dependent on government funding.

To this end, the government is to constitute sub-committees to study and streamline the various policies that would be generated, based on the report presented by the Committee on the Management and Funding of Tertiary Education and Government Parastatals.

Governor Henry Seriake Dickson stated this over the weekend in Government House, Yenagoa while receiving the report of the Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd).

The Governor said the State Executive Council would also analyze the report thoroughly and fashion out relevant policies that would guide the operations of all tertiary institutions and government agencies in the state.

Governor Dickson, who stressed the need to reposition such educational facilities and the government parastatals by making them self-sustaining, pointed out that, the measure had become imperative, in view of the dwindling finances of the state, occasioned by the national economic downturn.

He, however, assured that, the government would support all tertiary institutions in the state, including the Niger Delta University, Amassoma as it is the only public tertiary institution in Bayelsa.

Applauding the efforts of members of the committee for doing a thorough job, Governor Dickson said the government would implement the findings and recommendations contained in the report and directed the committee to make a copy of the report available to the State House of Assembly.

Presenting the report, Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), who is also the Chairman of the Committee on the Management and Funding of Tertiary Education and Government Parastatals, said the committee was divided into two groups, with one looking at the tertiary institutions headed by the Secretary to the State Government, while the Head of Service chaired that of the government agencies.

He explained that an 11 point terms of reference was established for the tertiary institutions, which include, identification of all sources of revenue to the tertiary institutions, review and examine the financial state of the government owned tertiary institutions, staff and students’ strength as well as how the finances were managed.

The Deputy Governor who said, 7 tertiary institutions in the state were examined, also highlighted some of the major findings of the committee to include, challenges in accreditation, least student population, over-bloated non-academic staff and infrastructure deficit as compared to other tertiary institutions in the country.

He also recounted the findings on some government agencies to include, poor management structure, lack of due process in the employment of staff and wholly dependent on the government for salaries and expenses.

Some of the parastatals examined were, the Bayelsa Transport Company Ltd, Bayelsa State Broadcasting Corporation, Niger Delta Television, Bayelsa State Newspaper Corporation and Bayelsa Housing and Property Development Authority.

Economic Diversification: Bayelsa concessions palm estate, partners CBN on rice farming

The Bayelsa State Government says, it has concluded plans to commercialize the state-owned palm estate at Elebele to generate N150 million, as a part its drive to diversify the economy of the State as well as boost the internally generated revenue profile.
In a joint press briefing by the commissioners of Information, Education and Agriculture, after the 63rd State Executive Council Meeting at Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Yenagoa, explained that, the Bayelsa Palm Estate has been concessioned to the Manufacturing and Marketing Company of Nigeria Limited (MAMCON), after a moratorium of six months with a concession fee of N150m for ten years.
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Doodei Week, who spoke on the decisions reached at the meeting on the diversification the sector, noted that, the government has also decided to partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the funding of aqua-culture projects like the 4,000 hectare rice farm at Isampou in the Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
Other projects include, the Epie fish farm to be replicated in all the local government areas of the state and a central fish processing centre for both local and internal markets.
He further explained that, a plantain and Banana plantation will soon start, with an approval of 1000 hectare land to be acquired for the purpose.
“In the commercialisation agreement, there will be a concession fee of N150 payable to the Bayelsa State government after a six-month moratorium.  MAMCON agreed with the government to invest and revitalise the existing palm estate, to put in more infrastructure”.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Education, Deacon Markson Fefegha disclosed that, the state government has sent a bill; known as the ‘Bayelsa Higher Education Loan Financing scheme’ to the House of Assembly for passage into law.
According to Deacon Fefegha the purpose of the bill is to enable Bayelsans within Nigeria and abroad have access to a revolving loan that will be interest free, to further their higher educational careers and refund same, when ever they get employed.
The education commissioner also expressed deep concern over the current industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union, Niger Delta University chapter, calling on well meaning Bayelsans and other stakeholders to prevail on the striking lecturers to call off the strike, for the sake of the future of the students and the entire State.
“The development of the state depends on the development of the human capital, through education.  The Government wants to take care of the needs of students not only through scholarship and bursary.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite explained that, the higher education revolving loan is for both under graduate and post graduate students of Bayelsa origin

Crime-free environment: Dickson backs Police efforts

Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson has assured the Nigeria Police, Bayelsa State Command of Government’s full support in the command’s efforts to fight crime and criminality to ensure a crime free environment for all residents of the State.
Hon. Dickson gave the assurance, when the top brass of the Nigeria Police Command in the State, led by the Commissioner of Police, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Yenagoa.
 While tasking the Police to flush out criminals in the state, Governor Dickson also urged officers and men of the force to be impartial in the discharge of their official and lawful duties.
 Governor Seriake Dickson, who noted that the level of crime has reduced in the state, however, observed with serious concern, the security challenges in the maritime sector, stressing that, the force should also fight pipeline vandalism, illegal bunkering and cultism.
 “My government does not play politics with crime and criminality.
The Government will give its support to the police to fight crime.  Let me warn those who reside outside the state sponsoring and fermenting crime to feather their nest, that government will not condone such acts. 
“Government takes very seriously the importance of keeping Bayelsa safe from all forms of crime as nobody will be allowed to disturb the peace by carrying arms to terrorize any part of the state”
Stating his purpose of visit, CP Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi solicited the state government’s support in the provision of a shooting range for the Command and a befitting building for the state police command headquarters.
 CP Adeyemi also disclosed that, the Command has also inaugurated an eminent persons forum to boost the relationship between the police and the members of the public to enhance the fight against crime.
 The State Police Commissioner further stated that, the command will create a strike force whose duty will be to nip-in-the-bud, acts of militancy, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the state.
 CP Adeyemi, noted with satisfaction, the state government’s assistance in the repairs of two gunboats, that would boost the fight against oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism in the creeks, pointing out that, the vision of the command is to cut short the crime rate in the State.

Nembe Killings: Dickson vows to hunt down killers

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Tuesday said his administration would work with security operatives to smoke out the killers of the three soldiers in Nembe from their hideout and bring them to justice.

 Governor Dickson made the vow during a live radio interview in Yenagoa, stressing that, the government would not condone a situation whereby “the state would be used as a launching pad for violence and criminal activities.”

 Condemning the incident in Nembe, he said the government would convene a meeting with the traditional ruler, local government council chairman and other major stakeholders in Nembe to deliberate on security issues in the area.

 He also urged traditional rulers to identify more with their people and liaise with security agencies, towards curbing security challenges in their domains, pointing out that, the government was collaborating with security operatives to unravel those responsible for the attack on the military personnel.

 His words: “Our duty is to work with the security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators do not rest and are followed up and hunted down. They must face justice. Maybe, from this incident we will also get a clue as to what happened last year and also some of the breaches of security in that part of our state.

 “We condemn the incident in Nembe. The military high command understands that, this was an isolated murder and has nothing to do with the peace-loving people of Ogbolomabiri, Nembe, in te Nembe local government area. I want to thank the military commander on the ground for that understanding.

 “As soon as the incident occurred, I asked the deputy governor of the state, who incidentally is from the area, to proceed and his visit gave us further insight and proved to be very helpful in dousing tension and apprehension. The Commander of Operation Delta Safe was physically on the ground and I want to thank him and all the various officers for the steps they took to reassure the law-abiding people of the area concerned.” 

 “As a government, we have ignited our systems; our community information dissemination systems and the security agencies are all working together to unravel the true identity of the person or persons who carried out the dastardly act so that we can bring them to justice.”     

 “I will be summoning the traditional ruler of the area and the chairman of the council and after that, I hope to have a meeting with critical players in the area to discuss the security development in that area.”

 Governor Dickson, who assured that Bayelsa remains one of the most peaceful states in the country in spite of militant issues in the Niger Delta, pointed out that Nembe area had nothing to do with the killings as it was an isolated incident.