Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, has inaugurated a 22 member Bayelsa Business Council (BBC) to formulate policies aimed at attracting local and foreign investors to the state and to shore up her revenue base.
Members of the council are: Chief Ephraim Faloughi (Chairman); Mr Harcourt Aduke (Deputy Chairman), Ambassador Godknows Igali (Vice Chairman, public sector), Gesiye Asamowei (Vice Chairman, private sector), Mr Tam Alazigha (secretary), Idikio Warmate (Assistant Secretary).
Others are Ken Etete, Mrs Ebi Fumudor, Dr Eruani, Prof. Steve Azaiki, Mr Didi Ndiomu, Mr Guy Murray Bruce, Mr Elvis Donkemizuo, Mr Moses Siasia, Mr Joe Penewou, Chief Fumudoh, Chief Timi Alaibe, Mr Denzel Kentebe, Mrs. Funkazi Koroye Crooks, Ms. Patience Abbah, King A.J.K.Turner and Dr Daru Owei.
Dickson said the council had as part of its responsibilities the laying of solid economic foundation and formulation of economic policy that will be private sector driven.
He said the mentality of total dependence on the government had to change and the only way to achieve this is to formulate economic policy that will have direct impact on the people.
According to him, the present administration carefully selected this set of our leaders to lay foundation for a private sector driven development of the economy of our state.
Dickson said: “The state heavily relies on government and her resources, this mentality has to change. Our state is a land of opportunities, our state has potentials to grow its economy.
“In order to change the age long mentality of our people and reposition the economy of the state and make it private sector driven, we need our business leaders who have done well in their private businesses to come together to explore and exploit the abundance business opportunities in the state.
“We need your inputs, your professional advice on how to change our story, We expect you to organise Bayelsa in such a way that her story will be told everywhere as a place that is investment friendly, a place that is ready for investment and as a place that understand the roles of a private sector.”
Governor Dickson assured the council of his administration’s support, especially in the provision of an enabling environment to enable it function at optimal level.
He said the present administration has invested a lot in all the sectors of the economy, especially in security, education, Health, human and capacity building to mention but few.
“We have made a lot of investment in security such that our state by all rating has been adjudged rated as one of the most peaceful states in the region. If we create peaceful environment, then next thing is to see how businesses can be developed and grow. How we can attract people from all sectors to come and live here and do business”, Dickson emphasised.
The governor also called on the people in the region to embrace peace and work together for the economic development of the region.
According to him, the region is fast losing businesses, while our businesses are closing down, other areas are smiling to the banks. We need to work for peace and create peace in our states.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Kemela Okara (Esq), said the inauguration of the council would attract investment to the state and encourage young entrepreneurs.
Faloughi thanked the governor for giving them the opportunity to serve and reposition the state’s economy.