The Bayelsa State Government has reiterated its commitment to the realisation of the ideals for the establishment of the BRACED Commission, the umbrella body coordinating the affairs of the South-South states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross- River, Edo and Delta.
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson stated this at a 3-day retreat of the Commission at the Le Meridian Hotel, Uyo, Capital of Akwa Ibom State.
In his address at the opening of the retreat, Governor Dickson, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Edmond Allison-Oguru, said the Bayelsa State Government will continue to promote cooperation in the region as well as ensure the integration of the South-South region in order to achieve the much-desired socio-economic development of the region.
Participants at the retreat, which include Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Directors of Planning from the various states as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations, were drawn from the South-South states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states.
BRACED, which is an acronym for the six South-South states was established to drive the process of economic cooperation and integration among the states in the region, following recommendations at the first South-South economic summit in June 2011.
The retreat which was put together to forge and promote closer economic co-operation among the South-South states of Nigeria as well as put in place a framework for strategic planning, has as its theme “Promoting Understanding and Ownership of Regional Development Process”
The first day of the retreat featured presentation of papers by eminent scholars and panel discussions on presentations made at the event.
Bayelsa State Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Deacon Markson Fefegha, Budget and Planning, Hon. Ambrose Alfred, Dr Sylvanus Abila of the Environment Ministry and their counterpart in the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Francis Ikio, were among participants at the event.