Against the backdrop of security challenges confronting the country, Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has underscored the need not to allow acts of terrorism re-define the country’s values.
Governor Dickson made the remark when the Consul General of the United States Consulate in Lagos, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
Commenting on the travel advisory being issued by some Western embassies for their nationals not to visit parts of the country, the Governor observed that in spite of the development multinational oil companies still operate in Nigeria.
According to Governor Dickson, there is a lot of stereotype and negative reportage of issues concerning the country, particularly the Niger Delta region to scuttle the developmental efforts at both the state and federal Governments.
“There is a lot of stereotype and negative reportage of out there of issues of safety that are of genuine concern to you and us. You have your nationals working and doing business and making money for their shareholders in this state and other similar places.
So the truth is that we all must not give up to terrorism because if we say people should not visit areas that we consider to be unsafe, and they don’t come, I consider that to be surrendering to terror, which is one thing we don’t want to do. We have to confront terrorism; we should not allow it to re-define our values and we want to live our lives and what we want to do for our people”
He therefore requested the United States government to reconsider its stance on the travel advisory, noting that his administration was sparing no effort in creating a congenial business climate for investors in Bayelsa State.
Hon. Dickson explained that one of such efforts was the establishment of the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) with its African regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“Bayelsa is safe and ready for business. At the business level, we have established the BDIC which African regional office I went to open last week in Johannesburg. We intend to do similar things in other critical economies of the world because we want to be on ground to be able to tell our own story. The truth is that we cannot move our economy or attract investment to create wealth and develop skills that will turn around the economy and break the vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and un-employability.”
As part of efforts to make a difference in the lives of Bayelsans, he said the present administration is taking pragmatic steps to promote good governance, develop manpower and improve security.
Earlier, the Consul-General of the United States Consulate in Lagos,Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins said he was in the state to find out the state government’s vision on governance, especially in the area of security in the Niger Delta area and the country as a whole.
He noted that his country was particularly interested in what the future holds for the Niger Delta, adding that 2015 elections though far away has greatly impacted on the security of the country.No tags for this post.