“All along our philosophy in terms of broadening the base of our economy and achieving diversification has been simply to take Bayelsa to the world and bring the world to Bayelsa and that I think is what is happening. This is an opportunity for the world and investors to see the opportunities that are bound in Bayelsa, which is happening,” Governor of Bayelsa, Seriake Dickson told CNBC Africa.
There is said to be an abundance of natural resources in the state as it offers a variety of investment opportunities in nine economic sectors.
“Here you have a conducive investing atmosphere. Bayelsa is one of the safest places you can live and do business. We are building institutions, we have legal systems, strong institutions we are developing and building to be able to guaranty and secure any investment,” added Dickson.
“We have comparative advantage in agriculture, energy, power and a lot of different areas like tourism and housing. This is actually a growing field, a virgin land waiting to be be explored and this is probably Nigeria’s best kept secret.”
Bayelsa state is an oil rich state which has given it a good investment advantage in that area. The state had a significant role to the economy of the nation by being the producer of up to 40 per cent of Nigeria’s crude exports.
“Taking advantage of our very significant oil and gas potentials has you know this state has gas more than any other state and also has 40 per cent of the oil deposits in our country.”
According to Dickson, Bayelsa is a significant player and the state wants to capitalise on that advantage to use gas to generate power and be number one in power generation and then also take advantage of the region’s entire value chain.
“Beyond oil and gas we have major plans in which our diversification plans rest. Agriculture is a major one because before the discovery of oil and gas we were known as the ‘oil rivers protectorate’. We still have palm oil in abundance and there are nations whose economy runs purely on palm products. We want to be there, we want to be number one in palm production, rice production. We have facilities that have been certified to have the capacity to produce rice to feed the entire Nigeria and West Africa.”