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by: saint mienpamo 29/07/2012
The South Africa Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria,
Mr. Geoffrey Mulaudzi has enjoined Bayelsans to explore the opportunities on offer in the bilateral relationship between the state and South Africa to better their lot and boost the economy of the State. Mulaudzi stated this while responding to presentations
made by representatives of the business community and other stakeholders at a business meeting held with the South African first lady Mrs Nompulelemo Ntuli-Zuma and the state Government at the Gloryland Castle, Government House, Yenagoa.

According to him, for Bayelsa State to realise its enormous potentials and become a major economy, the people must cultivate the right attitude of promoting themselves as a state.

The South African envoy commended the Bayelsa State
Government for initiating the partnership and its commitment adding that his country was committed to the partnership due to the abundant potentials of the state.
Mulauzi noted that eco-tourism, which is a one key component of the proposed partnership, is the fastest growing sector in the world and would be a major source of income to the state.

He declared that the South African Embassy will compile and send a detailed proposal on areas of co-operation to the State Government
within the next two weeks.

The Deputy High Commissioner equally announced that they would partner with the Yenagoa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture on its proposed trade exhibition coming up in the state in October this year. Earlier in a presentation, the Director-General Yenagoa Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, YECCIMA, Mr Warmate Idikio Jones called on South Africa and Bayelsa State to further the synergy created by local businessmen in the state to give them a sense of belonging.

The DG pointed out that, any investments made in the
State will be viable as the state was blessed with rich resources in virtually all sub-sectors of the economy.

Disclosing that the Chambers had established a rapport
with countries with growing economies such as Indonesia and Malaysia, Jones called for regular visits of South African businessmen to the State noting that it will open more doors for the private sectors.

He said plans are underway for the Chambers to stage a trade exhibition in the state and called for South African Investors to be part of the exhibition. Making presentations also, the president of National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills in the Niger Delta,Dr Inemo Samiama appealed to the State Government to preserve forest and stop illegal logging activities as another way to boosting tourism.

Also contributing the chairman of Bayelsa Non-Governmental forum (BANGOF), Mr. Godson Jim- Dorgu solicited the support of
South Africa on the train youths involved in illegal refining activities in the state and re-integrate them back to society. According to him, the youths need training to harness their potentials which are presently under utilised.

The forum of Collective Ideas for Development (FOCID)
represented by Mr Ibinabo Warmate noted that the entertainment industry is one key area the state could explore to generate revenue.

He therefore called on the State Government to include
it in the bilateral partnership. In another presentation, Federation of Tourism Association Practitioners of Nigeria represented by Hon. Stephen Diver, said the terrain of the state calls for its canalization as a way of beautifying the environment and boosting tourism.
Diver noted that the Association will offer assistance to the State Government on management of its Hotels and Resorts.

In his contribution, a Special Adviser to the Governor, Chief Rufus Abadi called on South Africa to partner with the State on the
establishment of Glass, Timber and spare parts Industries while also calling for the manufacturing of local gin, Palm wine distilleries and establishment of, wildlife parks and zoo amongst others.



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