GOV. DICKSON COMMENDS BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION FOR DEEPENING BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN BOTH COUNTRIES, WANTS SUPPORT FROM DEV PARTNERS


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16/05/2013
GOV. DICKSON COMMENDS BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION FOR DEEPENING BILATERAL
RELATIONS BETWEEN BOTH COUNTRIES, WANTS SUPPORT FROM DEV PARTNERS

Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has commended the British
High Commission in the country for deepening bilateral relationships
between Nigeria and Britain.

Governor Dickson made the commendation when he received the Political
Counselor, British High Commission, Abuja, Mr. Hooman Nouruzi at
Government House, Yenagoa.

He recalled the various developmental programmes initiated by the
British Government, geared towards enhancing economic and political
stability in the country.
The Bayelsa State Chief Executive renewed his call on the British
Authorities and other developmental partners to support the state
towards the realization of its enormous potentials in all sub-sectors
of the economy.

According to him, the state has made tremendous progress since the
present administration came on board, especially the massive
investments in the education sub-sector as well as security as a
deliberate policy to make the state safe for local and foreign
investors as well as boost its tourism potentials among others.

“Here, the government is trying to make a difference. We have been
funding education in an ambitious way and investing in security. The
state is now enjoying relative peace and we are hereby calling on our
visitors and other partners to come in and invest.”

While admitting some few challenges, that were not peculiar to Bayelsa
State, Hon. Dickson stated that the partnership with the various
British agencies will go a long way in stemming the tide of
environmental degradation which have impacted negatively on the
ecosystem of the state mainly due to the activities of militants which
have snowballed into pipeline vandalisation and illegal oil
refineries.

“We want the environment to be salvaged from degradation due to oil
and gas activities. It is one area of partnership we desire because of
its effect on climate change and pollution,” he stressed.

The Governor said his administration’s zeal to boost the State’s
economy beyond oil and gas led to the establishment of the Bayelsa
Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC), which is expected to
among others, attract local and foreign investments to the state.

Disclosing that the state government has just opened the BDIC regional
office in Johannesburg, South Africa, Hon. Dickson said similar visits
will be undertaken to London where the BDIC International headquarters
will be opened.

To this end, the State Chief Executive pointed out that the presence
of the BDIC office in London will create confidence in the minds of
investors as well as help dispel the negative opinion being bandied in
the media concerning security issues in the state.

Earlier, the Political Counselor of the British High Commission, Mr.
Hooman Nouruzi said the visit was to explore the political and
security issues facing the state and the Niger Delta region with a
view to developing a partnership between the state government and the
United Kingdom Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP).

Expressing his willingness to enhance the partnership, Mr. Nouruzi
said the visit was also to demonstrate his confidence in the state
Government and other parts of the Niger Delta.

Also speaking, the Senior Conflict Adviser and Development Secretary,
Department for International Development, British High Commission, Mr.
Marcus Lenzen and Deputy Programme Manager, NSRP British Council, Dr.
Ukoha Ukiwo, in their separate remarks said the partnership will focus
more on issues of security for the people to benefit as well as ensure
that violence do not return to the Niger Delta region.

According to them, the NSRP initiative is intended to support the
Nigerian institution at both the state and federal levels in four key
areas namely in coordinating relationship between security agencies,
youth empowerment programme, promoting women in politics and reduce
women related crimes and policy advice on government.

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