The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson has expressed optimism that, despite the state low level of internally generated revenue (IGR), his administration’s offer of 50% tax waiver for information, communication and technology-related investments will engendersocio-economic development of the state in the nearest future.
A Government House statement issued on Thursday quoted the governor as saying that, the restoration government would not hesitate to take any decision that is capable of creating the much needed enabling environment to attract investors to the state.
According to Hon Dickson, the memorandum of understanding signed between the state government, the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology and the telecommunication network providers during the recently held economic forum in Yenagoa, reaffirms his administration’s commitment towards harnessing the potentials in the information technology subsector to stimulate business investments and development.
Describing the consummation of the partnership deal as a step in the right direction, Governor Dickson maintained that, the collaboration would also raise the level of computer literacy of the people, particularly students in the state, adding that construction work on a world-class institute of information and commnications technology would soon be completed and put to use.
He said: ” Knowing the role that ICT plays we had to announce the waiver to enable them come so they can lay their fibre optic cables, make necessary investments and build the infrastructure that will enable us to be a Smart State. I said in the investment forum that, with the investments we are making, I will like people to come to Bayelsa in the next two to three years and see that Bayelsa is turning out hundreds and thousands of young people that are very competent in ICT development, because we are aspiring to be like the Silicon Valley of the United States and Bangalore in India, where young people live mainly on their IT skills.
” This is why we are also building an institute of information and communications technology and hopefully, we will be able to complete it by the end of this year and put it to use early next year. During the forum, we also signed an MoU and my team is in touch with our partners, and in no distant time, we expect them to come and make the necessary ICT infrastructural investment.
Continuing, the governor noted that ” good access to internet in the state will encourage companies to go far and set up in places, which will assist our drive to popularise computer literacy, because in the nearest future, we want a situation, where every Bayelsa child from primary to junior secondary school should acquire basic computer knowledge, which also means that even the teachers we will send to the teachers training academy that is about to commence operations will also have basic computer knowledge.”