The Federal Government has attracted a multi-billion dollar, private sector-driven fertilizer and petrochemical plant in Brass, Bayelsa.
The Bayelsa Gov. Seriake Dickson said this when he led the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, Commodore Alfred Diete-Spiff (rtd), and a team of private investors on a thank you visit to acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday.
Dickson told state House Correspondents after the visit that the project would create enormous jobs and transform the economy of the state and country and assured the investor of adequate security of the investment.
“We came to discuss issues on the Brass Fertilize Project billed to take off in Bayelsa. That is a big ticket investment running into billions of dollars.
“The government team is here, the traditional ruler is here because the project is taking place in his domain.
“We are here to assure the Federal Government that Bayelsa is safe. “We are here to assure all the investors that Bayelsa as they all know is one of the safest states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We have worked hard in the last five years I have been governor to bring that about.
“And we have assured them that the state is safe enough for investors to come in to execute this very important project for our country.’’
According to Dickson, the investment runs into billions of dollars from the investors while the state will take 10 per cent equity to boost confidence to the transaction.
The governor also thanked the federal government for its new approach to pursuing integrated development in the country based on partnership and collaboration evidenced by the fertilizer plant.
Dickson acknowledged the acting President’s dialogue, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, with the Niger Delta stakeholders, saying that a new understanding was emerging for stability, security and development in the area.
“It is when we bring big ticket investments, create jobs and we affect the economy and create other legitimate options through which young people can survive that some of the crises that we see here will be addressed.
“And this is a good way to begin to address that and that is why I am here to assure the federal government and the investors and also thank the federal government for the steps that it has taken,’’ he stated.
Dickson mentioned two policies which the federal government had announced which had excited Bayelsa.
He said that oil producing companies that did not have offices in Bayelsa were asked to locate offices in the state.
He recalled that the story of Nigeria and oil production started in Bayelsa but that it was shocking that no oil company had an office in the state.
According to him by that act the state and people were denied the economic benefits of oil production.
“There are no jobs, no employment, they don’t even pay as much tax, a number of them don’t even pay tax at all.
“The federal government has said that they should go back.
“So we expect to work with the federal government and engage with all the oil producing companies to see how they can begin to have respectable presence.
“This is to address the perception of neglect of the people, which is legitimate,’’ the governor stated.
Dickson also thanked the federal government for the policy of promoting modular refineries in the Niger Delta region.
He added that the state was talking with both the federal government and investors to ensure that all those avenues were used to create jobs.
The governor likened the fertilizer plant to other private sector-driven investments such as the NLNG investment in Bonny.
He said the NLNG was yielding a lot of revenue for the country as one of the most profitable partnerships the federal government had gone into.
“You have other big ones like the Gbarain/Obie gas plant project in Bayelsa owned by Shell; there are other ones.
“But this one is a fertilizer petrochemical company.
“And they will do a lot of skills development and skills transfer, a lot of jobs created and there will be a boon in the local economy, state economy and ultimately affect the national economy positively,’’ he added.
Dickson said the Bayelsa government would engage the oil companies to ensure that they did their businesses without inhibitions.
“The federal government has already come up with the policy and Bayelsa is very safe.
“Don’t listen to anybody who tells you that any state is unsafe. “If there is one state that is safe, if there is one state that is politically stable, one state that all the security agencies will tell you the government and community leaders, everybody is working to ensure stability and security, it is Bayelsa.
“And we have built offices, we have been working hard quietly for the past five years.
“You may not know what is going on; there is a silent revolution going on in Bayelsa.
“You have the best public schools in Bayelsa now.’’
According to the governor the public schools in Bayelsa run free education and free feeding adding that the state has wonderful health facilities.