Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri says the focus of his administration is to open up the riverine state through roads to the rural communities.
The Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah made this known on a Yenagoa-based radio station, said Bayelsa was not in competition with any other state, which has different their peculiar needs and priorities.
He said one of the major challenges of the state is its riverine nature, which restricts access to rural communities by road as well as hinder agricultural produce from reaching markets in the state capital and other cities.
According to him, Governor Douye Diri led administration is spending its thirteen percent derivation funds and other refunds by the federal government on construction of the three senatorial road projects and other projects, including the forty-two kilometer Sagbama-Ekeremor road, which costs 34.4 billion naira with seven bridges and five already done by his administration.
Others are the 22 point kilometer Yenagoa-Oporoma road will gulp 31 billion naira and the 21 kilometer Igbogene-Elebele road expected to gulp 54.56 billion naira.
The rest include the 4.5 kilometer Igbedi road, the media complex, Elebele Bridge, Nembe Unity Bridge, phase 1 of the Igbogene-Elebele ring road, lecture halls and laboratories at Bayelsa Medical University, which have been completed and inaugurated during the administration’s second anniversary in February.
Mr. Alabrah said the present administration has equally carried out training and empowerment programmes such as ICT-focused Diri Digital Entrepreneurship Empowerment Programme (DDEEP) with 8,000 beneficiaries across the 8 local government areas of the state and training in other vocational areas such as catering, fashion designing, shoe making and agriculture.
He noted that no fewer than 500 youths and women have been trained at the CSS Integrated Farms in Nasarawa State, with government setting up those trained to own their farms and small-scale businesses.
In addition, the CPS said the administration initiated a social welfare scheme that captures small business in the rural communities, where 210 beneficiaries from each of the 105 wards in the state get 200,000 naira each monthly to grow their small businesses.
While acknowledging that the state has received the crude oil, SURE-P and oil subsidy refunds from the federal government in installments in the last two years, Mr. Alabrah said the receipts has been captured in the monthly transparency briefings.
He said the insinuations in some quarters that the government did not disclose the receipt of the funds is false and urged the people to pay attention to the transparency briefings which can always be confirmed.
The CPS stressed that the statutory allocations to Bayelsa and its internally generated revenue were not more than three billion naira monthly, noting that the derivation funds made the state embark on the projects as well as pay workers salary regularly.
He assured that Governor Diri’s administration was determined to make a positive difference in the lives of people of the state.