By Soni Daniel, Emma Ujah & Emma Ovuakporie
Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, yesterday, said he stopped the monthly payment of N250 million to militants on assumption of office to challenge the beneficiaries to work and earn a decent living and create equal opportunities for natives of the state to benefit from its resources.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Dickson said he had to put an end to the illicit practice because he knew that it could not be sustained and that the beneficiaries were not entitled to such largesse.
He added that he had created an enabling environment for all to excel and achieve their set goals and would continue to explore ways and means of catering for the majority of the people.
According to him, the insecurity that was once the hallmark of the state was due largely to inadequate investment in human capital by past administrations, which bred “a teeming youth population without adequate education to earn a living in an economy requiring skills and knowledge.”
He added that some people who engaged in kidnapping were doing so purely out of criminality and that his administration had decided to be firm in its decision to stamp out all forms of criminality in the state.
The governor said it was in a determined bid to stamp out criminality and give hope to the people that his administration had decided to pay unprecedented attention to education and agriculture as a means of preparing the state for the post-oil era.
He said that his administration had commenced a massive investment in education with the award of various categories of scholarships from secondary school to doctorate level, revealing that the state had so far expended over N3.1 billion on the scheme.
No fewer than 789 indigenes of the state studying in 20 countries around the globe have benefitted from the programme with an unprecedented 137 PhD scholars pursuing their dreams in various universities in and outside Nigeria.