BY Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Bayelsa State governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has identified lack of business initiative, indolence and irresponsible behaviour as factors contributing to high rate of unemployment and poverty in the state.
Dickson, in a statement in Yenagoa, decried a situation where people fail to take responsibility for their lives, but rather blame government for any misfortune that befalls them.
He said it was in realisation of “this emerging dangerous trend of begging, which is alien to the Ijaw culture,” that his administration decided to take some measures, which he noted, have started yielding positive results.
The governor said though some of the reforms were misconstrued and are being implemented at great political cost, he will not be deterred as they were intended to build a better Bayelsa.
On efforts aimed at diversifying the local economy from the oil and gas sector, the governor said that his administration released about N10 billion as a take-off grant to the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation, BDIC, which has since begun operation.
According to him, through effective collaboration, the corporation currently has a total asset base of about N200 billion.
Lamenting what he described as lack of enterprising spirit and high dependency rate on government, Dickson said that the state’s Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Trust Fund, which he initiated with an initial donation of N250 million had grown to about N15 billion with private sector participation.
He said: “We have already attracted responsible senior corporate citizens to donate about N15 billion into the SME development fund. This is not free cash for anybody and it will not even be in the hands of government. First Bank Plc has already pledged N10 billion and other banks will follow and they will make about N20 billion available.”