…As first seaplane lands in Bayelsa
By Anthony Ogbonna
The Bayelsa state government, Wednesday, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bristow Helicopters for seaplane transportation in the state.
The initiative saw the first seaplane with registration number 5N-BIW land in the Oxbow lake in Bayelsa state.
During the signing of the MOU at the newly inaugurated Grand Pavilion and Boat Club, Oxbow Lake, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state Governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson, noted that the seaplane transportation will provide affordable and quality services to the people of the state as well as to those outside the state.
He said his government commenced seaplane transport to ease transportation for commuters both within and outside the state.
He said, with the transport initiative, Bayelsans would have no need going to other states to board flights to the state or when leaving the state.
The Governor also said that the state has secrets which must be discovered by people, especially investors.
According to him, “Today we are here to witness a seaplane land in Yenagoa in furtherance of our objective of taking Bayelsa to the world and bringing the world to Bayelsa.
“Our state is prepared to partner with the private sector, as it is open and safe for business. Bayelsa is the world’s best kept secret and that is why we will keep creating a conducive environment for the private sector to come here to unveil this secret and tap the potentials that abound.
“The services Bristow would render, is to take our people in Bayelsa, right from Yenagoa straight to Lagos, Abuja and to all our communities.
“This Seaplane can land both in water and on the runway. I, therefore, urge all our people, instead of travelling to other places to board aeroplane, come to Oxbow Lake when you want to travel.
“I am told their services would be affordable. As you all can attest, our state has changed for good. In the next two years, we would still be consolidating for more positive change and I assure you, you haven’t seen anything yet.”
Governor Dickson whose administration has, since over a week ago, been celebrating its six years anniversary, also said that the Bayelsa Cargo International Airport which he began will be completed, commissioned and put to use this year.
The state had, a couple of days ago, witnessed the inaugurated the Yenagoa Heliport by the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, for the provision of aviation services to Bayelsans. This was also the Dickson administration’s initiative at easing transport challenges in the state.
Governor Dickson also noted that the partnership agreement with Bristow Helicopters would go a long way in boosting tourism, business operations as well as reduce travel time from Yenagoa to Lagos and other parts of the country.
In their separate remarks, the Director General of Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency, BIPA, Ms Patience Abah and Managing Director, Bayelsa Airlines, Mr. Henry Ungbuku expressed optimism that, the air transport services with terminals at the Oxbow Lake and the King A. P. Diete-Spiff Heliport, Onopa, would enhance business, tourism and wealth creation.
On his part, representative of Bristow Helicopters, Dapo Oyeleke thanked the state government for not only creating the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, but also showing commitment to the partnership, especially with the signing of the MoU.