Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has called for collaborative efforts between the state government and the Republic of Ireland.
According to him, the two governments will collaborate in the area of vocational and teachers training in the education sub-sector, among other areas, where the state has comparative advantage.
Governor Dickson, who made the call when the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Sean Hoy, visited him at the Government House, Yenagoa, explained that the new Bayelsa is anchored on public-private-partnership.
He lauded the Irish government on its ongoing efforts at imparting entrepreneurship skills on youths in Ikarama community, Okordia in Yenagoa Local Government Area through the establishment of fish farms and the training of youths on modern fish farming.
He drew the attention of the Irish government to the alarming rate of environmental pollution in the state occasioned by the activities of multinational oil companies, pointing out that Bayelsa State has suffered more environmental pollution than any other part of the world.
“Bayelsa State has suffered more than any state or country in the world in the area of oil pollution, adding that about 260 environmental pollutions is recorded in the state yearly. The world has to rise up in solidarity. Oil companies have to conform to best practices as it is done everywhere in the world. They have taken advantage of the weak institutions and laws in the country.
“Oil companies have to partner with the government and people to bring real development to the state and my government has taken the issue of security very seriously in bringing investors.”
While expressing appreciation for the sacrifices of the people of Ireland in the development of Nigeria and the Niger Delta, Dickson noted that Bayelsa is the heart and epicentre of all issues in the region.
In his remarks, the Irish ambassador said he was in the state to learn and understand its developmental challenges and how his country could assist in surmounting them.
A member of the ambassador’s delegation, Father Kevin O’Hara, lauded the state government for the existing peace and security, noting that he has been in the advocacy against environmental pollution and degradation in the Niger Delta.

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