Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has reiterated that his administration is irrevocably committed to improving the infrastructural base of the state.
Governor Diri stated this while speaking at the end-of-year meeting of the Bayelsa Elders Council at the Niger Delta Wetland Centre, in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The Governor, represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the building of basic infrastructure such as roads to open up the state for socio-economic development, was dear to the present administration.
He also said government is building on the foundation laid by the immediate past administration of Senator Seriake Dickson by intensifying work on the Sagbama-Ekeremor and Yenagoa-Oporoma senatorial road projects in the state.
According to the Bayelsa Chief Executive, construction work on Phase II of the New Yenagoa Gateway Drive and the Outer Ring Road to connect Igbogene to AIT were progressing at good pace.
Governor Diri said, all things being equal, appreciable milestones of the two projects would be inaugurated and put to use by February next year.
On the Bayelsa Central Senatorial Road project, he expressed hope that work on the last bridge to link Oporoma would commence on or before the end of the first term of his administration, adding that the road would soon get to Angiama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
While lamenting the relatively high cost of road construction in Bayelsa due to its terrain, Governor Diri, however, noted that the Nembe-Brass road project would be a key focus of the state government over the next two years.
Speaking on the moves made by the Federal Government to end subsidy on petroleum products in the country, the Bayelsa helmsman noted that its removal was not the best solution to the economic hardship facing the citizens.
He however called on the federal authorities to jettison the current uniform deduction from the Federation Account, but rather re-calibrate the subsidy deductions based on volume of petroleum products consumed by each state.
Giving the Bayelsa Elders Council a pat on the back for always making themselves available for service and providing guidance to government as fathers, Senator Douye Diri implored them to speak out on the Santa Barbara oil spill in Nembe.
He noted that the calamity that befell our people at Nembe through the spill had been politicized, and encouraged the elders to speak out on the issue to ensure that justice is done.
Speaking earlier, the Acting Chairman of the Bayelsa Elders Council, High Chief Thompson Okorotie, commended Governor Diri’s development stride and his untiring efforts at ensuring peace in Bayelsa.
Chief Okorotie noted that the present administration was doing well in its urban renewal drive, the ongoing senatorial roads, upgrading of tertiary institutions and accreditation of the courses in all the state-owned institutions of higher learning.
In her vote of thanks, Professor Ayebaemi Spiff, expressed the appreciation of the Council to the Governor for always deeming it a priority to identify with the elders of the state.
She prayed for more wisdom and the mercy of God upon Governor Douye Diri, his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and other members of the Prosperity Team.
Prominent elders at the meeting included the immediate past Deputy Governor of the state, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Retd), several first class royal fathers including the Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council and Amanyanabo of Twon Kingdom, His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diete-Spiff.