A former President of the Ijaw National Congress, (INC) and renowned academic, Professor Kimse Okoko on Friday lauded the efforts of Governor Seriake Dickson at transforming the state in spite of the lean resources accruing to the state from the Federation Account.
Speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa shortly after the inauguration of a 20 member Ijaw National Reconciliation Committee, Okoko commended Governor Dickson for embarking on developmental projects that will stand the test of time and add value to the lives of the people.
He described the newly built Governor’s Office as a fantastic building with modern facilities, which would address the office accommodation needs of the public servants and political appointees.
Professor Okoko, also gave kudos to the governor for his foresight in building the state international airport, noting that the initiative will open up the state for local and foreign investors as well as create wealth and job opportunities.
“As far as I am concerned, I have always described Dickson as a true patriot of the Ijaw nation, and I can say it anywhere. For example, this building, (new Governor’s Office) is a fantastic building. As you rightly pointed out, where you have very lean resources, you have to be careful how you prioritize your programmes and projects.
“If you make mistakes in the prioritization of your projects, then you will suffer the consequences. My advice to government has been, please re-prioritize your projects and programmes to fit the amount of money you get. That way, you can get more done. You don’t have to start everything at the same time.
“So re-prioritize based on the minimal resources that you are getting from the Federal Government now. But unfortunately for Bayelsa state, our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is very low but it won’t remain so for ever. I am sure that as we go on and emphasize the involvement of the private sector, government must have to create the necessary environment for the private sector to get engaged in the state,” Okoko said.
He spoke further: “To achieve this, government should guard against multiple taxes that will scare off foreign investors and it is for that reason that I support the airport that is being built because it is easier for investors to fly into the state. Those kind of projects are priority projects but there are other projects that might not be priority in the context of the lean resources that we have in the state.”