Wednesday, February 7, 2018 4:57 pm
By Dennis Alemu
For reasons that are evidently obvious, the infrastructural map of Bayelsa State has been reconfigured in the last six years. This welcome development has been made possible by the infrastructural revolution that was born in the state on February 14, 2012. It is a statement of fact that it has practically put an end to the ‘kwashiorkor’ of development which had bedeviled the State right from its creation in 1996 to when the present administration assumed office.
It is worth noting that the Dickson Administration takes the credit for this infrastructural boom which has corrected the multifaceted infrastructural deficits, which had stymied socio-economic advancement of Bayelsa and her people over the years. The institutional driver of this success story is the Restoration Agenda – a development blueprint conceived to fast-track development in all sectors of the state. It is pertinent, therefore, to point out that the Restoration Agenda has so far been a huge success in Bayelsa State when it is carefully considered that the state is better off now in terms of infrastructure.
Little wonder, the vision-bearer, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, had meritoriously earned the title MR. INFRASTRUCTURE, long before the end of his first term as Chief Executive of Bayelsa State two years ago. Understandably, it is for this reason that political pundits had concluded that Dickson’s landslide victory in the last gubernatorial election was made possible by his administration’s huge infrastructural haul, which resonated elaborately in the hunger of development of the people.
When one undertakes an all-inclusive catalogue of the infrastructural development of the State, one will find that the Dickson Administration, which turns six years in office on February 14, 2018, has surpassed all previous administrations in the state. The big-ticket projects which have been completed by the administration constitute the core embodiment of the New Bayelsa.
The New Bayelsa, as the government image-makers have chosen to style it, is more of a product of the unparallel infrastructural drive of the Dickson Administration than any other development yardstick. It is not an overstatement of fact that no administration in Bayelsa State had passionately pursued infrastructural development as Dickson’s has done in six years of being in the saddle.
Obviously, space constraints will not permit an encyclopedic compendium of all the infrastructural projects undertaken by the Dickson Administration so far in a piece like this. However, it will be salutary to take a look at some of the legacy, flagship development projects of the administration in the province of roads, bridges and public buildings.
• Completion of the Toru-Ebeni bridge project
• Completion of the Etegwe-Tombia-Amassoma Road with eight bridges
• Construction of the Bayelsa Central Senatorial Road project
• Construction of the Bayelsa West Senatorial Road project
• Yenagoa Restoration Flyover
• Dualization of the Road Safety Road
• Dualization of the Hospital Road
• Dualization of the Imiringi-Elebele Road
• Dualization of the Azikoro Road
• Dualization of the Diette Spiff Road
• Construction of four new secretariat annexes
• Dualization of the Isaac Boro Road
• Renovation of the Old State Secretariat
• New Government House Car Park
• Five referral hospital projects in the LGA headquarters
• Work on the Ogbia-Nembe Road
• Establishment of the Isaac Boro College of Education, Sagbama
• Establishment of State Polytechnic, Aleibiri
• The Agge Deep Seaport
• Establishment of the Ijaw National Academy, Kaiama
• Rural electrification projects to link communities to the National Grid
• Establishment of the University of Africa, Toru-Orua
• Completion of Transparency Plazas
• Construction of the Ecumenical Centre
• Construction of the New Governor and Deputy Governor’s Office complex
• Construction (Dualization) of the Igbogene-GloryLand Drive
• Construction of International Cargo Airport
• Bayelsa State Diagnostic Centre
• Dora Akunyili Quality Drug Mart
• New Okaka Low-Cost Housing Estate
• Construction of Boro Town
• Multi-Door Court House
• Rehabilitation/Upgrading of the Samson Siasia Stadium
• Construction of the Nembe City Sports Stadium
• Construction of health centres across the LGAs
• Construction of staff quarters of medical personnel at Melford Okilo 500-bed hospital
• Renovation/Remodeling Gabriel Okara Cultural centre
• Reconstruction of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council secretariat
• Establishment of the International Institute of Tourism, Catering and Hotel Management
• Establishment of model boarding, fully-government-funded secondary schools across the state.
Besides the few projects listed here, there are thousands of infrastructural projects in health, roads, education, roads, housing, tourism, etc. across the state, which the Dickson Administration has successfully conceived, initiated and completed. For instance, hundreds of public schools and staff quarters were built in the first term, including the mega-boarding secondary schools in all the 24 state constituencies.
It is indubitable that Bayelsa State under the leadership of Governor Dickson has recorded great strides in virtually all sectors. With the record-shattering haul of projects in six years, the present administration in Bayelsa State has truly birthed a New Bayelsa.
According to Harry Truman, “Men make history and not the other way round. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” It would seem that this former American President’s imperishable words on the marble best describe the sterling stewardship put up by the Contriman Governor.
Governor Dickson has ever remained committed to his solemn promise to complete all the on-going legacy projects his administration initiated. And with what has been unfolding in the Glory of All Lands from February 14, 2012 to the present time in the sphere of public infrastructure, Bayelsans can only believe that the remaining two years of the Administration would be the glorious icing on the cake in the Glory of All Lands!
• Dennis is a commentator on contemporary issues contributes this piece from Yenagoa.