The leading governorship aspirants under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Bayelsa State, Ambassador Godknows Igali, has disclosed that unlocking Bayelsa’s rural economy will be prioritised.
Amb. Boladei Igali made this known while speaking with Vanguard on his economic agenda for the State if elected, where he also stated that his economic plan would be tied to the Sustainable Development Goal, SDGs, that will be a benchmark to assess his development programmes and projects.
He said: “The rural economy is the bedrock of development and that is why you hear me talk about the issue of power. The main challenge of the rural economy is access to market and source of power to be able to galvanise the economy.
“Bayelsa is a gas hub, and the whole system of providing electricity that is buying of diesel to power the generators or plants, main while there is gas flowing under, we are going to change that narrative.
“We are going to look for centres; we cannot be in every community, there must be centres where we can get generators, small mini turbines that can produce 1-3 megawatts to create industrial activities.
“I am going to embark on a massive housing programme, which is going to be one of my main focus but housing will not only be at the state capital, we will do housing at the local government headquarters what we call G24, 24 development centres across the state, we will create housing for them so young people do not need to come to the state capital.
“It will be done on owner acquired basis so that there will be mortgage. We will speak to few mortgage institutions to be able to create a mortgage package where we can build houses all over the state so that in the rural areas there will be good modern housing estates where young people can go and live.
“Recreation is another area which takes people out of the local communities. There are no mini stadia, good restaurants, shopping centres apart from maybe the weekly markets.
“We will encourage private people to go to the rural areas to build shopping centres where young people can come and relax, we will support all these and that is why my project is ‘Project Bayelsa’. I want to repeat that Bayelsa will be one major project and construction sites in this country.”
Meanwhile, the former Federal Permanent Secretary also assured Bayelsans that he will also prioritise their welfare and well-being including free and compulsory education from primary to secondary levels.
“For children in primary and secondary schools they will eat at least one meal every day, I said at least because there will likely to be a snack also, whether you are in public or private schools, we are going to work with private school owners to make their own inputs.
“We are a rich state I cannot accept that we are poor state, we generate income and make people richer and also what comes in, which we also use to leverage more money, we will be able to make sure that our children who are primary and secondary schools are free and compulsory education.
“At the university and tertiary level we are going to make sure that people have access to education and once you are from Bayelsa State and you are an Ijaw person and you are schooling in Bayelsa State, we will make sure that you have a bursary every year. In some cases of exceptionally brilliant students, they will be on scholarship.
“Once anybody is over 70 years in Bayelsa I will give you food, you get your food allocation every month. Of children that are under 5 years we will make sure that their nutrition is taken care of”, he stated.