Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has officially signed into law the state’s 2024 appropriation bill amounting to N489,443,632,374, emphasizing a commitment to sustainable and shared prosperity. The signing, which took place at the Government House in Yenagoa, saw an increase of N8.450 billion from the initial proposal of N480,993,632,369 presented to the House of Assembly on November 29, 2023.
Governor Diri, as quoted by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, highlighted the budget’s focus on crucial sectors such as education, infrastructure, healthcare delivery, and agriculture. He expressed optimism that meticulous implementation of the budget would enhance living conditions, addressing both rural and urban poverty.
The governor’s commitment to the bottom-up approach to budget preparation was underscored, with specific attention given to rural community needs. Governor Diri stressed his intention to ensure that the benefits of the budget reach all corners of the state, working towards reducing the disparity between urban and rural areas.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abraham Ingobere, acknowledged a slight upward review of the budget to align with present economic realities. He commended Governor Diri for presenting an all-inclusive budget that addressed the economic dynamics and aspirations of the state’s residents.
Apart from the budget, Governor Diri also assented to the Bayelsa State Electricity Law 2023, a historic move that grants the state the authority to generate, distribute, and commercialize electricity, even beyond its borders. The governor entrusted Engr. Olice Kemenanabo, the managing director of the state electricity board, with the responsibility of establishing a comprehensive electricity outfit.
In light of the federal government’s liberalization of electricity, Governor Diri emphasized the state’s potential to provide uninterrupted power by leveraging its abundant gas resources. He urged Kemenanabo to issue licenses to private investors interested in the sector, emphasizing the state’s readiness for 24-hour electricity. The signing of the electricity bill marked a departure from the previous federal government exclusivity in electricity generation, distribution, and commercialization.