3 He said the continued collaboration with the global body would fast-track development in such areas as education, health, youth, and women empowerment, food production and the environment.
4 The governor, who congratulated Mohammed for rising to the enviable position and for her great work at the UN, said that the collaboration would enhance the prosperity agenda of his government to the people of the state.
5 He said that his government had been building critical infrastructure that would provide great opportunities to open up Bayelsa for more investments in different sectors.
8 “We are committed to the attainment of the SDGs for the betterment of our people in education, health, sanitation, access to clean water and ensuring we live in a safe environment devoid of pollution,” Diri said.
9 He said that the state government took a deliberate effort to open up the maritime domain with the three ongoing Senatorial roads linking several riverine communities and corridors to the Atlantic Ocean.
10 According to him, so much opportunity exists for the establishment of a sea port and massive aquaculture project.
11 “Yes, we are an oil producing state but we have more wealth in the sea and agriculture, because, we are located in the Gulf of Guinea, we must also strive to tackle the security issues on our water ways to attract serious investments.
13 “We already have an agreement with a European consortium on deep sea fishing and ship building, an investment capable of providing more than 2,000 jobs.
15 On the unabated environmental pollution and degradation, Diri said the ongoing clean-up in Ogoni land by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) should be extended to the entire oil-rich Niger Delta.
16 According to him, Bayelsa is worst affected by incidents of oil spills leaving behind attendant devastated ecology and health issues.
17 “You are very familiar with our stories and the Niger Delta environment. We must commend what you started in Ogoni as then Minister of Environment.
18 “Our land, rivers are polluted. The remediation of the region must be total. Bayelsa is worst affected.”
19 Responding, Mohammed appreciated the pace of development in the state since its creation in 1996, adding that the UN was ready to deepen the existing relationship with the state to support ongoing development efforts by the current administration.
21 “We are working with leaders like you to add value to the lives of the people and create opportunities for the young people to harness their potential.
22 “Here, we are working hard to realise those SDGs and make our society better,” she said.
23 Mohammed who welcomed the request for the hosting of the Gulf of Guinea meeting by the state, said the UN was disturbed at the level of environmental pollution in the oil-rich Niger Delta, a situation she described as `complete disaster’.
24 “It is not just about Ogoni land but the remediation should be for all oil producing places.
25 “The means of livelihood of the people, fishing and farming are greatly affected. The oil pollution is a complex thing and it is a complete disaster which requires urgent intervention.”
27 Others are Hon. Fred Agbedi, Member representing Federal Constituency in the National Assembly and Mrs Patience Abah, the Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa State Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investments and Major Lancelot Anyanya (rtd.) (