Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Several dignitaries, including former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) and former President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday officially launched the New Yenagoa City project in Bayelsa State.
During the 200-hectare estate project flag-off at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Yenagoa, Abubakar who also acted as the chairman of the occasion, noted that when the project is completed, Yenagoa would be a choice destination for investors and tourists.
The former military head of state, who along with several other Nigerian leaders got instant Certificates of Occupancy, said it was his hope that the new city would help curb the frequent travels by Nigerians to Dubai, when it becomes fully functional.
He said: “I will like to say without any contradiction that Yenagoa is one of the fastest growing cities in Nigeria today. And I want to congratulate you and all those who have made the ground work for this city possible.
“Your vision for the New Yenagoa City is indeed a laudable one and may your vision come true. Let me on behalf of all the people who are here congratulate you and your team for your vision.
“Let me also on behalf of the former presidents thank you for the surprise gifts of parcels of land at the waterfront of the new city. With what we have seen in the video clips, Dubai will no longer be the destination when this comes to pass; it will be the New Yenagoa City.”
Speaking also, Jonathan said the dream of building a new Yenagoa City had been on the drawing board since the creation of the state.
Jonathan also noted that if leaders of the state remain united and contribute their quota to the development of the state, the New City would be completed in no distant future.
He emphasised the need for the incoming administration to consolidate on what they would meet on the ground to ensure continuity and build confidence among investors.
“Dubai was a piece of desert but today it is the world market. Yenagoa also has a lot of potential to become another Dubai.
“I have to thank you and your team for this and that is the way to go. I still believe as long as our leaders have dreams and visions it will not take us more than 25 years to get to where we want to be.
“It depends on one government taking over from the other and building on certain good projects instead of abandoning them,” he said.
Governor Seriake Dickson, in his remarks, maintained that Bayelsa land is strictly for development purposes and not for Rural Grazing Area (RUGA).
He assured that the allocation of plots in the new city would not be discriminatory and urged all Nigerians of goodwill irrespective of tribe to invest in the project.
According to the governor, his administration has already provided recreational facilities such as, a golf course, five- star, hotel, a polo club, a choice Government Reserved Area and others in the new city.
“The area set aside for the New Yenagoa project is serene with an alluring water front, part of which is reserved for former presidents whose activities have impacted positively on our people and state.
The governor also signed and presented certificates of occupancy to Abubakar, Jonathan and his wife; Chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete Spiff; the Chief Judge; Speaker and to all service commanders for their official accommodation, noting that plots are also reserved for former governors of the state.