…appoints SSG, CoS, two others

Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said the high cost of construction materials will not deter his administration’s commitment to development of the state.

The governor also said ongoing projects were a priority of the government and assured that cost variations will not affect them.

His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as stating this during an unscheduled inspection visit to both the Nembe-Brass and the Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie road projects.

Speaking on the Nembe-Brass road, Governor Diri said: “The question of whether or not my administration will continue with this project due to the high cost of materials does not arise because when it comes to development in the state, nothing will stop us.

“Development cannot be arrested as a result of the high cost of materials. The contractors will come up with the cost variation and the Ministry of Works will look at it, evaluate and assess it and agree on the amount due to variation. So, we will surely and steadily continue the construction of this road to Brass.

“I am very satisfied with the pace of work. This shows that we have never played politics with the development of this state as all parts of the state are our constituency.”

While appreciating the Federal Government for its commitment to partner the state on the project, Senator Diri explained that he had met President Bola Tinubu twice and that he had directed the Federal Ministry of Works to collaborate with the state government on construction of the second phase of the road.

“The collaboration with the Federal Government is looking very good and let me use this opportunity to appreciate His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whom I have met twice and he directed the Minister of Works to collaborate with the state in completing the second phase of this road.

“After my last meeting with him, the Minister of Works called me and sent a team to the state. So, the collaboration has already started.”

He expressed satisfaction with the pace of work on the 21km first phase of the project, which has 10 bridges, saying in this second tenure, he looks forward to vehicles driving to Brass town.

While noting that the rehabilitation work on the failed portions of the Ogbia-Nembe road had stopped, he called on the Niger Delta Development Commission, which embarked on the remedial work before last year’s governorship election, to ensure it is completed.

In his remarks, the Setraco project manager in charge of Bayelsa and Delta states, Mr. Joseph Cosme, explained that the company had achieved 65 per cent sand-filling of the road while almost 2.5km of the sand-cement and stone-base had been completed.

While inspecting the Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie road project, the governor dispelled insinuations that his administration continued the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District road due to political consideration.

Speaking at the bridge construction site at Angiama community, Diri described the road as crucial to development of the state, saying it is unthinkable for headquarters of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area not to be accessible by road.

He stated that the level of progress on the project even after the November 11 election was enough to change the minds of skeptics and critics of his administration.

He also lauded the people of Southern Ijaw for their support for the project and urged them to sustain the tempo.

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Meanwhile, the governor has approved the appointment of Professor Nimibofa Ayawei as Secretary to the State Government (SSG), and named Dr. Peter Pereotubo Akpe as the Chief of Staff (CoS), Government House.

A press release by his Chief Press Secretary stated that Mr. Irorodamie Komonibo has been appointed as the new Deputy Chief of Staff (DCoS), Government House, while Mr. Daniel Alabrah retained his position as CPS from the governor’s first tenure.

The governor’s spokesman stated that the appointments take immediate effect.

Until this new appointment, Nimibofa Ayawei, a Professor of Analytical Chemistry, technocrat, public servant and university teacher was Executive Chairman of the Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue, a position he has occupied since 2016.

The former member of the state House of Assembly started his working career at the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment before his appointment as member of the State Scholarship Board in 2001. In 2002, he was appointed Chairman, Bassan-Koluama Rural Development Authority.

In 2003, he was elected to represent Southern Ijaw Constituency 4 in the state legislature after which he became General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the Bayelsa State Housing and Property Development Authority in 2012. He was also appointed Commissioner for Housing and Rural Development in 2014.

Prof. Ayawei bagged a Bachelor of Education degree in Chemistry in 1995 at the then Rivers State College of Education, Port Harcourt (which was then an affiliate of the University of Ibadan) before obtaining a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry in 2008 at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State and later a Doctor of Philosophy in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry at the state-owned

(NDU), Amassoma. He was the first PhD graduate of the university in 2016.

He also took up appointment as lecturer in the NDU Department of Chemical Sciences in 2016 and is currently a Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, Bayelsa State Medical University (BMU).

Dr. Pereotubo Akpe, the immediate past Deputy Chief of Staff and Acting Chief of Staff is a 1991 graduate of the University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt (now Rivers State University) where he obtained a B.Sc. in Technical Education, specializing in Electrical/Electronics.

He also holds a Master degree in Administration and Planning from the same university and a Ph.D. in same discipline from the University of Port Harcourt.

Dr. Akpe worked in both the Rivers and Bayelsa State Civil Service for over 20 years and retired as Assistant Director.

He also served as Head of Administration, Office of the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State (2006–2007), and Commissioner with the Bayelsa State House of Assembly Service Commission (2008–2011), a two-term member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and was Leader of the House between 2011 and 2019.

He equally held other offices as Commissioner and member of the State Executive Council in 2020, Deputy Chief of Staff (2020–2023) and Acting Chief of Staff (2023–February 14, 2024)

The astute administrator is a fellow of several professional bodies, a 5th Degree Black Belter and Certified Kukiwon Coach in Taekwondo, and is currently the Pastor-in-Charge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Bayelsa Province 1 and a part-time lecturer with the Redeemed Christian Bible College, University of Ede, Osun State.

Before his new appointment, Mr. Irorodamie Komonibo was the Principal Secretary to the Governor until February 14, 2024.