The Bayelsa Airlines, has this Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bristow Helicopters, to provide quality aviation services in the state.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the newly inaugurated Grand Pavilion and Boat Club, Oxbow Lake, in Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson described the initiative as part of efforts by the state government to ease transportation for commuters both within and outside the state.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Francis Ottah Agbo, the Governor explained that, the partnership agreement would go a long way in boosting tourism, business operations as well as reduce travel time from Yenagoa to Lagos and other parts of the country.
The Governor, who noted that, the Government's involvement in the deal was partly to ensure affordability, called on Bayelsans, corporate organisations and the general public to avail themselves of the services, stressing that, the Yenagoa Heliport, which was recently renamed after King Diete-Spiff have since been providing shuttle services.
Reaffirming his administration's commitment to actualising its policy of taking Bayelsa to the world and bringing the world to Bayelsa, the governor stated that the Bayelsa Cargo International Airport will be completed, commissioned and put to use this year.
Governor Dickson, who announced a ban on fishing, dredging and farming activities around the Oxbow lake axis, also restated the Government's readiness to acquire more land in the area and pay appropriate compensation to the owners.
His words; “Today we are here to witness a seaplane land in Yenagoa in furtherance of our objective of taking Bayelsa to the world and bringing the world to Bayelsa.
Our state is prepared to partner with the private sector, as it is open and safe for business. Bayelsa is the world's best kept secret and that is why we will keep cresting a conducive environment for the private sector to come here to unveil this secret and tap the potentials that abound. The services Btistow would render, is to take our people in Bayelsa, right from Yenagoa straight to Lagos, Abuja and to all our communities.
"This Seaplane can land both in water and on the runway. I, therefore, urge all our people, instead of travelling to other places to board aeroplane, come to Oxbow Lake when you want to travel. I am told their services would be affordable. As you all can attest, our state has changed for good. In the next two years, we would still be consolidating for more positive change and I assure you, you haven’t seen anything yet”.
In their separate remarks, the Director General of Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency, BIPA, Ms Patience Abah and Managing Director, Bayelsa Airlines, Mr Henry Ungbuku expressed optimism that, the air transport services with terminals at the Oxbow Lake and the King A. P. Diete-Spiff Heliport, Onopa, would enhance business, tourism and wealth creation.
On his part, representative of Bristow Helicopters, Dapo Oyeleke thanked the state government for not only creating the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, but also showing commitment to the partnership, especially with the signing of the MoU.
Highpoints of the event, was the landing of a Bristow Seaplane with registration number 5N-BIW at about Ten O’clock in the morning at the Oxbow Lake as well as a ride with Governor Seriake Dickson, his Deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Retd) and Chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council, King Alfred Diete-Spiff on board.