INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIESPost Comment INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES Nigeria
Bayelsa State has a very n bright economic future if plans for its development e can be properly articulated and rigorously imple- e mented, in an investor-friendly atmosphere. Based on the local resources outlined above, several industries can be developed. There is, as yet, little e or no industrial manufacturing in the state.
e Industrialisation therefore, has the opportunity of i- being planned from a zero base such that its spatial e distribution would influence development positively e throughout the state. Governments, since the cre- e stio" of the state, did little or nothing to promote o industrialisation but the first elected governor of the y state has taken some steps towards providing a i. good investment climate that would woo investors y to the state.
These steps include: (i) Development of housing estates in h Yenagoa, Odi, Amassoma, Ogbia; g (ii) Development of industrial estates at rf Yenagoa and Odi; (iii) Encouraging political harmony among ethnic groups and between migrants and the indigenes of the state; (iv) Mass electrification of towns and vil- lages of the state; (v) Provision of other basic socio-econom- ic infrastructure; (vi) Development of efficient inter-state links through land and water; (vii) Identification of local industrial raw materials and invitation of local and for- eign entrepreneurs to establish indus- tries with forward and backward link- ages in the state.
All these strategies were contained in the '' Governor's speech of 4 January, 2000. The state a government has also laid other incentives for indus- e trialists such as tax relief, tax holiday and capital s allowance. All these constitute a comprehensive and attractive package for potential investors. The state government has a liberal investment policy aimed at encouraging potential and genuine entre- preneurs to participate in the infrastructural and industrial development of the state.
The potentialities for industrial take-off of Bayelsa State are very bright, despite the present problem of transportation and communications, unreliable power supply, water, and other basic infrastructure. Agricultural products on which small - to rnedi- d urn - scale industries could be established include palm oil, coconut, rubber; while the fishing industry a could concentrate on fish oil extraction, fish pack- aging/canning et cetera. Other farm products on which industries can be based are local gin distillery from raffia palm and palm wine tapping. However, the major areas for investments in agro -allied industrial development are as follows:
a) Vegetable Oil extraction from coconut and palm kernels.This is an industrial investment area that has not been exploited in the state. Opportunities abound for production of fatty oil used in paint and soap manu- facture; production of gin from raffia palm and palm wine is economically viable.
(b) Rubber: Production of such items as belts, inner tubes, tyres, pipes, mats and shoe heels and soles is econom- ically feasible;
(c) 'Ogbono': Production of Ogbono on a commercial scale is viable, but this area of trade has not been exploited.
(d) Timber: This can be exploited for the production of toilet rolls, corrugated boards for packaging, tooth picks, ice cream sticks and straw matting for packing.
(e) Ancillary Facilities for Fishing Industry: In fishing industry industrial opportunity exists, in addition to fish oil extraction, for ancillary industries such as fish net making, boat building and fish canning.
Products from mineral based industries also offer wide opportunities for investments in the state. These encompass a wide range of industries con- tingent on crude oil, by-products of petroleum refin- ing such as jelly greases, rubber products, floor tiles, tarpauline and so on.
Bayelsa State is also potentially rich in recre- ational facilities, but much of these are yet to be developed to yield revenue for the state. The tourism potentials of the state rest on its beautiful coastal sandy beaches, numerous traditional festi- vals, long and winding streams and rivers as well as forests with their associated shrines and rich wildlife. Appendix I shows the list of tourist attrac- tions, resorts and festivals in the state and their locations. There are several hotels (Appendix II) but there are only two banks (Appendix III).
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