|Nickname(s): "Glory of all lands"|
Location of Bayelsa State in Nigeria.
|Created||1 October 1996|
|• Governor||Henry Dickson (PDP)|
|• Total||21,110 km2 (8,150 sq mi)|
|Population (2005 estimate)|
|• Density||95/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||NG-BY|
Bayelsa State is a state in southern Nigeria in the core Niger Delta region, between Delta State and Rivers State. Its capital is Yenagoa. The four main languages spoken are Izon, Nembe, Epie-Atissa, and Ogbia. Like the rest of Nigeria, English is the official language. The state was formed in 1996 from part of Rivers State and is thus one of the newest states of the Nigerian federation.
Bayelsa State has one of the largest crude oil and natural gas deposits in Nigeria. As a result, petroleum production is extensive in the state. However, the majority of Bayelsans live in poverty. They are mainly rural dwellers due to its peculiar terrain and lack of adequate transportation, health, education or other infrastructure as a result of decades of neglect by the central governments, state governments, and petroleum prospecting companies. This has been a large problem in the state since its creation and successive state governments have not been able to address and repair the issue. The state, as a result, has an almost non-existent commerce. Successive state governments have, however, embarked on various industrial projects (even venturing into the oil and gas sector), and "poverty-alleviation" programs to reverse this situation, however some argue that there is nothing on ground to show for huge sums of money spent for development by successive and present state governments.
The local population engage in fishing on a subsistence and commercial level. The Bayelsa State government is otherwise the main employer of labour in the state.
Bayelsa has a riverine and estuarine setting. A lot of her communities are almost (and in some cases) completely surrounded by water, hence making these communities inaccessible by road. The state is home to the Edumanom Forest Reserve, in June 2008 the last known site for chimpanzees in the Niger Delta.
Other important cities besides Yenagoa include Akassa, Amassoma (the home of the Niger Delta University), Twon-Brass, Kaiama, Nembe, Odi, Ogbia, Okpoama Brass, Oporoma, Otuan, Sagbama, Olugbobiri and Peremabiri.
Notable sons of Bayelsa State include veteran novelist and poet Gabriel Okara; pioneering Nigerian journalist and pre-independent freedom fighter Ernest Ikoli; Nigerian Civil War hero Major Isaac Adaka Boro (Nigerian Army) and Canadian Olympic gold medalist and world wrestling champion Daniel Igali; and former National Team footballers Finidi George and Samson Siasia, Olympic / under-20s coach].
Others include revolutionaries and April 22, 1990 martyrs Captains Perebo Dakolo and Harley Empere (Nigerian Army); former Governors of Rivers State HRM Alfred Diete-Spiff (now king of the city of Twon-Brass, Nigeria)and Melford Obiene Okilo; and the current President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan. Silva Opuala-Charles was commissioner for finance and budget in Bayelsa from 2007 to 2012.
Due to massive overseas scholarship programs implemented by the old Rivers State in the 1970s and recent Bayelsa State governments, large numbers of Bayelsan professionals reside in Europe and North America. This is part of the general brain-drain trend affecting many African communities.
Bayelsa is divided into eight Local Government Areas:
- "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Canback Dangel. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "NIGERIA BIODIVERSITY AND TROPICAL FORESTRY ASSESSMENT". USAID. June 2008. p. 76. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bayelsa State.|
- Bayelsa State Government Homepage
- Bayelsa State at OnlineNigeria.com
- Experience Bayelsa Arts and Culture / Visitors Guide
- Bayelsa Council for Arts & Culture
- Adaka Boro Centre
- Azaiki Public Library, Yenagoa