Bayelsa Hosts South-South Govs Summit For Regional Unity

Bayelsa Governor Douye Diri is slated to convene a meeting on Tuesday, gathering Governors from Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta States to delve into discussions on fostering regional collaboration and unity.

Under the umbrella of the BRACED Commission, the Governors representing the six States of the region will convene in Yenagoa for a crucial meeting.

BRACED stands for the coalition of Southsouth States comprising Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta.

Dr. Piriye Keyaramo, the inaugural Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the BRACED Tourism Promotion and Development Initiative (BTPDI), disclosed this information during a conversation with journalists in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State.

Keyaramo, who previously served as the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Douye Diri on Tourism, additionally advocated for the establishment of a South-South Tourism Development Fund.

He argued that implementing regional investment in the tourism industry could serve as a driving force for the expansion and enhancement of tourism, emphasizing the importance of harmonizing tourism expansion with sustainable development initiatives within the region.

He pointed out that the source of regional funding could vary, coming from both private and public sectors.

He reaffirmed that the proposed regional funding could significantly contribute to safeguarding the region’s cultural heritage and valuable assets, aiming to safeguard delicate ecosystems and maintain the region’s allure as sustainable and appealing destinations for generations.

Read also: Diri Ask IG To Withdraw Special Forces From Bayelsa

Keyaramo, who serves as both Director General of the Ernest Ikoli Visitor Information Centre in Yenagoa, emphasized that regional funding holds transformative potential for elevating destinations, aiming to enhance residents’ quality of life while safeguarding cultural and environmental treasures.

He stated: ‘Deliberate regional cooperation and integration efforts will make the South-South states overcome the seeming costly political divisions to be able to integrate goods, services and market factors, thus facilitating the flow of trade, capital, energy, people and ideas.

‘Regional integration can be promoted through common physical and institutional infrastructure. Specifically, regional integration requires genuine cooperation among states.

‘The idea of the BRACED Commission which was the outcome of the first South-South Economic Summit, held in Calabar, Cross River, in 2009 was to drive the region’s developmental aspirations such as a sustainable regional economy that will be strong enough to provide employment and prosperity for the people of the region and one that will be globally competitive.’

Amb. Joe Keshi, the Director General of the BRACED Commission, had previously suggested that a council meeting was slated for Tuesday in Yenagoa, with the primary agenda being the evaluation of ongoing endeavors to reignite the commission’s vision for regional collaboration and South-South integration.

Reflecting on the previous BRACED Commission gathering in Benin City, Edo State, Keshi highlighted the founding principles dating back to 2011, emphasizing the commission’s core mission of enhancing agriculture, education, environmental sustainability, power infrastructure, security, and leveraging sports to uplift the youth within the region.

Despite this, he pointed out certain hurdles facing the commission and called for swift measures to tackle the diverse issues impacting the regional economic bloc.

Africa Today News, New York

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