Nigeria’s Bayelsa State is a volatile entity. It was created in 1996 by General Sani Abacha’s government and the tiny hamlet of Yenagoa, a town situated among the creeks, and on the banks, of the River
Nun was named as its capital. The foundation of Bayelsa State was based on the presumption of the Federal government’s recognition of the perennial complaint of marginalization and under-development of the indigenous people of the state, the Ijaws, from whose home territory the nation’s petroleum resources have been exploited for decades.
The act of creation of the state sent a message of government’s acknowledgment of its responsibility to correct the negative consequences of its decisions when the people protest and ask for redress.
Leaders of the Ijaw ethnic nationality had raised their voices for years crying out for greater autonomy within the Nigerian Federation and the existence of Bayelsa State is meant to answer that call. For that reason, the capital Yenagoa is expected to develop from a rural backwater into a genuinely thriving
metropolis in the Niger Delta. If that is to occur the Federal Government of Nigeria must make its presence felt in the town, in recent years this has begun to happen.
Three major edifices built on a picturesque thoroughfare in the town known as Oxbow Lake Drive is evidence of the gradual development of federal commitment to making Bayelsa State work as an integral component of the nation. The Yenagoa branch office of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is situated there.
The foundation stone laying ceremony was performed by then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, himself a Bayelsan on Saturday, October 23, 2010. It was completed in 2014, and commenced operations that same year. Happily, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, since building its permanent branch office in Yenagoa, has made a commendable difference in the banking industry in the state. The establishment
of the CBN, in the state is a milestone development in Yenagoa City.
It has consolidated the economic status of Bayelsa State and helped to transform the financial life of the city. Next door to the Bank there is another imposing edifice, the Federal Secretariat, Yenagoa. The foundation stone laying ceremony was performed by then President Goodluck Jonathan in June, 2012.The
construction of the 4-storey building was undertaken by a Yenagoa-based conglomerate Trenur Nig. Ltd. and it has been completed and is ready for use. All Federal workers, agencies and MDAs are expected to occupy the Secretariat. Next door to the secretariat stands by far the most imposing edifice in Yenagoa,
the 17-storey Local Content Tower that houses the offices of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board of the oil industry.
Designed by Bayelsa State’s own master builder Harcourt B. Adukeh and constructed by Megastar Technical and Construction Company. The building of these three federal edifices symbolises
the hope that the founding fathers of the state entertained that their homeland would one day reap appropriate reward for its contribution to the national wellbeing.