A nine-member board of the Bayelsa State Geographic and Information Systems, (BYGIS) has been inaugurated, with a mandate to formulate policies targeted at effectively managing all land related information, with a view to creating wealth and promotion of enterprise.

Performing the ceremony in Government House, Yenagoa on Friday, Governor Seriake Dickson described the agency as the brainchild of his administration conceived during the first tenure.

According to him, the establishment of BYGIS is part of the overall strategy in creating wealth and encouraging entrepreneurship and development in the state, in line with global practices to place value on landed properties.

Governor Dickson expressed the government’s expectation for the board and its management to work in unity on all critical issues, pointing out that, the Commissioner for Lands and Survey would play a supervisory role.

He also urged landowners to approach the Ministry of Lands and Survey as well as the BYGIS to process their Certificates of Occupancy, assuring that, within a time frame of 60 days such documents would be signed. 

His words: “What has happened in most developed societies, including ours is that, we have not been able to put a value on them to enable those, who own landed property trade with title and I wanted to deal with that.  The establishment of BYGIS is part of the overall strategy in creating wealth and encouraging entrepreneurship and development in our state.

 “When we got elected, we made that a cardinal programme of our government in the first term. In the first two years, we were able to initiate and develop the first and computerized Certificate of Occupancy system in Bayelsa State. And that is a product of the restoration revolution and that is up and running. Now, i have cause to inaugurate a board. Most of the members who are here also served on that board and they did well.

 “With the management that is ably under the control of Surveyor Assembly Goin and his team, they were able to re-negotiate the earlier contracts, re-organize the establishment and for sometime, the BYGIS has been functioning and producing C of Os regularly for me to sign.

 “And let me announce to you and to the whole state that, every morning when i come to the office, one of the first things i do is to look at the C of Os file and append my signature to the C of Os that have been processed and brought to me for signature. And you will recall that in the last couple of weeks, announcements have been to that effect. I want to call on all of you who intend to process your C of Os, know that they are being signed. I waste no time in signing them.”

Chief Alex Ekiotene is Chairman of the BYGIS Board, Chief Maclean Aduba is to serve as Vice Chairman, while the secretary is Surveyor Assembly Goin, who is expected to continue to serve Manager and Director.

Other members are, Hon. Nein Ebiakpo, former Assembly member, Chief Andy Godwin Toboro, Amanaowei of Ekowe, Chief Simeon Mathias, Paramount ruler of Ovom, Aboye Ebinimi Odibikuma, Retired Group Capt. John Yekoragha and Mr. Bright Yougha, former permanent secretary.

Responding Chairman of the BYGIS board, Chief Alex Ekiotene thanked Governor Dickson for the confidence reposed in the members of the agency and assured the government that, they would work towards achieving the task assigned them.