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Bayelsa State
State nickname: Glory of all lands
Location of Bayelsa State in Nigeria
Timipre Sylva (PDP)
Date Created 1 October 1996
Capital Yenagoa
Area 10,773 km²
Ranked 27th
1991 Census
2005 est.
Ranked 35th

 -Per Capita
2007 (estimate)
$4.34 billion[1]
ISO 3166-2 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 language spoken here is Ijaw language and dialects of the Ijaw language such as Nembe, Atissa, Akassa, Ogbia, etc. However, like the rest of Nigeria, English is the official language. The state was formed in 1996 from part of Rivers State and thus, it is 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,accordingly this are only on paper. there's 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 labor 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.[2]

Other important cities besides Yenagoa include Akassa, Amassoma (the home of the Niger Delta University), Twon-Brass, Kaiama, Nembe, Odi, Ogbia, Okpoma, Oporoma and Sagbama.

Notable natives

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/ world wrestling champion, Daniel Igali; and National Team footballer and Olympic & Under 20 coach, Samson Siasia. Others include revolutionaries and martyrs of April 22, 1990 Captains Perebo Dakolo and Harley Empere (Nigerian Army); former Governor of Rivers State, HRM Alfred Diete-Spiff (now king of the city of Town-Brass, Nigeria); and the current President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.

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.

Administrative divisions

Bayelsa is divided into eight Local Government Areas:


  1. 1.0 1.1 "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Canback Dangel. Retrieved 2008-08-20.

External links

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