Bayelsa State

Bayelsa is the southernmost state in Nigeria in the core Niger Delta region, between Delta State and Rivers State. Its capital is Yenagoa. The main language spoken is Ijaw with dialects such as Kolukuma, Mein, Bomu, Nembe, Epie-Atisa, 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.[4]

Flag of Bayelsa
Location of Bayelsa State in Nigeria
Location of Bayelsa State in Nigeria
Geopolitical ZoneSouth South
Created1 October 1996
 • GovernorDouye Diri (PDP)
 • Deputy GovernorLawrence Ewhrudjakpo
 • Total10,773 km2 (4,159 sq mi)
Area rank27th
 (2006 census)
 • Total1,704,515[1]
 Ranked 35th
Dialing Code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG-BY
Total$4.34 billion[2]
Per capita$2,484[2]
HDI (2018)0.642[3]
medium · 6th of 37


Bayelsa state was created out of Rivers State on October 1, 1996 by the Sani Abacha's military government. Its name was derived from the first few letters of the names of the major local government areas from which it was formed - Brass LGA (BALGA), Yenagoa (YELGA) and Sagbama (SALGA). Hence BAYELSA was derived from the letters BA + YEL + SA.[4]


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 the 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; 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 embarked on industrial projects (even venturing into the oil and gas sector) and poverty-alleviation programs to reverse this situation. 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 in the state.


Bayelsa has a riverine and estuarine setting. Many communities are almost (and in some cases) completely surrounded by water, making them 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.[5]

Other important cities besides Yenagoa include Akassa, Lobia, Amassoma (the home of the Niger Delta University), Eniwari, Ekeremor, Aliebiri, Peretoru, Twon-Brass, Egwema-Brass, Kaiama, Nembe, Odi, Ogbia, Okpoama, Brass, Oporoma, Korokorosei, Otuan, Sagbama, Olugbobiri, Peremabiri, Ekowe, and Swali.

The Akassa Lighthouse has stood since 1910.[6]


Languages of Bayelsa State listed by LGA:[7]

LGA Languages
Brass Abureni; Southeast Ijo; Ogbia; Kugbo
Ekeremor Izon
Kolokuma Opokuma Izon
Nembe Abureni; Southeast Ijo. Izon (Ijaw)
Ogbia Abureni; Southeast Ijo; Odual; Ogbia; Oruma
Sagbama Biseni; Isoko; Izon; Ogbah; Okodia; Urhobo
Southern Ijaw Southeast Ijo; Izon
Yenagoa Engenni; Epie; Izon; Ekpeye

Notable peopleEdit


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.


The major tertiary institutions in Bayelsa state are:

  • Niger Delta University
  • Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education
  • College of Health Sciences
  • School of Nursing
  • Bayelsa State College of Arts and Science
  • Bayelsa Medical University
  • University of Africa
  • Federal Polytechnic Ekeowe
  • International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality[24]
  • Federal University Otuoke

Local Government AreasEdit

Bayelsa State consists of eight local government areas:


  1. ^ "2006 PHC Priority Tables – National Population Commission". Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  2. ^ a b "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Canback Dangel. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  4. ^ a b "Learn About Bayelsa State, Nigeria | People, Local Government and Business Opportunities in Bayelsa". Overview of Nigeria |NgEX. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  5. ^ "Nigeria Biodiversity and Tropical Forestry Assessment" (PDF). USAID. June 2008. p. 76. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  6. ^ "Since 1910, a Lighthouse in the Creeks". Folio Nigeria. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Nigeria". Ethnologue (22 ed.). Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  8. ^ "Gabriel Okara | Nigerian author". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
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  10. ^ "Who Killed Adaka Boro". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  11. ^ "DANIEL IGALI - From obscurity to wrestling stardom - The Nation Nigeria". The Nation Nigeria. 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  12. ^ Society, Urhobo Historical. "Former Military Governor Diete-Spiff Reflects On Background Problems of the Invasion". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  13. ^ "Edmund Daukoru". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  14. ^ "How Governor Melford Okilo Discovered Olumba Olumba Brotherhood - Brand Campaign". Brand Campaign. 2016-09-14. Archived from the original on 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  15. ^ "Biography | The Office of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  16. ^ "Masquerades and Jokers as Governors in Bayelsa State". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  17. ^ "Afrotainment-Museke Online African Music Awards 2011". 2011-09-28.
  18. ^ "TIMI DAKOLO". Archived from the original on 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  19. ^ "Bayelsa honours Samson SIasia, others". Premium Times Nigeria. 2018-05-18. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  20. ^ "Diezani Alison-Madueke scored another firs - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. 2014-12-02. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  21. ^ "ETETE, Chief Dan Lauzia". Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation. 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  22. ^ "Nigeria: Eagles, Black Stars Will Survive Group Stage -Finidi". This Day (Lagos). 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  23. ^ Falae, Vivian. "Present Nigerian Ministers and their portfolios".
  24. ^ Oduma, Igoniko (12 April 2018). "Bayelsa Govt Tasks Governing Councils Of State-Owned Tertiary Institutions". Retrieved 2018-07-29.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 4°45′N 6°05′E / 4.750°N 6.083°E / 4.750; 6.083