Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Ope Quadri
Nigeria’s major source of revenue today, crude oil, is traced to Oliobiri, the present-day Bayelsa State, South-South geopolitical zone. But apart from oil, the state is blessed with other resources that could sustain the economic management of a country is properly harnessed.
In this guide, we’re going to elaborately cover some of the profitable business opportunities in Bayelsa state for investors both at home and abroad.
With eight local government areas, most of the towns and villages are surrounded by waters, that state has a lot of viable investment opportunities.
When discussion around investment in a country or state comes up, it’s germane to know about the safety of the state and what the state has put in place to motivate boost investment.
Is Bayelsa a Good State To Invest?
There are several indicators the Doing Business, an arm of the World Bank, uses to measure the suitability of a country and state for doing business. But in this guide, we’re going to limit it to three major parameters that could sustain or threaten an investment. They are:
- Ease of doing business
- Business policies by the state government
In terms of doing business in Bayelsa, the state was ranked No. 10 in the Ease of Doing Business by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council. The final report of the committee was based on infrastructure and security, regulatory environment, transparency and access to information, and skills workforce readiness.
To rank number 10 out of 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) isn’t a poor performance, however, it’s important prospective investors do an on-the-field assessment of the state before investing in the oil-rich state.
In terms of security, the state has some security challenges most especially on the waterways. Findings in the past showed that most of the criminal activities of kidnapping for ransom, threatening to destroy oil facilities are carried out by the unemployed youths in the host community.
As such, investors need to be on security alert and work closely with trusted government officials and locals in order to have a smooth investment stay in the state.
In terms of investment policies by the Bayelsa state government, we’ve only seen on papers promises by state governors that they would give land, they would give accelerated approval for Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), but it’s a different ball game when it comes to implementation.
However, one of the bold steps the state has taken just like Osun and Ondo is the creation of an investment agency called BIPA also known as Bayelsa Investment Promotion Agency, a one-stop office that has the mandate of assisting investors in addressing the issue of bureaucracies.
What are the investment opportunities in Bayelsa?
The three investment indicators highlighted above aren’t meant to discourage you, but to let you know that, definitely, you are going to face some challenges, which are surmountable.
Are you ready?
From oil to gas, fishing to haulage business, palm oil processing to food exports, below is a comprehensive list of business opportunities in Bayelsa state.
Nearly all the towns and villages in Bayelsa are interlinked by water. The larger part of the state area is covered by rivers thereby creating a huge investment opportunity for fishery investor who wants to be closer to the source of raw materials
The best part is that the demand for fish in the Nigerian markets is huge such that millions of homes in the country still depend on imported aquatic products like fish, crayfish, among others.
In January 2021, the founder of Aquatic Hub Afrique Network (AHAN), Mr. Steve Okeleji, revealed in an interview with Premium Times that Nigeria spends NGN125billion to import fish every year.
Again, in July 2021, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, disclosed that Nigeria imports 2.2 million tons of fish annually. The data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also shows that Nigeria spends so much to import fish for consumption.
For an investor looking for a huge market in aquaculture and fisheries, Bayelsa state should be a top priority for this business because the state is surrounded by water resources.
Some of the aquatic found in Bayelsa include mackerel, finfish, bonga sardines, shad, jacks, shekkfish species, and tilapia among others.
Investment in fishery automatically creates another big market for exports. Strategically, you can target some of the large importers of fish around the world.
Apart from meeting the nutritious needs of the local market, this will also create fishery job opportunities for thousands of people who want to be suppliers within and to other states.
Sea Ports Management
Recently, Nigeria’s government which is in control of waterways revealed that it is privatizing national seaports across the country. This has further opened up investment in the management of ports.
The significance of this is that Lagos port is still the major channel of importing goods into Nigeria thereby creating congestion, slowing down clearance, thereby making importers even spend more in the clearing process.
This is a business opportunity in Bayelsa as international goods can find their directly into Bayelsa seaports to meet the demands of the state and its environs.
The major means of transporting goods and people within the state and means of connection with neigbhouring states like Delta and Rivers remain waterways through the use of boat, locally made canoe. This is an existing business in the state as people build local canoes.
This is a huge market for the boat-building investor who is ready to tap into technology to redefine the means of transportation in the riverine area.
Apart from meeting the demands of the local farmers and traders, this investment can also serve the untapped tourism potential of the state. Most tourists who visit the state are afraid to use the locally-made canoe. A classic and readily available advanced speed boat can enhance the yearning to enjoy their waterways experience.
Real Estate Investment
Because of the landscape of the state surrounded by rivers, the investment in the real estate sector is yet to be fully exploited. There are only a few real estate companies in the state which are even operating below capacity.
One thing can be attributed to this, it would cost more to build good apartments in a waterlogged area than completely dry land.
Interestingly, investors, oil waters, and engineers who visit the state for short visits need short-let to enjoy their stay. And investment in short-let is one of the ways investors can come. At the time of publication, short-let is only popular in one state in Southwest geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Investing in short-let, a new way in the real estate sector is another way an investor can tap into. This can be done by building commercial workspaces and putting them up for outright sale or for letting considering the rate at which financial institutions, oil firms, telcoms are finding their way into the oil-rich state.
Investment in Palm Oil Processing
Palm oil used to be one of the major sources of revenue for the defunct regional government before the discovery of oil. Since the discovery of crude oil, the sector has suffered major neglect.
Economically, the state is blessed with abundant oil palm trees, in fact, palm oil plantation, apart from fishing, is the major source of revenue for local farmers. However, they use archaic means for the process.
This is a huge business opportunity in Bayelsa state for investors to build palm oil processing plants and use modern machines to increase production and processing.
Bayelsa is home to a variety of timber, most of which are transported to neighbouring states for processing before they are taken back for use for furniture use. This is an opportunity for investors to meet the needs of the people and its environs.
Crops like pineapple, mango, pawpaw, and banana are planted in large quantities which are usually sold off because of fear of spoilage. This is another opportunity for investors in the establishment of fruit factory.
Right now, federal government-owned refineries have technically “collapsed”. The only option left for the government is to export crude oil to overseas countries, the refined products are then imported back to Nigeria to meet local consumption.
Pathetically, barrels of crude oil gotten from Bayelsa and other crude-oil producing states in Nigeria are exported.
While this may be a failure on the part of the government for poor management and inefficiency, it also creates an investment opportunity for oil investors to construct refineries in the Bayelsa state which produces thousands of barrels weekly.
Rice Production Factory
With its favourable soil – we soil – Bayelsa is a great place for rice cultivation and production factory. The market is huge because nearly every Nigerian home consumes rice daily.
And with Nigeria’s population of more than 200,000,000 people and still counting, investing in the cultivation of rice and factory for processing and packaging is a sector an investor should consider.
Rubber Processing Factory
Latex from the rubber tree in the state is exported to states where rubber factories are located.
Latex is the raw material to finished products like tennis shoes, gloves, and many products most of which are imported into Nigeria. This unavailability of a rubber processing factory in a state that has an abundant plantation of rubber trees creates another great opportunity.
Water Treatment Plant
More than 40 percent of Bayelsa is covered by water. Sadly, most of the towns and villages in the state don’t have access to quality water because of oil spillage and other industrial discharges from oil companies.
Although it calls for actionable efforts by the state and the stakeholders, it is also an investment opportunity for investors to set up water treatment plants or water purification systems to solve the existing problem.
Despite the ban on poultry meats by the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, but research shows that $3billion was spent on illegal importation of frozen chicken annually since the ban, data obtained on MSMEs Today reveals.
The platform which provides useful information on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) also projected that poultry meat would account 14 percent of Nigeria’s meat consumption by 2029 while meat consumption is projected to increase from 1.25 million tonnes to 1.49 million tonnes by the same year.
Though poultry farming has expanded hugely since the ban, the dependence on imported products means two things: 1) insufficient local production, 2) quality of the imported ones.
Bayelsa isn’t an exception, the state still depends on the importation of poultry meats from other states from Nigeria.
This means an investment opportunity for investors in poultry farming. The establishment of a big farm that will focus on poultry meats production will not only meet the local demands but other neihbouring states that have an insufficient supply of the products.
Natural Resources Mining
Apart from oil and gas, the aquatic wealth of the Bayelsa, it’s also among the states in Nigeria blessed with natural resources. Some of the mineral resources are useful for industrial use as its economic mining would also reduce the importation of such products.
For instance, the God-given minerals that can be found in Bayelsa are: Lead/Zinc (used for protecting steel from rust); clay (used for decorative products); and Lignite used for generating electricity is of the mineral resources investors can invest in Bayelsa. Others include Maganese, Limestone, and Uranium.
Freight business involves handling customers’ shipments and ensuring safe delivery of goods around the world through waterways, airports, and by road.
The opportunities mentioned above create a huge investment in the freight forwarding business in Bayelsa considering its large water resources and closeness to the ocean.
The aforementioned investment opportunities in Bayelsa state aren’t exhaustive as there are other business ideas in the state nicknamed, “Glory of all lands”.
Even as plan to work on the ones listed above, we urge you to do a market survey since a lot of things may have changed after the publication of this piece.
- By Alessandro Rossi on Unsplash