Dickson regretted that the nation is still importing refined products in spite of the magnitude of the barrels of crude oil produced daily in the country.
The governor, who spoke in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said his administration was ready to partner with the Organized Private Sector (OPS) in building a refinery in the state.
According to him, the building of the refinery would open a vista of opportunities for investors in the oil and gas sector of the economy.
Dickson was accompanied on the foreign trip by an elder statesman, Ambassador Lawrence Ekpebu; Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Sam Ateki and the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Ayakeme Massah.
Besides, the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities in Oloibiri in 1956, the governor said the Bayelsa was the second leading oil producing-state in Nigeria, as he urged investors to avail themselves of the advantage.
He said: “This development is an opportunity for investors that have foresight to take advantage of that situation and then move in and work with us. We are ready to look at how we can build refinery that will not be subjected to any bureaucracy; a refinery that will be private sector owned and driven.
“All these opportunities are there; opportunities in petro-chemicals. That is what the story of Bayelsa is all about.
“There is almost nothing that a foreigner cannot do. There are procedures for registering your company, getting expatriate workers of a particular grade to come as you would have in every country. Beyond that, we don’t really have any problem as long as the business is legitimate.”
On the issue of corruption in emerging African markets, Dickson said: “I sent a number of bills to the state House of Assembly and I took a number of radical steps at the time I assumed office and hopefully, the decisions are paying off.
“We started with the Transparency Law which obliges me as the governor of the state and all those who run the local councils that derive money from the Federation Account to publicly disclose it on a monthly basis.
“We made it an impeachable offence in the event of failure to comply with this law. We are the only state in Nigeria for now that does it. I am not saying other states do not have processes or procedures that ensure transparency.
This has made it possible for our government to enjoy the confidence of our own local population and the confidence of our investing communities outside.”