Use Your Social Capital As Valuable Asset For Tourism Development And Promotion – Gov. Diri’s SSA Tells Bayelsa Senior Citizens

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has enjoined Bayelsa senior citizens to deploy their social capital in public policy formulation to compliment the tourism development and promotion efforts of the prosperity administration under Senator Douye Diri, informing that social capital is as valuable as financial and human capital.

Addressing senior citizens recently in Yenagoa under the auspices of the Progressive Committee of Friends, headed by the Amananaowei of Kalama Community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, HRH Bob Ebikiye Lawani at the popular South Coast Lounge hosted by Rear Admiral Thomas Lokoson (rtd), Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo maintained that social capital enables people with like minds to work together effectively to achieve set objectives, even as it allows a society or organization to function together as a whole through trust and shared identity, norms, values, and mutual relationships.

Commending Governor Diri for promoting peace tourism throughout his first tenure in office, Dr. Kiyaramo observed that peace had been the hallmark of the prosperity administration, reiterating that the governor devoted time and resources to promote a peaceful environment in the state, preparatory to robust tourism development and promotion in his second tenure which would commence on February 14, 2024.

“Simply put, social capital benefits society as a whole through social relationships. Strengthening community social capital in a sustainable manner has been proven to provide an increased community motivation and skills as well as ability to capture and take advantage of opportunities in developing community based tourism.

“It is on record that communities that prop high social capital stand better chances to grow tourism. Communities whose development projects focus on tourism promotion will always continue to grow of their local economies.

“You can increase your social capital by being prosocial; being helpful and giving by getting to know people, by strengthening your existing relationships, and by trusting and being trustworthy. Essentially, increasing one’s social capital is about generating goodwill towards others.

“It is about being a good global citizen and developing networks and reputation for integrity and transparency. Social capital is like a favour bank that encapsulates part of social capital.

“For an individual, social capital is about knowing a lot of people well. It’s about having strong positive relationships embedded in positive social structures with a lot of people from a variety of backgrounds and positions. You increase your social capital by talking, connecting, giving, caring, sharing, valuing, and trusting.

“Throughout his first tenure, Governor Diri promoted peaceful co-existence among all Ijaws, which is part of the peace tourism campaign that resulted in the current peaceful environment in the state. Leadership’s ability to plan opportunities to improve the capabilities of citizens to collaborate in developing healthy networks is key to sustainable tourism development, and that is what the prosperity administration has achieved in that first tenure,” Dr. Kiyaramo emphasised.

In his welcome remark, President of Progressive Committee of Friends, HRH Bob Ebikiye Lawani and Amananaowei of Kalama Community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, thanked God for keeping members of the body alive to see the new year.

While expressing sympathy to the families of members who lost their lives in the passing year, he lamented the sudden death of two members and wives of two members in 2023, saying that their demise was a monumental loss to the body.

The president thanked the host, Rear Admiral Thomas Lokoson (rtd) for his magnanimity in hosting the organization at such an auspicious time, just as he appealed to members to always endeavour to participate in meetings and make their contributions towards achieving the collective objectives of the body in the new year.

While giving the vote of thanks, a retired principal and senior citizen, Mr. Asamaowei Nimiye commended members for making out time to participate in the end of year get-together.

Mr. Nimiye also used the opportunity to appeal to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo to continue to use his good offices to promote activities of the organisation, which, according to him, were geared towards peace building and peaceful co-existence.


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