Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Capital: Yenagoa
Area: 21,100 km˛
Population: 2,000,000
Major Languages:  Ijaw, Izon, Nembe, Epie-Atissa, Ogbia
Governor:  Henry Dickson(PDP)
Religion Christianity
Date Created: 1 October 1996
Population Rank: Ranked 35th



Bayelsa State is located in southern Nigeria in the Niger Delta region. Its capital is Yenagoa and it is bordered on the west by Rivers State, on the East and South by the Atlantic Ocean and on the North by Delta State. Bayelsa state was created on Oct 1, 1996 out of Rivers State and its name was derived from the fist 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.

The first military governor of Bayelsa state was Oladipo Phillips Ayeni, and the first democratically elected governor was Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

The significant part of the state is covered in water and the local population engage in fishing on a subsistence and commercial level. Bayelsa State has one of the largest crude oil and natural gas deposits in Nigeria and a thriving petroleum sector. The first oil found in commercial quantities in Nigeria was found in 1956, in an area that is currently part of Bayelsa State.


Bayelsa State was created on October 1, 1996 out of the old Rivers State by the Federal Military Government of General Sanni Abacha.  The name, Bayelsa, is an acronym of three former Local Government areas – Brass, Yenagoa and Sagbama – in the then Rivers State, which had earlier on comprised the entire area now constituting Bayelsa State. The then Brass LGA is what makes up the present Nembe, Brass and Ogbia Local Government Areas; the then Yenagoa LGA consist of the present Yenagoa, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas and the then Sagbama LGA is what makes up the present Sagbama and Ekeremor Local Government Areas


There are four main languages spoken by the people are Izon, Nembe, Ogbia and Epie-Atissa. The predominant religions in the State are Christianity and Traditional worship. Bayelsa State has 24 first class traditional rulers (and many second and third class traditional rulers) recognized by the State Government.

Local Government Areas

The state has eight local government areas namely: Kolokuma Opokuma, Brass, Nembe, Sagbama, Ekeremor, Ogbia, Yenagoa, Ijaw North and Ijaw South.



Business Opportunities

The major occupations in the State are fishing, farming, palm oil milling, lumbering, palm wine tapping, local gin making, trading, carving and weaving. The state is blessed with an abundant supply of crude oil and she has other mineral resources such as Natural Gas, Fine Sand and Clay (used in pottery and porcelain production).


Bayelsa state is blessed with many centres of historical attraction. Some of these attractions are The Slave Transit Hall, Akassa, The Oloibiri Oil Museum, The Akassa Raid Graveyard, The War Boat at Aleibiri and Manilla and Bronze heads in the Opokuma forest near Oloibiri.

Useful Resources

Bayelsa State Government Website  -


State Liason Office:
Izon Wari, Plot 1038, Shehu Shagari Way, Central Business District, Abuja