Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Capital: Yenagoa
Area: 10,773 km˛
Population: 1,998,349 (2005 est.)
Major Languages:  Ijaw, Izon, Nembe, Epie-Atissa, Ogbia
Governor: Timpreye Sylvia (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 one of the states created by the Federal Military Government of Gen. Sani Abacha on 1st Oct., 1996. The State was carved out of Rivers State.


Bayelsa is a multi-ethnic state comprised of many ethnic groups such as Kolokunu, Ekpetiama Igbriran, Atissa and Biseni, others are Nember, Ogbia and Ogbein, with each having its own dialect.

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

Crops largely produced in the State are Yam, Cassava, Plantain, Palm Oil and Banana. Fishing is a major occupation of the people of the state.

The state is blessed with an abundant supply of crude oil. The state also 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:
Plot 1233, Bishop Oluwole Street, PMB 12634 V.Island, Near Yakubu Gowon Centre, Asokoro District Abuja