The old aphorism that ‘a cow does not value its tail until it is cut off,’ remains a truism that aptly captures the realities in Cross River State and Government of His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade.
Governor Ben Ayade, a former Senator representing Cross River North has been famous for creatively using his office to bless humanity. It was this scorecard that endeared him to the people, leading to his election as Governor in 2015.
On assumption of office, Ayade made a bold attempt at reinventing the wheel and by decoupling the state from the meagre FAAC accruing as well as ensuring that Cross River is diversified away from being a core civil service state. In the regard, he formulated the Industrial Drive as an economic model, fashioned after the Asian Tiger.
He started with agricultural revolution with a futuristic aim that it would provide forward linkage to industries. The idea was that Cross River would become an industrial cluster where capacities of people will be built to produce raw materials, train industrialists to transform those raw materials into finished goods and to market such products both within and outside the frontiers of Nigeria in a profitable manner with the aim of creating wealth.
To achieve the aim of mailing Cross River State an industrial hub and cynosure of Africa, the Governor initiated some signature projects, prominent amongst which were the Super Highway Projects and Deep Sea Project which serve as corridors for free flow of economic resources in and out of the state and Nigeria.
This idea manifested in a number of agricultural and industrial edifices that earned Ayde a good number of awards within and beyond the shores of Nigeria. Amongst those edifices are Calachika, Ayade Industrial Park, CalaPharm, Super Highway, Deep Sea Project, Ogoja/Yala Ultra Modern Rice Mill, Cocoa Processing Plant, Ikom, Cally Air, amongst others. Besides, thousands of Cross Riverians, both at the state and LGA levels, are in the state’s payroll, receiving salaries, courtesy of Ayade.
It may be argued that some of these projects are yet to be completed, yet every rational person should know that the Governor is doing well, considering the meagre allocation accruing to the coffers of the state, coupled with the huge debt burden that the Governor is currently servicing. Besides, government is a continuum; Rome was not built in a day.
With the Industrial revolution in Cross River State, there has been drastic reduction in Brian drain; prior to Aydae’s administration, a good number of Cross Riverians, after their secondary or university education leave the state in search of greener pasture. Now, a good number of them are gainfully employed, contributing their quota to the economy of Cross River.
Governor Ben Ayade should be applauded for his achievements so far in Cross River State. It is said that a prophet is not honoured in his home town – while Ayade is being celebrated worldwide as an champion of economic development through his magical policies, few people in Cross River State keep decrying his policies. Only those who have eyes can see the future Ayade has created for the unborn generation.
Chf. Mrs Angela Ogeyi Odey. DG. Cross River State. School to Land