By PATRICK ABANG, Calabar –
The Cross River State government has secured a $15 million private sector investment into the Agip Eku oil Palm estate with multiple effect on employment and growth of the state GDP
Also the state government has developed a six years agricultural credit guarantee fund of 30 billion naira for rice, maize, fisheries and livestock farmers….CONTINUE READING
Speaking while addressing the people of the state to mark his 100 Days in office, Governor Bassey Otu explained that in the coming weeks, Calabar will wear a new look.
He said: ‘It is with a sense of duty and responsibility that I address you fellow Cross Riverians and residents of the State on the journey we have jointly undertaken as a people towards a prosperous and united Cross River State”
“May I in the passing, thank you for the overwhelming support and other elements of goodwill you extended to us during the 2023 general elections. By this singular act you have signed an unwritten contract with the government – the social contract; by entrusting us with your power and authority to manage the common wealth of the State on your behalf”
“Our” government. Accordingly, when we adopt this mind set in our day to day activities, collectively we shall have a State we will be proud of and bequeath same to the next generation.
“On the most orchestrated 100 days in office, I wish to state that the celebration is more of an administration myth than a reality. The myth is premised on the huge expectation of the citizenry for the government to deliver on its campaign promises in sprints; and the reality of it is that governance is never a sprint but a marathon”
‘This marathon race of governance requires time-tested procedures of bottom-up planning, execution, review and completion. It requires patience, discipline and focus. So, this is the approach the present administration is adopting to ensure the sustainable growth and development of our State.
“Fellow Cross Riverians, gentlemen of the Press, permit me at this juncture to present to you some sectoral accomplishments and plans so far made by this administration since its inception on May 29, 2023’
INFRASTRUCTURE: The bedrock of any economic and social development is availability of relevant infrastructural facilities. To this end, the State Government has within 100 days in office, has achieved the following milestones:
i) Upgrade and completion of the ultra modern Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) which hosted the recently concluded International Cooperation and Investment Summit.
ii) Completion of 1.2km concrete-paved Nyong Edem Street, Calabar South.
iii) Rehabilitation of Edet Ansa Farm Access Road and Etap Ayip Road, in Calabar Municipality.
iv) Rehabilitation of 3km Bebuasuan Rural Access Road in Obudu LGA.
v) Rehabilitation of 3km Ketting Community Road in Obanliku LGA.
vi) Re-modeling and renovation of the Governor’s Office Complex (ongoing).
vii) Construction of 39km Ukelle Road in Yala LGA (ongoing).
viii) Award of contract for the renovation/equipping of the State ultra-modern library complex, Calabar.
ix) Restoration and beautification of the millennium park recreational Garden, Calabar.
x) Reconstruction of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) warehouses.
AGRICULTURE: As we are aware, agriculture is the area Cross River State has comparative advantage over many States of the federation. Prime attention is therefore given to this sector with the following achievements so far.
i) The present administration has attracted $15million private sector investment into the Ayip Eku Oil Palm Estate, with multiple effect on employment and growth of State GDP.
ii) Government has also developed a-6-years N30bn agricultural credit guarantee fund for rice, maize, fisheries and livestock farmers.
iii) In order to ascertain with precision, the soil texture for specific crops in the different zones of the State, Government has commenced the State-wide Digital Soil Fertility Mapping. This will translate to greater yields of different crops.
iv) In partnership with the Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (ORGAN), the State Government has commenced the planting of 3.5million hybrid oil palm seedlings in 13 identified locations across the State.
v) In agric-related human capital development, the State Government has sponsored indigenes of the State to participate in cassava-bio value chain conference in Asaba-Delta State for subsequent establishment of cassava-bio fuel factory in the State, as well as workshop on sustainable oil palm economy.
vi) 50 starter-rice growers have been given free rice seedlings, fertilizer and pesticides, while 30 starter-livestock farmers have been assisted with day old chicks, feeds etc.
AVIATION: In order to transform the State into a transit hub and evacuation corridor, the following have been achieved.
i) The State Government has attracted an Irish Aviation Company to build and run an Aviation Training School in Bebi, Obanliku. The State Government will undertake the payment of full tuition fees for all the indigenes of the State enrolled in the institution.
ii) The sum of N3.7bn has been made available by the State Government for the completion of the Obudu Cargo and Passenger Airport.
a) On assumption of office, we inherited a 40-ministry structure, but in order to align our lean resources with the reality of the times, we have been able to restructure and compress the ministries to 31.
b) On our debt portfolio, the State Government has successfully re-structured our debt repayment so as to give room for development projects.
c) For the first time in recent past, the State Government has fully mobilized our contingent to the forth coming National Sports Festival billed for Asaba-Delta State. This mobilization is in the areas of camping, training, allowance, logistics etc. This is a glowing testimony to the fact that this administration is youth-friendly.
d) I am also glad to announce to the teeming Cross Riverians that the recently concluded International Cooperation and Investment Summit yielded good result with over $1bn financial commitment to be invested in the State by way of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
SOCIAL SERVICES: The State Government is not ignorant of the hardship its citizen are passing through occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal. In order to cushion the effect of this unpleasant situation government has the following on it stable:
i) Reduction of working days for civil servants on GL.13 and below from 5-3 days per week.
ii) From GL.14 and above who will still be expected to work for the usual 5 days a week, a monthly stipend will be added to their salaries.
iii) There is also provision for hardship allowance for all civil servants in the State according to grade level.
iv) Reduced transportation scheme is about to be introduced in designated routes in the State.
v) Subsidized ticketing for all commercial vehicles operating within the State capital is in place, thereby reducing the fares by 50%.
vi) Government has also approved free antenatal care and delivery for pregnant women across the State.
Set up committee for distribution of N2bn FG palliatives
Meanwhile, Governor Otu has constituted a committee that would be responsible for the distribution of the N2 billion federal government palliative sent to the state to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
He disclosed this on Friday in Calabar during a media parley in commemoration of his first 100 days in office.
According to him, the committee, which is headed by Anthony Owan-Enoh, secretary to the government of Cross River, also has Emmanuel Ironbar, chief of staff to the Governor, among other members drawn from different groups, including traditional and religious organisations.
He also announced a reduction of working days for civil servants from 5 to 3 days to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy with an additional N10,000 monthly allowance to all in the service.
The governor also announced a free antenatal care services for pregnant women in the state using government hospitals….CONTINUE READING