The Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade has said his trip across Asia was aimed at drawing foreign investors and boosting the economic fortunes of the state.
Ayade said his trip to Asia was for the interest of the state as modalities had been put on ground to ensure that several factories currently at various stages of construction across the state became operational soon.
He made the disclosure while addressing newsmen on arrival at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, the state capital, over the weekend
According to Ayade, “Every trip I have made is for the interest of Cross River. If I need to go on a holiday, I will not choose Asia, you don’t go to Asia for a holiday, you go to Asia for business. Cross River will witness the change I have always sought and against that background, our factories will start running soon.”
He insisted that “for any society to grow, its roads, ports and factories remain very critical, hence my intervention on factories which is a co-agendum that I drive, creating an opportunity for us to become manufacturers and producers so that we can underpin our tourism on hard work as the foundation of deliberate income for young people.”
Disclosing areas where the trip will be of immense benefit to the citizenry, Ayade said he visited India regarding the 21 megawatts power project in the state.
He said, “I brought back an Indian team with me, and so in a couple of weeks, they will be doing the test run.”
On the state’s garment factory already in operation, Ayade remarked that “the state cotton farm will synergize at this short interval with Indian cotton which is known to be the best and much cheaper than importing from China, to ensure that the factory switches to optimal operation”, a feat he said said “will see Cross River saving over N700 million as all carnival costumes for this year will be made in the state’s garment factory through the help of the Indian team and professionals.”
He pointed out that with the completion of earthworks on the 147km dual carriage road project in the northern senatorial district of the state, asphalting will commence soon, adding that in the next six weeks, the state will take delivery of the entire equipment required for the processing of cocoa.
Ayade, who earlier made a commitment to employ 9000 youths from the three senatorial districts in the state, also hinted that to sustain the dream, he came with a team to lay the foundation for their massive sustainable recruitment, urging people of the state “to sit back, watch and see the drama that will unfold.
“While America is in the past, Asia is in the present, Africa is indeed the future and I am leading a generational change, a new philosophy to celebrate Africa for what we are.”
He urged youths to enrol in the Construction Academy, an initiative of his administration geared towards building a skilled workforce.
Ayade said: “It is time to put our hands on the plough so that we can drive a new Cross River that will give us the horizon of hope and prosperity that will engender that kind of success we all anticipate.”