THE ABANDONED, REHABILITATED AND PROGRESSING BILLION NAIRA FEDERAL ROADS

In local parlance, the term, money miss road describes the misfortune of putting money in wrong hands or in the hand of a foolish person. Year in, year out so much money is reportedly churned out of the nation’s coffers purportedly to construct new roads and repair or rehabilitate dilapidated ones. Yet, in thecourse of time, much of the
capital votes fly past the construction or rehabilitation sites into the pockets of super consultants and fake contractors while the genuine engineering firms, mostly the multinationals, reputed for delivering durable roads
and bridges on schedule once they are duly mobilized, are left to experiment with what one Chinese expert describes as, “small money, small job”. That is to say, if government failed to release enough funds for construction work,
nobody should expect elaborate jobs to be delivered o n schedule.

Only last week, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Raji Babatunde Fashola announced at the National Council on Works and Housing meeting held in Calabar that the construction of a network of Trunk A roads across the
nation was progressing rapidly. Fashola who was represented by his Minister of State in the Ministry, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu assured that the more than … kilometers of roads which comes to two road projects per state and the
FCT will add to the nation’s infrastructural assets in the next couple of months. About a month ago, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the release of 􀀀605 billion for construction and rehabilitation of a network of Trunk A roads nationwide. Beyond what ought to be cheery news to commuters, stakeholders in the road transport
sector and the generality of Nigerians, all too often such announcements turn out to be a rehash of tales to justify shoddy jobs executed and a nightmare of macadamized roads ridden with gorging potholes (boreholes wrongly located?) and only about the dual carriageways within the FCT and the Abuja- Kaduna-Kano Highway.

The story of road and bridges sub-sectors and indeed other infrastructure deficit remains a mirage as officials who were quick at laying blames on previous regimes and promised better deals upon assuming office, are not only under-achieving but also chewing their own words as they relish in excuse-mania. The good excuse of difficult terrain, soaring cost of bitumen and charges per metre of roads and construction materials are used to justify the
situation in the Niger Delta region especially the northernmost axis of Cross River and Akwa Ibom where the Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene-Aba and Calabar- Ikom-Ogoja-Katsina Ala roads have suffered most. The controversy
surrounding the supposed dualisation of the former and the latter speaks loudly of the contempt some Federal
officials and road operatives hold on a section of the country even as they are subjected to pain and deceit. How have our subjects respond to the Daily Sun Newspaper report of Monday, October 28, 2019 titled, “Reps Committee flays discrepancy on Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road contract”? It captures the amazement and anguish of the Federal
House Ad hoc Committee on Abandoned Federal Roads which expressed disappointment in the haphazard manner the dual carriage construction of Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road contract was awarded by the FG. Contract for the
dual carriageway was awarded in April 24, 2018 by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing which ought to be completed within 30 months. But the House Committee headed by Mr. Francis Udoyok was surprised to know that
sections of the road totaling 29.3 km had not been awarded for construction. Udoyok told journalists after inspecting the Akwa Ibom State stretch of the road from Ididep in Ibiono Ibom to Ayadehe in Itu LGAs respectively that the
exclusion of key sections was disappointing.

“We have come to confirm that the so called award for the Ikot Ekpene-Calabar- Itu road is not in complete truth; a section of it has not been awarded. You can see that from where we stand, which is the end of the beginning of section one, so to speak, is Ayadehe in Itu LG council to where you have the power plant in Odukpani LGC is not
awarded. “Then after the power plant is another (portion) to Odukpani junction. Even the beginning of the project
from Ikot Ekpene to Ididep is not awarded. So, we have a bad spot that is not awarded; over 27 km, then you come in between and award about 21km, then you leave 29.3km and award another 9.3km. So you can see the level of inconsistency.” Meanwhile, upon the reported flag off at Biase in 2018 of the 73-kilometre Odukpani Junction-Ikot
Okopra-Akpet 1 section of the Calabar-Ogoja Federal Highway Rehabilitation by the then Minister of Power, Works and Housing (now without the “Power” portfolio), Mr. Babatunde Fashola, there are many questions to answer.
Of the N14,017,170,597.90 cost attached to the project, how much would the super minister and his erstwhile
Minister of State in the Ministry, Alhaji Mustapha Baba-Shehuri (redeployed in the second term to Agriculture and Rural Development) who represented him, say went into the job? Consider that what is there appears to replicate the “Slow, Men at Work” performance of the PWD (Public Works Department) of the olden days or less than what our
own Road Maintenance Agency (RMA) in CRS is capable of implementing?

Does this demonstrate the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to bridge the infrastructural gap in the country? Will this provide the much needed stimulants for economic growth and ease
of doing business? Has the local contractor, Sermatech Construction Company which handled the project met the
completion period of 24 months? Would the federal government say with any iota of confidence that Cross River and Akwa Ibom states have benefitted or are in any way better off in its (FG’s) heavy investment in the provision of critical infrastructure with at least one ongoing road project per state? Are people and residents of the two sister states or those traversing through their landscapes happy enough to declare their travel comfort upon the acclaimed “massive infrastructure development was embarked on by the present administration across the six geopolitical
zones in the country” as the Director in charge of Highways, Construction and Rehabilitations in the Ministry, Engr. Yemi Oguntominiyi stated? What quality of work can guarantee that 73-km single carriage way linking the industrial town of Akamkpa to Biase-Yakurr road will not deteriorate soon with its frequent plying by industrialists around the area? Will the shoulders of the road not completely erode, the entire alignment not be riddled with alligator cracks or be characterized by potholes in a short while after the rehab? Having inspected other “completed and ongoing
rehabilitation projects along the Calabar-Ikom- Ogoja federal highway”, how impressed was the minister and his
entourage with what they heard from his Federal Controller of Works in the state, Engr. Bassey Nsentip who led the
inspection?

It is a practical thing for the people to judge for themselves as the officials lay claims of perfection through the scope of work for the contract which “entails site clearance of shoulders, scarification of the existing failed carriage way and the provision of asphaltic concrete surfacing. “The scope of work also includes surface dressing of shoulders, concrete lined drains, de-silting of blocked culverts, reinforced concrete pipe culverts among others. “When completed, the road will greatly reduce vehicle operation maintenance cost, improve travel time, reduce accidents, as well as loss of lives and properties. “It will also enhance the socio-economic wellbeing of the people along the
corridor, generate employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled labour and assist in the fight against crime,” he said. In the same track, could the FG rationalize why it should not/reimburse/has not reimbursed state
governments that diligently took over its bounden responsibility, all be it based on agreements, of repairing/rehabilitating the Trunk A roads in their states?

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OFFICE OF THE WIFE OF THE GOVERNOR

*JULY, 2019 – DR. AYADE REITERATES CRSG’S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAIN ENGAGEMENT WITH PARTNERS

Wife of Cross River State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has reiterated the State Government’s commitment to sustain engagement with donor agencies, implementing partners and other organizations through core technical groups, partners meetings and other fora to identify challenges to implementing maternal Newborn and Child Health
(MNCH) interventions in a timely manner and proffering concrete practical solutions. Dr. Ayade stated this
during the Saving Mothers Giving Life Initiative (SMGL) End of Project Dissemination Meeting held recently at Diamond Ball Hall, Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, organized by Pathfinder International. The Governor’s wife who was represented by the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Omotunde Ivara Esu, stated that MNCH outcomes are a
major source of concern for the Ayade-Ied administration, while hoping that the outcomes of the end of project
dissemination meeting by Pathfinder International will set the course of enhanced sustainability of the gains of the project, in order to continue to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in CRS and Nigeria at large as well as make the future bright for women and children.

In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, CRS Ministry of the Health, Dr. Joseph Bassey, welcomed all
present on behalf of Ministry of Health and all the entire Health Sectors to the SMGL End of project disseminating
meeting.

*MDF BRIEFS MEDIA
The Chief Operating Officer for MDF, Mr. Jeffery Adamade, expressed thanks to God helping the organization to grow and their work thus far, commending the efforts of the President of MDF/Initiator, Dr. (Mr.) Linda Ayade for her immense support in the development of the organization, coupled with her passion for the less privileged in the society. In his remarks, the Editorin- Chief, CRS Newspaper Corporation and National Vice Chairman, Nigeria
Guild of Editors, Mr. Sam Egbala expressed appreciation on behalf of other gentlemen of the press present to MDF for a job well done over the past four years.

*”REFUGEES ARE ASSETS NOT A BURDEN” – GOVERNOR’S WIFE
Wife of Cross River State Governor and President of Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF) Dr. Linda Ayade has said that refugees are assets and not a burden for they are courageous people who can contribute to the vibrancy of life in the communities and countries that shelter them and therefore deserve to be honoured, as well as supported for their courage. Mrs. Ayade stated this during a 2019 World Refugee Day Press Briefing in her office in Calabar.
Highlighting the contributions of UNHCR, the Head of Sub Office, UNHCR, Ogoja, Mr. Mulugeta Sweghi stated
that their role among other things, has been to support the state and nation at large, disclosing that CRS has the largest presence of refugees (over 75%), adding that these are refugees the Nigerian government has received and provided assistance for whereas UNCHR has come into the support capacity under the leadership of the state’s
authorities. Also present at the event were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Bassey,
former Director-General, CRS Public Health Development Agency (PHDA), Dr. Betta Edu, members of staff, office of
the wife of the Governor, representatives of Ministry of Information, CRBC; NTA; Channels TV; Voice of Nigeria; News Agency of Nigeria among others.

*JUNE, 2019 – DR. AYADE CHERISHES CONTINUED UN PARTNERSHIP
Wife of Cross River State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has expressed readiness through her office and non-profit organization, Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF) to further the partnership with United Nations towards the success of the Spot Light Initiative Program (SLIP) to be implemented in the state. The Governor’s wife stated this recently when a team from the UN paid her a courtesy visit in her office during which she learnt that Cross River State is one of the States chosen to benefit from the SLIP, other states being Ebonyi, Adamawa, Lagos, Sokoto
and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. SLIP’s focus is on violence against women and children. Briefing the Governor’s wife, the Head of UNFPA Sub Office, South South/South East, Mr.

Kenneth Ehouzou stated that the visit was to intimate her of the full day engagement meeting with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) regarding the Spot Light’s activities to be carried out in CRS. The initiative was launched in 2017 to address all sorts of violence against women and girls in line with 2030 agenda and to be
implemented by different agencies including UNFPA and UNICEF. Speaking on MDF’s partnership with the
United Nations, the Chief Operating Officer, Mediatrix Development Foundation, Mr. Jeffrey Adamade said that it has been a wonderful experience especially with UNFPA and that they are currently working with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) implementing the livelihood project for Cameroun refugees in Cross River and Benue states. In a vote of thanks, the former Special Assistant to the Governor’s wife on Administration, Mrs. Philo Inyang appreciated the UN Team for choosing Nigeria as one of the African nations, as well as CRS as one of the states in Nigeria to benefit from the Spot Light Initiative program of the UN.

*DR. AYADE PLEDGES CONTINUED SUPPORT TO FIGHT MALARIA

Wife of Cross River State (CRS) Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has pledged through her office, her NGO, the Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF), as well as the state government to continue to do her best towards the fight to
eliminate malaria disease from the state. Mrs. Ayade made the pledge recently when members of the National Team on Malaria from Abuja and Cross River State paid her a courtesy visit in her office. Dr. Ayade who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, CRS Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Bassey, expressed appreciation to the team for intimating her on the work done so far towards malaria elimination in the state and also for finding her worthy to be invested as the Malaria Elimination Champion of Cross River State. Earlier in his remarks, the Director, Public Health in the CRS Ministry of Health, Dr. Iwara Iwara who led the team congratulated Mrs. Ayade for her assumption of office as the wife of CRS Governor for the second term, adding that the purpose of their visit is to let her know that state government has commenced the mass distribution of nets for the year 2019 across the 18 LGAs of the state prior to the flag off campaign which had since taken place at Ikot Nakanda, headquarters of Akpabuyo
LGA.

Highlighting the work done so far by the team, the Malaria Logistics Adviser, Global Health Supply Chain
Procurement and Supply Management, Abuja, Mr. Godson Kingsley said that they were in the state in January to conduct a micro plan exercise and they went to all the LGAs and wards harnessing some critical information
that will enable them develop early land mass distribution campaign budget which will also help them to identify
other resources required to smoothly implement the campaign.

*MAY, 2019 – GOV’S FELICITATES CRS WOMEN FOR MOBILIZING WELL DURING POLLS
Wife of Cross River Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has congratulated the women of state for a job well done in ensuring
the victory of Senator Ben Ayade at the polls during the 2019 general elections. Mrs. Ayade felicitated them during the Luncheon/Dinner held recently at Peregrino Hall, Governor’s Lodge after the swearing in ceremony of Prof Ben Ayade and Prof. Ivara Ejemot Esu as Governor and Deputy Governor of CRS respectively for the second term in office. The Governor’s wife maintained that the Cross River State women’s fight was not in vain as they have seen the
manifestation of all their collective efforts in the inauguration of her husband as Governor of CRS which made her very proud of them. In the same vein, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barr. Tina Banku Agbor and the
one-time Women Affairs Commissioner and former member representing Calabar Municipality in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uduak Akiba also lent their voices to congratulate and appreciate Prof Ben Ayade
and his dear wife Linda for their giant strides in the state, adding that it was another victory for Cross River State women.

Speaking in an interview, the former Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Barr. RoseMary Archibong described the inauguration day as an epoch-making day in the Events Diary history of CRS while the former Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Dr. John Inyang, an Associate Professor of Mathematics said he was excited about the victory of Governor Ayade at the polls. Both the former State President of Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative (CROWEI), Mrs. Kate Ajibike and another woman leader, Mrs. Kate Ugim congratulated Cross River women for being phenomenal all through the
campaign period and for doing a good job by coming out en masse to vote for Governor Ayade thereby contributing more than 50% of their voting strength.

*REMAIN FOCUSED ON GOD – DR. AYADE ADMONISHES LATE UKPUKPEN’S FAMILY
The wife of Cross River State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has admonished the family of former member representing Obudu State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, late Rt. Hon. Stephen Ukpukpen to
remain focused on the Almighty God who will never let them down. Mrs. Ayade gave the admonition recently during
the first year remembrance mass of the deceased at St. Charles L’wanga Parish, Essien Town, Calabar. Also speaking, the former Speaker, CRSHA, Rt. Hon John Gaul Lebo described the late Rt. Hon. Ukpukpen as a very good man,
disclosing that he spent most of his childhood years with Steve. He expressed thanks to God that his wife has been
able to put herself together and seeing her reminds them that her late husband, Steve was such a good man among his other virtues. In his remarks, the former Governor of CRS, Senator Liyel Imoke stated that “death is one of those
vacuums that you cannot fill”, noting that “Steve has been particularly close to me, his passage was sudden and unexpected but we give glory to God for his life and for everything he did while on earth”.

The Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Malachi Ephraim had earlier in his exhortation based on Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47, Ephesians 1:17-23, Matt 28:19-20b and Luke 24:46. Apart from the wife of the State Governor, Speaker and Members of CRHA,
other attendees were ex- State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, Senator Gershom Bassey and the former Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious Matters, Rev. Fr. Bob Etta. According to him,’ it is difficult to lose a spouse
especially a husband for life is never the same as the wife has to play the role of a mother and father at the same time. He therefore enjoined all to keep in touch with the wife and children and continue to up hold them in prayers. On her part, the wife of the deceased, and member representing Obudu state constituency in CRSHA, Hon. Abeh Stephen Ukpukpen expressed appreciation to all who participated in the one year remembrance mass of her late husband, noting the need for appreciating God who has sustained them for the past one year and has given them peace, as well as granted her the opportunity of being gainfully employed by Governor Ben Ayade.

She also expressed thanks to Prof Ayade and former Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke for being there for them and to all who have been very supportive, Events Diary praying God to bless them immensely. She further expressed thanks to the people of Obudu for giving her the privilege to serve them for the remaining part of her late husband’s tenure in the CRSHA, while giving thanks to God for the situation they have found themselves.

*FEBRUARY, 2019 – DR. AYADE COMMISSIONS GFOORIM FOUNDATION SKILLS CENTER AT OKWERISENG
Wife of Cross River State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has commissioned and declared open the GFO Orim Foundation Skills Acquisition Center for use by the people of Okweriseng community in Obudu Local Government
Area of the State. She appreciated all the women who turned out in their numbers to welcome her, while also thanking the foundation’s trainees and members of the community for the warm reception, as she was very enthused to be part of the occasion to herald the skills acquisition center for use by the community. Earlier in the welcome
address on behalf of the management of GFO Orim Foundation skills acquisition center, the Legal Adviser, Barr. O. R. Ogboaka expressed appreciation to Dr. Linda Ayade for finding time to commission the acquisition center. Barr. Ogboaka disclosed that the foundation is a NGO founded and established in September, 2017 by the initiative of
Hon. Martin Orim, Chief of Staff to the State Governor after due consultation with his siblings to immortalize their father, late Mr. Gabriel Francis Ogbang Orim, an accomplished educationist, philanthropist and precursor of informal and adult education within the rural communities of Ukpe, Alege and Ubang group of villages in Obudu LGA of CRS.

He further stated that the Foundation which is a Notfor- Profit Organization, recruited more than 120 people for training in various vocations while it was inaugurated on the 12th of September, 2017 by Senator Rose Oko and Rep
Legor ldagbo during their campaign tour in the political ward. It has a board of trustees and partners with other existing similar bodies in Nigeria. He maintained that the organization provides social and humanitarian
services to indigents and vulnerable people of the society, especially the widows, orphans, physically challenged and
the very poor, adding that the foundation has in the last one year (2018) provided wheel chairs, clutches, clothes, exercise books, bursary awards to students in secondary/tertiary institutions within Alege, Ukpe and Ubang
communities to actualize the dreams and aspirations of their late father, Mr. GPO Orim. In separate interviews with
some of the trainees/beneficiaries, Mercy Ateb, Jennifer Ochu (hair dressing), Okang Godfrey, Aleh Sunday
(plumbing) Catherine Orim (fashion designing), expressed thanks to the founders of the

*DR. AYADE COMMENDS BEBUABONG WIVES ASSO FOR HELPING THE LESS PRIVILEGED
The wife of the Governor of Cross River State, Dr. Linda Ayade has commended members of Bebuabong Wives
Association, Calabar branch for their benevolence in reaching out to the less privileged in the society through their
philanthropic services. Mrs. Ayade made the commendation recently when members of the association paid her a
courtesy visit at the Government House, Calabar. Dr. Ayade thanked God that the meeting has finally come to be, for they had desired to see her before now which was not possible due to circumstances beyond their control. She
expressed appreciation to the women for being concerned about her and her welfare, referring to them as “my brothers’ wives,” while thanking them for their thoughtfulness, love, prayers and support. According to her, the
goodness of the heart is not measured by how much one is able to give rather it is the mind with which it is being
given that matters, adding that even if it is one person’s life that will be touched by their gift items, it will go a long way to helping that life. She therefore pledged her support to the group, saying that she is part of them and
enjoined them to convey her greetings to other members of the group who were not present at the courtesy visit and informed them that they can always reach out to her whenever the need arises. In earlier remarks, the President of the association, Mrs. Virginia Adie highlighted some of the achievements of the association and further disclosed that they are sponsoring some indigent children in the senior secondary school.

In a vote of thanks, Mrs. Felicia Ndelikwo thanked Dr. Ayade and her husband, Governor Ayade for the giant strides recorded in the state

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BUHARI APPROVES CROSS RIVER’S BAKASSI DEEP SEAPORT PROJECT

President Muhammadu Buhari recently gave the clearest indication of his support for the Bakassi Deep Seaport
Project of the Cross River State Government with the issuance by the Federal Government of an Outline Business Case (OBC) certificate for the project. The Minister for Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi presented the certificate on behalf of the Federal Government to the Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade at the ministry’s Abuja headquarters. Amaechi stated that with the OBC, the state would move on to the next step of action. He said: “What they (Cross River) have got right now is the OBC. We will take the next move to verify all the necessary instruments that we need and then proceed back to the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for the FBC (Full Business Case) before we go to the cabinet for approval.

“But the most important thing is that we are speeding it up so as to enable those states who want to invest in seaports and others to go ahead and do so,” he explained. On whether the Federal Government was partnering Cross
River State in the deep seaport, Amaechi said, “We will get to that. We will sit down with the Cross River State
Government and their major partners and see how much NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority) would want to invest. We
will contact NPA and see what it can do.” Speaking on the development, Ayade said the certificate would enable the state move on to the next level of implementation of the seaport. His words: “The certificate is an Outline Business
Case. It shows that there is a full densification commitment of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation to say yes we have come to recognize and accept that Cross River State Government should go ahead with the Full Business Case towards the construction of a deep seaport.

“And the emphasis on the deep seaport is agroindustrial, not exclusively, but to show that the core target is to do an agroindustrial transformation of Nigeria. It will be the major leading port in that respect but will have other industrial parks.” He said the issuance of the OBC by the Federal Government through its Infrastructure Concession
and Regulatory Commission was the fastest ever recorded in Nigeria. On when actual construction would commence at the seaport, Ayade said, “Work started there more than six months ago when we got the EIA approval which
allowed us the legal right to get access to the ocean. “But right now with this OBC certificate, we are going to be dealing directly with the concessionaires towards arriving at the specific location, data and commencement of actual
work plans. But that can only come with the FBC.”>>>

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23-MEGAWATT CALABAR POWER PLANT, A DREAM FULFILLED – AYADE

The dream of making Calabar, the capital of Cross River, the first city in the country to enjoy 24- hour uninterrupted power supply edged closer to reality at the weekend as the 23-megawatt power plant built by Governor Ben Ayade began to evacuate power to the city. Ayade, who was on hand to witness the feat, described it as the fulfillment of a dream. The visibly excited governor said the project like his other projects was not only borne out of passion but was simply a response to a divine calling.

According to him, “Cross Riverians can see my passion has not changed, so I wasn’t doing this project because I was
seeking re-election. I was doing what I was doing because I believed that that was what God brought me here to do. I
am happy. “Today I’m excited because it is the first time we are evacuating power to the public. My office has enjoyed steady power supply since the evacuation of power started. “So interestingly, Calabar will be the first city to have uninterrupted power supply even as we get ready to commission our Calabar Smart City project that will also make it the first smart city in the country,” He said the completion of the power plant shows that “the spirit of commitment was indeed stronger than any amount of money, because I don’t know where Cross River would have got $25 million to put up the plant with all that it required”

Governor Ayade assured the residents of the city that the cost of electricity from the plant will be affordable as according to him, Cross River will encourage the Federal Government to give her a discount to pay 22 percent of the cost of running the plant. He disclosed that his administration is setting up an electricity meter production company in Obudu to supply meter to the people at no cost as part of social services to them. “This power plant is not an investment, it is a social service. We just want to meet our basic consumption cost element and once we do that, we
are fine. “There can’t be anything better with Christmas approaching and Calabar having 24 hours (of) electricity supply.” The 23-megawatt power plant on test run evacuated power to the Governor’s Office, the state Water Board,
Calabar Industrial Park, 8 Miles, Akai Efa, State Housing Estate as well as powering all the street lights in the Calabar metropolis. >>>

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AYADE: CROSS RIVER NOODLES FACTORY COMMENCES PRODUCTION SOON

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state has likened his industrialization policy to pioneering an industrial revolution in Nigeria. The governor stated this while inspecting the installation of equipment at the state-owned
“Calavita” noodles factory currently under construction. The noodles factory is one of the industries established by the governor at the industrial park, Calabar. According to the him, his efforts at industrializing Cross River by citing industries across the state, is the first time in Nigeria’s recent history that a state government has driven industrialisation on a large scale. “You have private sector-driven industrialization but this is the first time in recent history of Nigeria that a state government has embarked on large scale industrialisation. Cross River is actually
pioneering industrial revolution in Nigeria”, the governor stated.

He disclosed that the noodles factory will wrought a paradigm shift in the noodles market when operational. “Calavita noodles will be made from rice as opposed to wheat. And the rice is freshly home grown rice. Calavita noodles will come in three flavours – rice, chicken and suya. It is a digital replacement of existing noodles,” he explained. The governor expressed delight that the noodles factory, which according to him, would soon commence production, is a veritable income earner for Cross River. “I’m happy that we are bringing food technology and fusing it with the issues of food security. We are ensuring that Cross River wins a bit of the market share of the school feeding programme for which federal government has spent ₦228 billion. “NAFDAC is coming for final inspection after which it will issue license and the factory will commence production”, he disclosed. Governor Ayade appealed to the people of the state and Nigerians to patronize “Calavita” noodles when the factory starts rolling out its products.

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PROCURE YOUR UNIFORMS FROM CROSS RIVER GARMENT FACTORY, CBN GOV TELLS ARMY, OTHERS

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has called on the Nigerian armed forces and paramilitary organisations to patronize the Cross River State Garment Factory in procuring their uniforms. Emefiele made the call during a recent visit to the factory. He praised the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade for creating employment for the teaming youths in the state through the Garment Factory. The CBN governor said there was no justifiable reason for the Nigerian armed forces and paramilitary organisations in the country to continue to import uniforms.

His words: “I must say that with what I have seen today, I’m very impressed beginning from the garment factory that has over one thousand state-of-the-art machines. I’m impressed, very impressed with this garment factory. This is the kind of leadership that states need to get them economically viable and create jobs for their people.” Emefiele further stated that “at the garment factory, we saw young men and women who would otherwise be roaming the streets gainfully employed… over a thousand of them. “By 25th October, we will be meeting with all the service chiefs, heads of (the Nigerian Security and) Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), NYSC to sign an agreement.

“Rather than import their uniforms from other countries, we will appeal to them (to) come and order their garments from the Cross River Garment Factory. That is the only way we can create jobs in this country. In summary, I am impressed, very delighted.”>>>

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INDUSTRIALIZATION: AYADE CLINCHES CHINESE EXCELLENCE AWARD

The China Industrial and Commercial Enterprise Association in collaboration with Hauxing Art Troupe, has bestowed an award of excellence on the Governor of Cross River State, Sir Ben Ayade. The award which was presented to the governor in Lagos at the weekend was part of activities marking this year’s China mid- Autumn Festival and National Day. The President of the association, Mr. Eric Ni said Sir Ayade was picked for the award for
encouraging and implementing “Industrialization between China and Nigeria using Calabar as a hub.” The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the Cross River State Government, Barr Tina Banku Agbor, expressed gratitude for the honour. Ayade, who also spoke on the topic, Economic, Industrial Relationship Between Nigeria and China, Cross River as an Industrial Hub”, said the relationship between the state and the Peoples Republic of China has been of tremendous benefit to the state.

His words: “Let me thank the organisers of this event for inviting me. I also thank them for the award, which is a validation and an acknowledgement of our genuine efforts at industrializing our state. “It is also a charge to do much
more in creating an economy for Cross River that would not depend on federal allocations.” He said the topic for the event speaks volumes about the blossoming relationship between China and the state. According to him, “many Chinese experts have in the last four years made Cross River their home, providing their expertise in our agro-industrial revolution.” The governor described his Industrialization drive as unprecedented. “Cross River is indeed an evolving economic hub. We are industrializing at a pace never before attained by any state or region in Nigeria.

China is a major support in this regard.” He congratulated China on its 2019 mid-Autumn festival and National Day celebration saying, “Together, China and Cross River will continue to march, hand-inhand, in friendship and love for
the good of our peoples.” >>>

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CRS IS NIGERIA’S STATE-OF-THE-ART, SAYS USAID CHIEF OF PARTY

Cross River State under the leadership of Sir Benedict Ayade as Governor has been described as “Nigeria’s State of
the Art”. This is because the state has seen more development and greater technologies under Ayade’s administration
than in any other state in Nigeria. Chief of Party, United States Agency for International Development (USAID),
Dr. Adams Saffer, disclosed this in an interview in Calabar after a summit on Public Private Dialogue on Agribusiness Enabling Environment in Cross River State held at the Pyramid Hotels, Calabar recently. Dr. Saffer stated: “The idea of the summit is to listen and find out what is on people’s minds, what they feel are the critical policy-related issues that need to be reformed in order to improve access to Markets, Access to inputs, Access to
Finance, Access to extension services because Cross River State has a tremendous opportunity to be a leading Agriculture”.

Dr. Saffer who congratulated the State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade for bringing more facilities to the state, said Cross River is on the right track with such a leader. Speaking on the performance of the summit, the USAID Chief of Party disclosed: “I think today was phenomenal, a lot of good issues were raised,” while also stressing the need to be
more transparent in communication between the Government and Private sectors. He also said that people raised the fact that Agribusiness is not getting the same priority as Agriculture or Production, and also the fact that the money spent by donors are not getting to the real farmers, and that he has seen all that before, assuring that they were working on the issues raised.

The summit is as a result of collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and USAID with the theme: “Bridging the Policy Gap on Ease of Doing Agribusiness in Cross River State: Limitations and
Solutions for Regulatory Reform”. The summit which had about 60 percent private sector personnel and about 30 percent government representatives from various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), brainstormed on the Challenges, Opportunities and solutions affecting Agribusiness in the state. It would be recalled that the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources had in August this year held a summit and it is based on theidentified needs from the August meeting that the current summit was held. >>>

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CALABAR TO HOST AFRICA’S 1ST SMART CITY THROUGH C/RIVER GOV’T-MICROSOFT PARTNERING

“I acknowledge with gratitude the willingness of Microsoft and the demonstration of confidence by Microsoft to partner with us and start the first smart city in Africa,” were the words of Cross River Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade
through a recent tweet on his official Twitter handle, @senatorbenayade to convey another move regarding his
digital desires for his state. According to Senator Avade, the partnership is to create an avalanche and develop an
Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) for the people of the state and country at large. “Our key
objective as a state is to partner with Microsoft and create an avalanche of

opportunity for our young men and women. “By so doing, we will provide a web hosting facility to support the deployment of ICT – for Microsoft to develop an ICT paradigm in tile form of a data management academy to teach and educate young Cross Riverians on data management.” Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational
technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington – USA. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal

computers, and related services. Its best known software products are still Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge Web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers.
As of 2016, it is the world’s largest software maker by repute’, and one of the world’s most valuable companies. The
word “Microsoft” is a portmanteau of “microcomputer” and “software”. >>>

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MR. & MISS. LEBOKU FESTIVAL

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