Ayade’s Economic Agenda: Decoupling Cross River State for Greater Tomorrow
Democratic governance is all about the proper management of the economy and as well as conflict resolution. But most conflicts occur when the economy is not properly managed, such that a section of the populace might feel short-changed and would likely react when they begin to bear a greater chunk of the brunt of the poorly managed economy.
However, different government administrations adopt different approaches to managing an economy. While some administrations would want to maintain the existing level of investment and would, therefore, not expand the growth capacity of the economy, some other administrations would want to expand the level of investment and the growth capacity of the economy by discovering and exploiting new resources.
Past government administrations in Nigeria belonged to the rest category. Coal, iron-ore and crude oil were discovered and exploited by the colonial government of Nigeria which became the means of production for the Nigerian economy that expanded its growth capacity. But after these resources were discovered and exploited; no successive Federal government had attempted to discover and exploit new resources. The complacency even got to the point where the exploitation of coal and iron-ore was abandoned and the government only concentrated on the exploration and exploitation of crude oil. However, some years ago, the Federal government of Nigeria had established the Raw Materials Research Council to discover new resources.
The Cross River State government had in the 1990s also commissioned its defunct Department of Economic Planning to carry out the survey of solid mineral resources in the State with a view to inviting investors who would harness them for the industrial growth of the State. As a flash back, I want to also recall that the Dan Archibong military administration in the former Cross River State had also appointed one Prof. S. W. Peters of the Department of Geology of the University of Calabar to survey the extent of salt deposits in the Okpoma – Yala axis of the State.
All these were attempts made by government to discover new resources that could expand the growth capacity of the State’s economy. However, these exercises could not decuple the growth of the State because they could not see the light of day beyond the drawing boards.
Actually, every economy requires a leading sector that would drive development in the rest of the economy. A particular sector becomes a leading sector when new resources (that is raw materials) are discovered and their processing would act as the centrifugal forces for the growth of the entire economy. Although the Ayade administration was inaugurated, the directions of the straws flying in the winds clearly indicated that the intention of the government was to discover and develop new resources that could double the growth capacity of the State’s economy. In addition to cultivating every available swath of arable land in the State to expand the agro sector of the State, the government had also commissioned a team of foreign experts from some of the Asian Tiger nations, to explore solid minerals in the State (insert photograph of Chinese inspecting some rocks, here).
In addition to working towards the discovery of new resources, the Ayade administration is also developing a prime location that promises auspicious growth for industries into industrial estates (insert the photograph of the garment factory and other factories, here).
A new source of energy is also being developed. Thus, we have the power plant, the garment factory and the rice city. These are the critical infrastructure that the economy requires to expand and sustain its future growth capacity. Against this background, it is my opinion that Ayade’s economic agenda is to decuple Cross River State for a greater tomorrow by exploiting new resources for production. However, I want to use this opportunity to solicit for the support and full cooperation of Cross Riverians and friends of this administration by keying into this lo y programme. It could be through investing in the industrial growth of the State and by exploiting the newly discovered industrial raw materials. Cross River State is our baby and its prosperity is our dream. Let us nurture it together to achieve this dream. We cannot afford the luxury of sitting on the fence or dining while Rome burns. It would be disastrously suicidal if we should allow the fate that befell previous administration’s projects to also befall Ayade’s economic decoupling programme.
“…Ayade’s economic agenda is to decuple Cross River State for greater tomorrow by exploiting new resources for production.”