Rice Seeds and Seedling Factory, Calabar
We may not have been able to pick every widow from the streets but we have been able to engage some widows across the State, to see how they can still be able to feed their children and also pay school fees. Even if a lot of them are under –employed, it is better to be under-employed than being unemployed. Under-employment is a situation whereby, someone actually has a job but feels that the pay or the position being designated to him/her is not right. For instance, if the person is a university graduate and is placed on a lower Grade level other than that due a graduate, it means that such a person is under-employed but then, it is still better than having nothing to do, and no source of income at all. The present administration has been able to address all of such issues and is still consistent
with doing much more. It is still work in progress and do not forget, we are still going to engage lots more of our people.
Soon, some of our factories will begin to function very well again and we shall employ more people. But for the
COVID-19 pandemic, lots of our people would have been engaged.
MOFINEWS: Given the fact that most of these industries seem to be localized in the metropolitan city of Calabar, do you not think that majority of the rural populace would be looking at migrating to the urban areas? Are there measures being put in place to make them appreciate their environments?
HON. COMMISSIONER: No, the rural dwellers do not need to migrate to urban areas because this administration is committed to policy reforms that are favourable to both the rural and urban populace. For this reason, our visionary Governor came up with the laudable initiative which is the policy of “One Local Government Area, (At least), One Factory” and most of the persons being employed are within the catchment areas where the respective factories are sited. So, you can see that those living in the rural areas would not have any reason for migration. The factories sited at each local government area of the State for the people living in the heart of the communities would go a long way to ensuring their total integration into the Industrialization Agenda of the present administration.
Remember, the focal point of Nigeria’s economy is an Agriculture, so those living in the rural areas stand a better
chance to get involved in agricultural activities because they have the land, raw materials and labour, as well. The
days of oil are gradually going off. Take a look at Boki local government for instance, we are establishing a palm oil
processing plant there. The idea is to bleach the oil, make it colourless, odourless and stabilize it.
MOFINEWS: Are we saying here that it took some needs assessments to know what Boki produces, like palm oil.
HON. COMMISSIONER: Oh! Yes! And all the local government areas have one, two or more factories sited in their respective domains. The palm oil produce from Boki would very well feed the noodles factory which would be using major raw materials from the local communities. This is aside from rice and wheat flour.
MOFINEWS: So what is the situation of other areas attached with Industries as well?
HON. COMMISSIONER: In Yala, we are building yam flour factory. This is to make it easy for our farmers so that they do not have to harvest the yams and rush to sell them at low prices for fear of damages. Yam flour has massive value, both inside and outside of the country.
For Ikom, the Cocoa processing plant is ongoing. With cocoa production, we shall be more economically strong, households’ income would improve and employment as well, would be readily available, thereby, providing options for our small holder farmers.
In Obubra where I am from, we are establishing cassava starch processing plant. The glucose we eat around is gotten
from cassava starch. The common sweets and chewing gums we eat are extracts from the sweetener that is glucose syrup.
MOFINEWS: Oh! I see how rich we are!
HON. COMMISSIONER: Yes, we are really blessed. In Bekwarra, because of the abundance of groundnuts, we shall be establishing groundnut oil processing plant for the extraction of groundnut oil which is richer than the common vegetable oils which are mainly derivatives of chemical processes. and in Ogoja, do not forget, we have the already visible Rice Mill.
At Obudu, we already have the Canadian School, which is a Comprehensive High School that would be using the Canadian curriculum, alongside the British curriculum and that of Nigeria. There is also the Reference Hospital Sited there. The International Cargo Airport has also been sited at Obudu to keep in conveying visitors from Obudu to the Ranch Resort at Obanliku. One major reason for the choice of Obudu as site for the International Cargo Airport is to beat the challenges of the Bebi Airstrip which has been a challenge for smooth and successful flights. This has sadly been the reason for the one and two crashes recorded so far. The real problem is that the mountains by the right side of the Airstrip are very high, as high as the mountains of the Ranch Resort itself. As such, posing threat to smooth and safe flights. That is why Obudu, with a plain ground, has been so chosen.
The Ranch Resort has been drawing a lot of investors who are now planning to start a Diary Farm at the place. You know that was the original idea of the Ranch. To rear animals for milk and yoghurt production because of its favourable climate for rearing cattle. Also, the ornamental flowers up too, are being groomed at the Ranch Resort,
because of its attractive climate. With the help of the airport, we can harvest good flowers in the morning, package and send them out of the country same day, still very fresh. You won’t believe the revenue that accrues from ornamental flowers. This is exactly what drives Kenyan economy today. Some of them are used for perfumes and other cosmetics around the world. I could go on and on but I will quickly add that in Abi, LGA the Soughai Farms is still very much in place. At Biase, we have the State Teachers’ Training Institute.
Akamkpa has the Pylon factory located at Awi. A Reference hospital is also sited at Akpabuyo while Bakassi has the Fish Processing Plant. Calabar South has Carlas Vegas. Calabar Municipality has Garment
Factory, Power plant and the Pharmaceutical plant. Etung is blessed with a Reference hospital and Noodles factory.
Odukpani has the Banana plantation.
MOFINEWS: Advice to Cross Riverians especially the youth.
HON. COMMISSIONER: Everybody should key into government policies and programmes as there is something for everyone who is ready to work.