The deliberate and proactive desire of the Senator Ben Ayade’s led administration in Cross River to make the state economically viable and transform the standard of living of Cross Riverians has received a huge boost with the federal Government granting of exploration license for limestone and quarry ton the state.
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade who formally received the licenses during the State Executive Council meeting held at the Executive Council Chamber, Governor’s Office, Calabar, Friday, mentioned the licenses to include quarry lease for granite, exploration license for limestone, clay, shale and reconnaissance permit.
He thanked the Federal government for granting the state the aforementioned licenses, asserting that “Today, we thank the federal government for understanding that states should have the liberty to exploit their natural resources”, he expressed happiness that with the licenses at the state’s disposal and the availability of lime stones and other solid minerals in commercial quantity in Cross River, the next proactive move is to secure the financial ability to push ahead with exploration of the minerals to give the state a sound economic muscles.
With an unshakable confidence, Ayade maintained that, “we are rather inspired by the challenges of our circumstances and so we dream and act big. Whatever you conceive within the ambits of the fear of God to improve the livelihood of the people, God will surely lead the way. We have a deep understanding of the natural resources of this state, if federal government can show this generosity and extend same, and have a liberal attitude to gas and oil, we will also in the same vein, start our own refinery as a state”.
Governor Ayade called on the people of the state to continue to have faith on the commitment and sincerity of his administration’s desire to make a difference in their lives and the state economy as he stressed, “have faith in us, be patient for we will surely deliver,” adding that, “for a sluggish, tall world economy like Nigeria, infrastructure will be a key business in the next 100 years.”
Ayade commended the Commissioner for solid mineral resources, Hon. George O’ben-Etchi, for the level of commitment he has exhibited which has culminated in the procurement of the licenses, and promised to carry out work on the eleven kilometres camp two Mbobui road, Ikot Effangha, as requested by the commissioner for his people as magnanimously by the governor to make a request.
Presenting the licenses to the governor, the commissioner for Solid mineral Resources, George Oben-Etchi, said that the creation of the ministry of solid mineral resources early in this administration long before the nation came to terms with the importance of sold mineral sector was a clear demonstration of the depth of vision and the immensity of the intellectual capacity of Senator Ayade, making Cross River the first state to create the ministry of sold mineral.
Oben-Etchi explained that as part of the commitment of Governor Ayade toward transforming this sector, “Even with lean resources in the state, you, the governor, gave us funds from your pocket to aid in our drive. We are prepared to do business and hope that our detractors can look at our books and know that the quarry industries cannot belong to one person, but the state”, and thanked the governor for his magnanimity.
The Commissioner expressed optimism that the creation of solid mineral ministry will “transform the economy of the state, create employment, change the lifestyle of the citizenry and boost business activities in the area”, and called on Cross Riverians to pull their total support in the direction of Ayade’s administration for the good of all.