|Cross River State Governor, Professor Senator Ben Ayade|
The monumental projects being deliberately undertaken by the administration of Senator Ben Ayade in Cross River have been described as unconventional and mind-bulging targeted at building a strong and virile economy and give the people of the state a first world standard of living.
Speaking on Monday while answering questions during a radio programme, “Ayade’s Cross River” anchored by Beatrice Akpala, Solomon Asha and Emmanuel Ulayi, on the 105.5 Paradise FM on the topic, “The developmental strides of Ayade’s Administration”, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Barr. Rosemary Archibong and the Senior Special Adviser, Public Relations, Chief Tony Undiandeye, explained that the Ayade’s projects and programmes were derives from an ambitious mind committed to transforming the lives of his people.
Barr. Rosemary Archibong on her part said that Governor Ayade within a short span of 17 months has been able to conceived unimaginable projects such as the Bakassi Deep seaport, the super high way, the garment factory, the rice city, the Green Police, among others with the garment factory which is reputed to be among the largest in the world completed and waiting commissioning in spite of the numerous distractions, asserting that the other projects will certainly see the light of the day at the end of the day.
The Information Commissioner said that though the state is down the ladder in terms of allocation from the federation account, it has under the pragmatic leadership of Senator Ayade done wonderfully well and above other states including being regular with the payment of workers’ salaries, completion of a project as huge as the garment factory, completion of the monorail and the Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC), made great progress in other key projects and the provision of an enabling environment for both local and international investors to operate, among others.
She stated that at the time most states could not pay salaries due to the biting recession, Governor Ayade has carved a niche for himself by thinking out of the box and has sustained the Carnival Calabar and even expand the carnival with this year’s theme still revolving around the Climate change, to include the African dishes, disclosing that so far 25 countries have already indicated interest to participate in the 2016 carnival as against 11 who participated in last year edition.
Barr. Archibong said that the managers of Information in the state like the Ministry of Information with its Giant strides magazine, Cross River Radio and Television (CRBCTV), Cross River Newspaper Corporation, publishers of the Nigerian Chronicle and Weekend Chronicle, the office of the Senior Special Adviser on Public Relations, The office of the Senior Special Assistant and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, the Governor Online Media unit and the office of the Special assistant on Electronic media have so far done excellence well in the reportage and dissemination of information about government projects and programmes to the people.
“We are doing everything to get the perception of Cross Riverians restructured, re-engineered and re-positioned for success. It is based on this that I set up the Orientation Committee to ensure inclusiveness, and extending to the market woman, religious groups, Local Government areas, Senatorial districts and others, just as recently we organized a training programme tagged,” I can Do spirit” for information managers in the Ministry of Information and Orientation”, Barr. Archibong maintained.
The Commissioner explained further that the recent reception for the governor by Cross Riverians at the airport was a clear indication of the warm feelings the people have for their governor for what he is doing and that all appointees stand firmly with the governor, and called on all the people to remain solidly behind their beloved governor and always pray for him.
Also responding to questions, the Senior Special Adviser, Public Relations, Chief Tony Undiandeye, said that Governor Ben Ayade has done tremendously well with his revolutionary steps in re-engineering the and restructuring the Basic/foundational education of the state with ongoing planned massive infrastructures where billions of naira have been voted in for that purpose as approval for the employment of 1000 teachers has been given and steps towards realizing that has gone far coupled with his deliberate step to reposition the agriculture sector in the areas of rice, cocoa, palm seedlings and cotton farming to feed the garment factory.
Chief Undiandeye also disclosed that Ayade has taken a giant step in the areas of primary health care with massive renovation and upgrading of facilities and the introduction of the Cross River health Insurance, the AyadeCare where those who subscribed will be taken care of in the event of ill-health of any type, while salaries of workers have been paid up to date while the governor has given a marching order for the salaries of the Local Government staff to be paid.
He stated that there has been smooth transition in Cross River from 1999 to date as massive projects started by Mr. Donald Duke such as the monorail was sustained by Imoke’ administration and completed by Ayade, while the CICC started by Imoke has equally been completed by Ayade, as he has gone a step further by departing from the mundane in the conception of his projects and upgrading of infrastructures in the state.
On the comparative advantage of Cross River over other states, Chief Undiandeye the serene environment, a secured atmosphere and environment, the hospitable nature of the people combined to attract investors to the state and that recently the governor released more security vans to ensure adequate security in the state especially during the festive period when the state will have visitors from more than 25 countries who will participate in the carnival.
The SSA Public Relations said that a town hall meeting for Local Governments is being planned for November and shall dove-tailed to December where they shall meet with the people and stress the need for maximum cooperation from the people as they explained government activities to them, besides the normal effort they have been putting to communicate government activities to the people of the state, adding that the administration has 48 months and only 17 months have been spent, stressing that Ayade’s leadership meant well for the state, disclosing that rehabilitation of feeder roads/streets will commence as the dry season set in.
Chief Undiandeye reason that with the having about 50 percent of the nation’s forest reserves coupled with the interest the Ayade administration has shown in the area of Climate Change and environment being himself a professional and expert in that field, and haven woven it into the Carnival Calabar, Cross River stand to benefit immensely from the carbon credit fund.
Ayade government is focus, it is a government with ideas, a serious minded government, a government driven by commitment and empathy. Ayade radiates warmness, he has done marvelously well, Undiandeye stated, and called on the people to continue to support Ayade’s administration.