Cross River State, a call for Economic integration with Akwa Ibom State – Princewill Odidi

Cross River State and Akwa Ibom state should as a matter of urgency start working towards the establishment of an Economic Union in the short term and a Political Union in the long term. We will be stronger as South Eastern State just as it was in the past rather than further division into smaller states.

Cross River State with her abundant natural resources and Akwa Ibom with abundant oil reserves, if we come together to form an economic union where we leverage on each other’s strength, it will build to one of the most strongest Union of States in Nigeria. If we operate a common budget and leverage on common infrastructural projects, no state in Nigeria can compete with us.

Liyel Imoke had initiated the BRACED economic platform, it is ineffective because it was a mere concept without an economic structure. More so, BRACED had too many strange bed fellows without any concrete commitment or focused vision.

I would call on the administration of Governor Ayade Benedict and Speaker John Gaul Lebo to consider this proposal for economic integration between Cross River State and Akwa Ibom on the short term, and a Political union in the long term.

For a start let us initiate a joint chamber of commerce, let us initiate a joint development banking system, let both houses of Assembly initiate joint sessions, let both Governors form a governance bond, this is a proposal that can never go wrong. Let us build a common seaport and take advantage of comparative advantages rather than building separate infrastructure less than 10 nautical miles apart, let’s think of common cargo airports and let us initiate joint trade pacts.

Let us gradually revert to the former South Eastern State with Calabar as Capital City and Uyo as Commercial City. I know most people will frown at a proposal like these, but to be candid the truth is bitter, this is a proposal that if adopted would be the greatest economic and political infrastructure we can leave behind to our unborn children. Let’s revert to South Eastern State Nigeria. It’s time we initiate that conversation.

To proponents of new states creation, this proposal is a non starter, but to those who understand the benefits of integration, it is a welcome development. We will be stronger together than separated. God bless the proposed South Eastern State Nigeria. To those who are properly informed, let the conversation begin.

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