Ben Ayade

Ayade promises legal backing for Northfest, says Ogoja Rice Mill is a promise kept

Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade has urged the state House of Assembly members from the Northern part of the state to sponsor a bill to give legal backing to the Northern Festival (NORTHFEST) to ensure its sustainability after he leaves office as governor.

Ayade, who spoke at the festival in Ogoja at the weekend, acknowledged that this year’s event, was the last he would be attending as the governor of the state.

The festival was created by the Ayade-led administration to celebrate the cultures of the people of Northern Cross River.

To ensure that the festival continues even after leaving office, he called on the state House of Assembly members from the North “to bring a bill to the House of Assembly, which will have my assent ultimately to ensure that as we are sustaining the Carnival Calabar and the Leboku, we also sustain NorthFest.”

He said this was imperative because “we want Northfest to become the symbol of unity for us the people of the North.”
The Governor who used the occasion to highlight some of the projects undertaken by his administration in the Northern Senatorial District, said the establishment of the rice mill in Ogoja was a fulfillment of a promise he made to the people.

“Some of you do not remember the promise I made when I was contesting for the Senate. I had said then that one day I will build a rice mill so that our people would stop taking our rice to other states to mill.

“Today I have fulfilled that dream. The biggest challenge we have now is that the carrying capacity of the rice mill is much bigger than the raw materials we have got. So how do we explain, that I have a rice mill with 66,500 tonnes capacity in terms of storage and you need to have that quantity before you switch on the engine, yet I cannot get 3000 tonnes?”

He therefore, charged the people, especially the young ones to go into rice farming since the rice mill is ever ready to off-take their produce.

“If you go to Obanliku, we are building a maize semovita factory, if you go to Obudu, we are doing Yam poundo, we are doing biscuits. If you come to Bekwarra, we have two major factories. One is in Nyanya, the other one is in Gakem. One is producing vegetable oil, while the other is to produce animal feeds.

“If you come to Ogoja and Yala, you have this massive rice mill, which is the biggest and the only vitamised rice mill in Africa. Can you imagine if everyone of us here had one hectare of rice farm?This rice mill will not be lying prostrate. Now we go as far as Taraba State to buy rice paddy, because the mill is working but there is no rice to mill,” he added.

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Posted by on Dec 18 2022. Filed under Ben Ayade Desk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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