Ben Ayade

Full text of Governor Ayade’s speech during his swearing in ceremony today.

Fellow Cross Riverians,
Four years ago, I stood before you dear brothers and sisters to make a solemn declaration of our determination to re-write Cross River’s narrative in all spheres, but majorly on the economic outlook of the State.

In our Odyssey to lay a new and enduring foundation for growth, through the recalibration of the economic architecture of the State, we ploughed the earth punched above our weight and successfully hewed a pathway, culminating in a swift and bold altering of our abject narrative of yesterday.

While many questioned the audacity of our dreams and the scale of our ambitions because the system could not support such ruthless vision, we defied the odds by demonstrating clearly that when a man puts his soul above his problems, his body will naturally follow.

Four years down the line, with your unwavering support and tenacity of purpose on our part, we have succeeded in surmounting the road block to our vision of greater Cross River.

Fellow Cross Riverians, I am happy to report that our noble vision of an industrialized and economically independent Cross River, decoupled from over dependence on monthly federal allocation which we set out to achieve four years ago is irreversible. A new dawn is here.

Never in the history of governance in Nigeria has any state government within it’s first four years delivered on Industrialization and signature projects that make the difference as we have done even in the face of limited resources.

Through the application of intellectual money, we have built over 13 world class industries and still counting. There is therefore the undeniable presence of at least one project in each of the 18local governments of the State.

Some of these includes: The Cross River State garment factory, which has so far employed over 3000 workers, the rice seedlings and seed multiplication centre, the Calabar pharmaceutical company (calapharm), Cross River toothpick factory at Yakurr currently producing at full capacity, cocoa processing plant in ikom, the vitaminzed rice mill in Ogoja, the British/Canadian International school in Obudu, the noodles manufacturing plant, currently at an advanced stage of completion, , Cross River Livestock/Poultry farm limited, Calachika processing plant being established to process 6000birds per hour all located along the president Goodluck Jonathan bypass here in Calabar.

There is also piles and pylon factory in Akamkpa, designed to fabricate piles and pylon for the construction of Bakassi deep seaport. The 20000 hectare Ayadd industrial Park which is already completed. We also have the Banana plantation at Odukpani.

Our administration has equally established organice fertilizer plant and bag production plant. There is also the 23 megawatt power plant at parliamentary extension in Calabar. The power plant is completed and ready to evacuate power but debilitating and unsettling bureaucratic bottleneck by federal agencies concerned have so far stalled it.

The power plant was built with the industries at the industrial park in mind, it is to service those industries. Let me therefore use this occasion to appeal once again to the Federal Government to prevail on the agencies concerned to immediately commence the process of evacuating power from the plant.

On road infrastructure, the 143kilometer dualization of mfom-yala-bekwarra-obudu-obanliku road is currently being asphalted, there is also the BokiEast/West Road, the Boje bridge connecting East and West Boki, the Ukelle-Wanikade road in Yala, the Bombur camp 2 road Akamkpa. Also currently being undertaken is the 15km Calabar-Odukpani dualisation.

On health, this administration conscious of the need to provide quality health care has made huge investment in the sector. Currently ongoing is the construction of three specialist hospitals each in southern,Central and Northern Senatorial districts of the State. This is in addition to other ground breaking policies and programs of our administration, which earned the state UNICEF’s recognition as one of only four states with the highest child survival rate in Nigeria. On account of consistent investment in the health sector, there was also the Federal Government and world bank ranking of Cross River as one of the six best performing States in healthcare in the country.

While this gathering is not exactly one for performance assessment, may I quickly point out here that on Education my administration cannot be found to be abject on performance index. From our chequered position at number 27th and 30th in the National Examination council (NECO) and WAEC recorded growth in education respectively, Cross River has in four years of our administration occupied the enviable 2nd position twice and 11th in NECO and WAEC respectively.

The all-time importance our administration places on education has ensured the burning desire to train and retrain our teachers, the impacters of class room knowledge. To this end, the the administration is currently constructing in Biase, a world standard continuous teacher’s training institute. The institute will improve competence of learning.

Fellow Cross Riverians, in all these your rock solid support was the elixir that powered our resolve and kept us irrevocably committed to the vision. It is therefore, with profound sense of appreciation and humility that I stand before you today, grateful for the abiding faith you have kept with me, mindful of your uncommon sense of patriotism to one of Nigeria’s most enlightened states.

Great Cross Riverians, on March 9, you stood on your conviction and spoke so resoundingly, through your votes. It was indeed a watershed, a victory wrapped in the enigma of riddle. It is on these coattails therefore that I hold onto today, to proclaim the rekindling of hope, and the reassurance of our commitment and passion to ultimately berth our future.

Today, as we pen a new chapter of our next four years, we promise you an enthralling and exhilarating pages of the policy thrust of our administration which is avowed proclamation to etch Cross River on the map of the first world states and the leading light among the committee of industrialized states in Nigeria.

My dear Cross Riverians we are about to set sail on the last lap for our voyage to self actualization as a State. And as we do so, we beg you to volunteer with us to step out of ourselves to see beyond our immediate challenges and realize that we are indeed much blessed as a people.

I am eternally thankful to all of you for electing me and Professor Ivara Esu to lead the way on our consolidation journey.

May I on this note acknowledge the chairman of my re-election campaign organization, former Deputy Governor of Cross River State Barrister Efiok Cobham and his team for their sleepless nights and untiring effort at ensuring a robust and decent campaign that culminated in our historic landslide.

Let me also thank all members of our great party, the state chairman and his Exco members who endured harrowing nights and grueling hours, strategizing for the victory we celebrate here today, I am proud of you all.

My special thanks also go to the entire people of Cross River State, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other religious leaders, traders, women associations, teacher’s, traditional rulers, youth groups, students and the support groups for the massive support you gave to my deputy and me that has occasioned this momentous ceremony today.

Cross Riverians and friends of Cross River, permit me at this juncture to acknowledge and most graciously thank my predecessors – Their Excellencies, Senator Liyel Imoke and Mr Donald Duke, for their part in the quest to bequeath a prosperous future to us all.

Finally I must not fail to thank that special woman, my best friend, the love of my life, the pillar of my family, Her Excellency, Dr Linda Ayade. Let it be known that I would not be standing here today without her steadfastness and support. And to the the rest of my family, I say thank you!!

As we focus on the bigger picture of delivering our signature projects of 275km Superhighway and the Bakassi deep seaport, we shall continue to sustain our foot on the pedal, by deploying creative ideas and technology to develop our human capital, anchored on quality education, skill acquisition and healthcare delivery for our people. We shall ramp up the momentum by expanding the means of production, Increasing access to capital and catalyzing our value chain in agriculture.

We count on your prayers and support to achieve this.
Long live Cross River State!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
I thank you all!

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Posted by on May 29 2019. 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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