Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has hinted why his administration’s focus is on industrialization.
Speaking while taking delivery of additional new containers of equipment at the state’s industrial city, yesterday, Calabar, Governor Ayade said his policy was predicated on his desire to create jobs and wealth amongst the citizenry, especially the teeming unemployed.
The governor is currently building over twelve industries strategically located in the state with some already running and others at various stages of completion.
According to him, “Cross River State is poised to lead Nigeria’s industrial revolution initiative with particular focus on agro-based industries.
“We have just taken delivery of four containers load of equipment for our frozen chicken processing factory, Cala-Chicka. We have 40 more containers we are expecting for the entire poultry value chain in the state on the way.”
Continuing he explained that “by implication, we also have the equipment for the automated chicken slaughter house and processing and packaging of frozen chicken. We also have three different equipment for three direction factories located in three different local government areas all intended to drive the frozen chicken export business.”
According to the governor, “This again is a kinetic crystallization of some of those industrialization projects that we have talked about and I believe that Cross Riverians are beginning to recognize and realize that indeed, we have taken the right decision to industrialize the state to create jobs and wealth among our people.”
Justifying the establishment of the frozen chicken in the state, Ayade hinted: “We are taking advantage of protein deficiency in Africa and to venture into frozen chicken. In the fullness of time, the world will see that Cross River State is in the right direction and our dream is manifesting and they will begin to appreciate our effort as our wealth creation and economy diversification drive is beginning to yield positive results.”
Offering further insight into why the state is venturing into agricultural value chain the state, the governor maintained that “As you can see, most of our projects are agro-based. For instance, as we process frozen chicken, we have to feed them. How do we feed them? We need soya beans; we really need also yellow maize. So, who will supply me the yellow maize? So, definitely we now need to engage major industrial farmers for soya beans farming and yellow maize cultivation. How do they get funding? That is why we set up Cross River Micro-finance Bank.”
“So, if you don’t know the story, you think that Ayade is carrying too much but there are all intended to just fit together and create an organic hole. It’s gradually crystallizing and that was why I had christened our budget, “Kinetic Crystallization.” And I can tell you that crystallization in rapid succession, all the things will start falling in place and people can begin to see for themselves.”
On the choice of Obubra for the yellow maize, he explained: “Obubra has a very suitable soil for yellow maize cultivation. It has a massive landmass and it has a huge population. It is going to create at least 25,000 jobs growing just yellow maize alone. Soya bean will be cultivated in Yala. Again that will create another 25,000 jobs, with every young person having four to five hectares of yellow maize. That is why we signed a partnership with TATA to supply us all the equipments needed for our mechanize farming.”
On efforts to improve yield among farmers in addition to farm inputs the state is already providing, the governor stated that “Cross River State is going to take out the agricultural infrastructure, take the burden off the farmers by providing access to the farm, clearing, doing the tilling, plowing and making the farmer nurture its plants.
“Even at the point of harvest, the state government will be there to support the farmers. So, Cross River is preparing to make green millionaires and that is why I made a commitment that I was going to make young green millionaire.”
This is a programme that if the people understand the focus and the drive, they will see that truly, we are going towards a tangent and that tangent will crystallize very soon. By the time we start exporting frozen chicken out of Cross River State, that alone will create all the jobs that we need from the entire value chain.”