Cross River raises N3.7bn for Obudu Cargo Airport completion


The Cross River State government said it has raised N3.7 billion for the completion of Obudu Cargo Airport.

In addition, the state government has also secured a $15 million private sector investment into the Agip Eku Oil Palm estate with multiple effects on employment and growth of the state gross domestic product.

The state government also developed a six-year agricultural credit guarantee Fund of N30 billion for rice, maize, fisheries and livestock farmers.

Speaking while addressing the people of the state, Governor Bassey Otu said that in the coming weeks Calabar would wear a new look.

“It is with a sense of duty and responsibility that I address you fellow Cross Riverians and residents of the state on the journey we have jointly undertaken as a people towards a prosperous and united Cross River State.

“May I in the passing, thank you for the overwhelming support and other elements of goodwill you extended to us during the 2023 general election. By this singular act you have signed an unwritten contract with the government – the social contract; by entrusting us with your power and authority to manage the commonwealth of the state on your behalf.

“Our government, when we adopt this mindset in our day to day activities, collectively, we shall have a state we will be proud of and bequeath to the next generation.

“On the most orchestrated 100 days in office, I wish to state that the celebration is more of an administration myth than a reality. The myth is premised on the huge expectation of the citizenry for the government to deliver on its campaign promises in sprints; and the reality of it is that governance is never a sprint but a marathon.

“This marathon race of governance requires time-tested procedures of bottom-up planning, execution, review and completion. It requires patience, discipline and focus. So, this is the approach the present administration is adopting to ensure the sustainable growth and development of our state,” he said.

According to him, “The bedrock of any economic and social development is availability of relevant infrastructural facilities. To this end, the state government has within 100 days in office, achieved the following milestones.

“Upgrading and completion of the ultra-modern Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) which hosted the recently concluded International Cooperation and Investment Summit.

“Completion of 1.2km concrete-paved Nyong Edem Street, Calabar South.

Rehabilitation of Edet Ansa Farm Access Road and Etap Ayip Road, in Calabar Municipality.

“Rehabilitation of the 3km Bebuasuan Rural Access Road in Obudu LGA.

Rehabilitation of the 3km Ketting Community Road in Obanliku LGA.

Remodeling and renovation of the Governor’s Office Complex (ongoing).

Construction of 39km Ukelle Road in Yala LGA (ongoing).

“Award of contract for the renovation/equipping of the State ultra-modern library complex, Calabar.

Restoration and beautification of the millennium park recreational Garden, Calabar.

“Reconstruction of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) warehouses.”

On Agriculture, the governor said, “As we are aware, agriculture is the area Cross River State has comparative advantage over many states of the federation. Prime attention is therefore, given to this sector with the following achievements so far:

“The present administration has attracted $15million private sector investment into the Ayip Eku Oil Palm Estate, with multiple effects on employment and growth of State GDP.

“Government has also developed a 6-year N30bn agricultural credit guarantee fund for rice, maize, fisheries and livestock farmers.

“In order to ascertain with precision, the soil texture for specific crops in the different zones of the state, the government has commenced the state-wide Digital Soil Fertility Mapping. This will translate to greater yields of different crops.

“In partnership with the Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (ORGAN), the state government has commenced the planting of 3.5million hybrid oil palm seedlings in 13 identified locations across the state.

“In agric-related human capital development, the state government has sponsored indigenes of the state to participate in cassava-bio value chain conference in Asaba-Delta State for subsequent establishment of cassava-biofuel factory in the state, as well as workshop on sustainable oil palm economy.

“50 starter-rice growers have been given free rice seedlings, fertilizer and pesticides, while 30 starter-livestock farmers have been assisted with day-old chicks, feeds.”

He further said, “In order to transform the state into a transit hub and evacuation corridor, the following have been achieved. The state government has attracted an Irish Aviation Company to build and run an Aviation Training School in Bebi, Obanliku. The state government will undertake the payment of full tuition fees for all the indigenes of the state enrolled in the institution.”