Tuesday, 22 May 2018

History as Ayade test runs Africa’s first rice city project in Calabar

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers state is optimistic that the state's economy will soon record a giant leap with the expected generation of over #70 billion yearly from the state's Rice City project. 

The governor was speaking during the test run of the project. Situated at the Ayade industrial park, Calabar, the state capital, the Cross Rivers Rice city is the largest and first of its kind in Africa.

According to him, the Rice city is one of the signature projects of his administration and will be certified ready for commercial activities in June because the seedlings are natural with no chemical added, saying it was a time other states and the federal government started patronizing the facility.

Governor Ayade said the project stemmed from his determination to free Cross River from over-dependence on federal allocation. 

"When I told Cross Riverians that my ambition was to restructure the state from over-dependence on federal allocation, I truly meant it because with projects like this; we are going to generate more revenue for the state…we are partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to ensure that most of the seedlings are acquired from here", Ayade said.

The governor expressed that his delight that the state was on the path of economic independence even "after we lost our oil wells unjustly. We now have an investment that needs federal patronage"

The Cross Rivers state Governor explained that should the state enjoy full federal patronage, the Rice City will achieve a yearly turnover of 70 to 100billion Naira. 

He thus called on the federal government to focus on the procurement of rice seedlings from Cross Rivers state because, in his words, "we have no competitor".

He disclosed that everything about the project was wholly local content with no foreign impute, adding that the factory can produce for 24 hours per day.

Describing the project as the biggest rice seedling factory in Africa with a perfect automated irrigation method, Ayade further disclosed that it would employ over 500 workers when operational. 

Some state governors, he said, have already indicated interest to place demands. 

"The rice seedlings that will be produced from the factory will be called "Cala 77" because it is very natural and totally organic", Ayade disclosed.