Monday, 25 October 2021

C'Riverians Will Reap From Ayade's Industrialization Drive in Years to Come - Aruku

Ayade will leave C'River State on a very safe, solid note

Surv. Igbe Aruku 

With so much political noise going on in Cross River State, across political parties leading to defections and counter defections, a technocrat and survey who has been into private business took a dive into the political climate of the state with a view of expressing his thoughts as it concerns the Ayade's led administration. 

Many persons both state and none state actors have different opinions regarding Ayade's leadership style, but in this interview with TDN, Surveyor Igbe Kalita Aruku is of the opinion that Governor Ben Ayade will not only finish strong but will greatly be missed after he leaves office in 2023 as Cross Riverians will by then begin to benefit from his numerous industrialization projects and programs. 

Hear him out:

Can you tell us what you think about governor Ben Ayade's industrialization policy?

In the current dispensation in the country, I don't think there's any governor that has put much into industrializing a state like Cross River State has. Every single local government in the state has an industry or two, either completed or at the stage of being completed. Some naysayers think these are just fancy projects, it is not now that we will really know. It is later, by then Governor Ayade would no longer be governor, and that's when some of our children will graduate from university and have direct employment. And would have to be in certain train professions. They span through different industries, different professions.

We got the Cocoa Processing Factory in Ikom and Rice Mill factory in Ogoja. These particular two interests me more because I went there and took my own tour. What you see there is what is obtainable abroad. When these industries are commissioned and get working, Cross River State would be Nigeria's new bride.

As a poultry farmer yourself what do you think about the Cross River Chicken Processing Factory Calachika. Can you throw some light?

The Calachika is a project that is the first of its kind to touch down Nigeria.
I have also learned that the incubating section is going to pick up very soon. I think this is going to mean a whole lot for our dear State, plus because in the whole of South South and South Eastern Nigeria, there's no high capacity hatchery. I speak as a poultry farmer myself. We go all the way to Ibadan to order day-old birds. When that hatchery starts working, you can imagine the market value and addition it will add to Cross River because we will be having people coming in and paying taxes to the government.

What do you think about Governor Ayade's recent addition, Cally-Air? We understand it is the biggest airline in the Nigerian aerospace industry. What is the turnaround for Cross River State?

Cally-Air is such a beautiful thing. I took my first flight aboard the airline a few weeks ago. CallyAir is the best you can get in terms of comfort. The aerial spacing, the attendants and general hospitality is perfect. The value you will get for a small fee is so much. This airline is collectively owned by Cross Riverians 100%. The model which Aero contractors with a perfect flight record is running for Cross River State is one of the best models. It is a 737 Boeing. Cally-Air is a wonderful idea. I commend the state governor for that awesome initiative which would further give recognition to the State internationally.

What do you think about His Excellency's governance policy regarding party affairs in the State

Since the governor joined our party, the APC, everybody has been carried along. From the stakeholders to members of the executive council in the State. Right from my ward everybody who has been in APC is carried along. We have not had cases of fractionalization any longer. He's been able to manage us. The PDP needs to copy the model we are adopting under the leadership of the governor. So far the ward and chapter congresses were okay. We have very reputable party people manning the affairs of the party at the various levels. It is commendable. The governor is really trying in leading the party.

What do you think about the TCTI Biase to education in the State?

Give Cross River State 5-10 years from now, the turn out of our WAEC and other external examinations will show that the model institution was well thought out. With that school, our teachers will be having training in a very conducive environment. They will be taught by expatriates and some local resource persons. When principals visit the school and come back they will know that they need to upgrade their schools to a certain standard. My fear is that we will train our teachers so much that people may start snatching them from us. If you look at the way the governor inspects that project, you will think that it's a baby to him. Within the year, the governor has visited that school severally to make sure that every single detail is well implemented. The governor takes time to go through implementation stages to make sure that they are going the way he wants them. It would help the teachers improve themselves with the training in that Institute and also impact the same in our students so that Cross River State will be the best. Mind you, the Institute is not limited to Cross Riverians. Anyone can register and enroll from across the Country and even the entire Africa. We want to see Nigerian high school students coming top in WAEC, JAMB and all other examinations. We want to look back and say yes we have that school there and our teachers' learning has been enhanced.

Only last week we saw photos of the Governor's tour with Assemblymen, Commissioners and LGA Chairmen on an agro Expo to France. What are the impacts of this trip?

Cross River State is one of the richest states in terms of agriculture. Yes we may have bamboo, but what have we been doing with our bamboo? Over there in the West they are using bamboo for so many economic purposes. The governor is looking at other ways we can make bamboo and other plant species economically favorable to us. The trip was to understudy species and find ways to replicate same here. I want to appeal to our local government chairmen, they should not take that trip for granted. I am  sure by the time they return they will go back to their various local governments and try to utilize the knowledge they have from the experiences they have learned from that Expo. Then we can have increased IGR coming from the agricultural sector in all the local governments.

A few people who do not understand it have been criticizing it and that's not the first time that would be happening in Cross River State. Donald Duke took his Commissioners overseas. Senator Liyel Imoke also had such an expo. Then I think they went to Mali and some other countries and they brought some guys here. This is the first time a Governor  is looking at local government chairmen for such trips, not just members of his EXCO or legislators. It means that the governor is working with the different strata of government so that all policies would be driven from the local government, through the state legislature and then to the executive council. What better way to have such synergy. 

Where do you see Cross River State by May 29, 2023 when Ayade leaves office?

The thing is that there will be many legacy projects being commissioned concurrently. The spaghetti flyover is speedily coming up. Majority of the work in a flyer is underneath. The under earth work has been completed. We will be commissioning the flyover and several other factories. The governor will not enjoy two or three years seeing most of the things he commissioned. However, the governor is going to leave Cross River State on a very solid note. There are many things the governor has done that have not been given maximum consideration. You see the dualization of the road going to Odukpani Junction. Some people have forgotten that that was just a one way road, but now we have two lanes almost getting to the junction already. Some people just drive, they don't want to appreciate the fact that this road was just one lane. If you look at it from North to South, the governor is touching lives. He's going to leave Cross River State better than he met it.