Tuesday, 4 August 2020

C'River 2020 Appropriation Review & Stewardship of the 9th CRSHA

Eugene Upah | 4th August 2020

The 2020 'Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis' of 1.1 Trillion earlier passed by the Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA) has been reviewed for obvious reasons. The downward review became necessary as a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world. The resulting effect has created harsh economic tendencies resulting in paucity of funds and manpower at all levels making it unrealistic for the initial proposal to be wholly implemented.

Speaking on this development, Speaker of the CRSHA, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jones Williams said the downward review was based on current economic realities coupled with the state government's resolve to exclude low income earners and small-scale businesses from taxation, an action aimed at cushioning the economic effects of the Epidemic.

A number of states such as Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, Kwarra, Delta, Nassarawa, Kogi, Rivers, Adamawa, Imo, Abia, Edo, Niger, Katsina, Bauchi, Osun have revised their budgets as their economies have either stalled or not working at optimal level. The recent downward fluctuations in IGR generation as well as reduction in the federal allocation by a considerable percentage is the justification for the review. Cross River state, for same reason had to follow suit as the projected revenue profile seems unrealistic under the current economic condition.

From every indication, many of the 36 states excluding Bayelsa are planning to reduce their 2020 budgets or changing their fiscal priorities with most suspending on-going capital projects as part of measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on budget implementation. It has become fundamentally clear that most of the states are going back to the drawing boards while experts are recommending prioritization for Health and SMEs.

You would recall that the CRSHA passed a Budget of 1.1 trillion Naira for the 2020 fiscal year. At this time need has arisen to realistically revise the budget downward to N147,130,166,996 (One Hundred & Forty-Seven Billion, One Hundred & Thirty Million, One Hundred & Sixty-Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Six) Naira only.

This was done after thorough deliberation by Members in furtherance of government's mission of delivering quality representation to the people of Cross River State.

The 9th Assembly in the state has so far seen the implementation of several people-oriented policies, hands-on supervision and on-the-spot assessment of oversight activities, passage of 7 (seven) critical bills, some of which include the Bill for establishment of Uni-Cross, Assembly Commission Bill, Imposition of Mining and Quarrying Fees Bill, Coronavirus and other Epidemic/Pandemic Bill, Safety of workers Bill and two others are some of the few landmark feat recorded under Eteng's leadership of the Assembly. This is outside taking 17 Motions, 8 Matters of Urgent Public Importance, 61 Resolutions and signing into law of the Assembly Service Commission (ASC) Law 2020 by the State Governor, Sen. Prof. (Sir) Ben Ayade.

The legislature in the state has maintained close synergy with other arms of government since the inuguration of the 9th Assembly on 11th June, 2019 and this is evident in the level of cordiality and interactivity as well as routine engagements with Pressure Groups and the Civil Society Organizations.

Eugene Upah
 is the Snr Special Assistant to Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade on Public Communications.

You can reach him on

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Opportunities in the Home Grown Food program is beyond the vendors - SA
|21 February 2018 | Ukorebi Esien 

The SA Cross River State Home Grown Food Program,  Ntufam Sir Gabriel O. Aja,  has encouraged stakeholders in the program to look beyond the N70 given to vendors by the Federal Government stating that there are various veritable opportunities beyond that.

The SA who appreciated the opportunity given him to pilot the program in the state said there are a lot of opportunities available in the program if only we can think out of the box.

 'We have developed a value addition to our program and promoting" outgrowers schemes" to grow opportunities in the program, and one of it is the ongoing partnership with Akwa Prime poultry and hatchery Ltd to promote an out-grower scheme within 5 locations in CRS to warehouse about 100,000 birds by July 2018.' The SA disclosed.

Ntufam Aja said that all he and his team is doing in the state is to think outside the box in order to full ill the program's mandated which include reduction of the number of out of school children from 15m to zero by 2020, use the program to nourishing the children between the ages of 3 to 7 who are in school, Increase school enrolments and Increase Agricultural value chain thereby improving the economies of the local community. 

Speaking earlier about the value chain Aja said in the implementation chain, the programme envisages that we take from the ground to the consumer. So the end person there is either the child or the person who would necessarily buy food from the ground. And in so doing, it envisages that the complete value chain of food processing is harnessed: you plant, dig, process, convert to other uses, enhance, preserve, sell and cook.

Aja added that his office is sorting ways to improve the availability of income to the purse of stakeholders. He noted that it is the part of the scheme for the state governments to supplement the Programme.

In a bid to display his ingenuity as a seasoned administrator and management expert, Ntufam Aja said that they are in partnership with Akwa Prime Poultry and Hatchery Ltd to promote an out-grower scheme within 5 locations in CRS to the warehouse about 100,000 birds by July 2018. Already, about 30,000 birds are ready to be moved to the first location and this will continue as we get locations ready'.

Already, about 30,000 birds are ready to be moved to the first location and this will continue as we get other locations ready.

In Cross River state, the figures of the school children affected and the vendors engaged has increased to 168,069 pupils and 1963 vendors for this second term from last year's first term figures of 117,775 kids and 1358 vendors as at December 2017. The Programme commenced officially in the state on September 2017 sequel to its enrollment in September of the same year.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Cross River to commence banana export soon
|09 January, 2019 | Emmanuel Ulayi

As part of strategy aimed at turning the state's economy around, Cross River governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has disclosed that the state will soon commence the export of its 'grand nain' specie of banana to Europe.

The governor stated this when he paid an unscheduled visit to the 105-hectares banana plantation being cultivated in Odukpani local government area of the state.

"It is very exciting to see the deep seaport project giving birth to all of these ideas. You cannot build a seaport without planning on the outbound cargo, which is the mistake other ports suffer from," Ayade said, adding that "we expect that the agro-based industry which is the focus of President Buhari administration that I have keyed into, focuses on finding agricultural products that we will be exporting.

"The zero oil road map is very clear to us that indeed in the next few years, oil will be a thing of the past, so for us to move into agriculture, we have to go into the most sophisticated technology, hence our partnership with San Carlos of Mexico."

Hinting that the first harvest is expected in May this year while the commercial export harvest will be in 2019, Ayade explained that, "if we must grow agriculture, we must make sure we take it away from subsistence farming, ensuring that those farming don't do so in agony, pain, hunger and melancholy, but follow the latest trend which is mechanised and technology driven."

On the level of sophistication of the farm, Ayade intimated that "we have the cable train running all-round, so with the press of a button, bananas go through the plant, processed, packaged and exported to Germany and other countries. It will provide the sufficient outbound cargo from our deep seaport, that way, we don't have a situation where ships come into Nigeria and after discharging they have nothing to take back."

Giving insight into the employment opportunities provided by the farm, the elated governor said: "I am impressed with the number of young people that are working here, these are people that would have been on the street, over 1000 young people are engaged already. After Christmas, the next cultivation will start and that will bring another 1000 young men who will be doing the debushing and land clearing."

In their separate remarks, the Operations Manager, Cobus Schlcbusch and the Farm Manager, Martins Cruz, disclosed that the plantation will be using a combination of Mexico and Costa Rica technology and will be supplied to local markets as well as exported to other countries.

According to them, "the banana bunches will be between 35 and 40 kg," even as personnel working in the plant will be trained to meet the requirements expected of perfect and packaged products for export.

They further added: "The parental seedlings from Mexico and Costa Rica remain unique and can resist crop related diseases in Nigeria."

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

CLICE : NGO calls for application for over 50% counterpart funding for oil palm processing equipment, etc
Efio-Ita Nyok|8 November 2017 

Comfort Literacy Intervention and Capacity Enhancement (CLICE) Foundation in collaboration with Market Development Programme in the Niger Delta (MADE) will be facilitating the securing of a technology adoption fund in oil processing as an over 50% counterpart funding in respect of commercial oil processing, milling and equipment intervention for prospective millers or investors in Cross River and Akwa-Ibom States, NegroidHaven has garnered. CLICE is therefore calling for applications from interested millers and investors to access the the fund. 

CLICE representative has observed that they 'will be receiving a technology (oil processing/milling equipment) adoption grant of more 50% for commercial oil palm processors and investors in oil processing in Cross River State as an intervention fund for prospective millers or investors in Cross River State and Akwa-Ibom State'. 

The technology adoption grant is a DFID-funded project aimed at maintaining the drive towards sustainable livelihood for our people. It's an intervention fund for an improved oil processing available for existing oil millers and investors at commercial scale not subsistence. 

According to CLICE, the cost of the equipment is between N700,000 and N750,000. The information stresses that beneficiaries are expected to pay up the instalment to the fabricator while we pay up the balance in two forms, namely, 
N350,000 to the fabricator and N100,000 to beneficiaries to cover for the cost of installation and transportation from the point of fabrication to the oil miller's location as well as organise a demonstration to a cluster of 150 person's installation of the equipment. 

MADE’s intervention in the Palm Oil value chain seeks to contribute to an increase in productivity of smallholders by
—promoting the adoption of best practices; 
—Improving oil palm harvesting and processing efficiency. 

MADE will support prospective millers or investors with up to N450,000 to purchase the improved palm oil processing machine (Small Scale Processing Equipment) which comprises of steriliser, digester screw press and clarifier. 

Interested applicants should send an email to CLICE Foundation via clicefoundation@gmail.com or contact +2347031658559 for more details. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

N541billion Debt: Access Bank, Others Take Over Etisalat Nig.

A consortium of banks, led by Access Bank PLC and other Nigerian and foreign banks, has taken over the management of Etisalat Nigeria, effective June 15.
This is as a result of the failure of the company to repay loans amounting to 541 billion Naira.

Etisalat Group based in the United Arab Emirates informed the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange that a group of Nigerian commercial banks have refused to agree to the restructuring of 541 billion Naira debt owed by the company.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the telecoms group, said its total shares in the subsidiary, Etisalat Nigeria have been transferred to United Capital Trustees Limited.
The deadline for the transfer of the shares has been agreed to extend till 5:00 pm Nigerian time on Friday, June 23.

Abu-Dhabi based Etisalat group established Etisalat Nigeria with effective 45 per cent and 25 per cent ordinary and preference shares respectively.
Reuters quoted an official of Etisalat Nigeria as saying that discussions with the group of Nigerian commercial lenders are ongoing to find a ”non-disruptive” solution to the 1.2 billion U.S. dollar-debt.


Friday, 9 June 2017

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