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By: AMAWU, Cletus Albert Amawu.
The Cross River State Government, through the Privatisation Council Chairman, Mr. John M. Odo and other members of the Council, held a Press conference in Calabar, on the Administration of Questionnaire for the privatisation of all government Ventures and Industries across the 18, Local Government Areas of the State.
According to Mr. Odo, “three models have been proposed, vis-a-vis: Privatisation. Concession and Outright State Owned (100%) and operated.
“We call to inform our local Communities, Local Government Councils and the entire State to key into the Referendum Questionnaire to ensure: Consultation, Accountability, Due Process and Transparency.
“It should be noted that the Referendum is not a prescribed requirement in the State Privatisation Law, neither has there been a history of referendum for Privatisation in our country before now.”
He eulogized and commended the Ayade’s Administration for adoption of a Referendum to drive home government intentions to boost IGR., effective utilisation of government ventures and industries, provide employment for our teaming youths and continuation to provide food on the table.
“We call on all and sundry to support this laudable programme and participate in the Agro-Industrialisation Revolution of H.E the digital Governor of Cross River State, Sir Sen. (Prof) Ben Ayade’s Administration, as we shall work assiduously to the success of the privatisation programme to justify the confidence reposed on the Council,” he concluded.
Th Honorable Commissioner for Health, who is  a member of the Referendum Committee applauded Governor Ben Ayade for always prioritizing his citizens and putting them first in everything.
“Let me remind us that there’s a 30% rate of unemployment in Nigeria and the sustainability of these industries will create jobs for our teaming population, a decision His Excellency has left for all Cross Riverians within and those in diaspora to make. It’s already on record that this is the first Referendum happening in Nigeria as Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade has completely surrendered his Executive Powers to Cross Riverians to decide on the fate of some Assets/Industries. The decision to either go into Privatization, Concession or maintain the status quo lies in our hands.
“We’ll have to decide as Cross Riverians either by filling the paper questionnaire or by voting online by visiting the website accessible to all Cross Riverians even in Diaspora.
“Referendum Questionnaires have already been distributed to all Local Government Council Chairmen. At the end of voting both Physically  and online, a reputable firm will be responsible for collating and vetting as well as authentication of the results within a space of 72hrs so I encourage us all to take part in this history making decision,” Dr Edu.
The Honorable Commissioner for Industry Hon. Peter Egba and Barr. Rosemary Archibong Commissioner for Commerce who also spoke all commended the Governor for his Agro-industrial Drive which has led to the building of several industries in six years.
We commend the government’s decision to leave the fate of her Industries in the hands of the masses to decide.
“Industries tends to thrive more and yield more income and promote employment if privatized, we call on Cross Riverians to take the Referendum as an opportunity to determine how their Industries can be run and managed effectively.”
Also in attendance were Hon. Emmanuel Offiong Bassey, Chairman of Chairmen and Akpabuyo Local Government Area, Chairman, who declared on behalf of the 18, Local Government Areas, Chairmen of their willingness to support and galvanized their subjects to participate in the exercise.
Others are Mayor of Municipality. Akampka and Biase Local Government Councils, Chairmen.
In his closing remarks, the Executive Secretary of the Privatisation Council, Barr David Ameyie, said “I want to very sincerely thank and appreciate the opportunity given the Council by H.E Governor Ben Ayade, his vision to move from oil to  Agro-Allied Industrialisation. Let’s not be weary for the Ayade’s Revolution is panacea for a better, bigger and wealthier Cross River State. His thinking clearly shows, a ready leader to liberate and get his people out of woods. Governor Ayade, is an exceptional and rare breed in a clime like ours,” he concluded.
Some of the State own Ventures and Industries under consideration by the State Privatization Council to undergo the Referendum includes:
Garment Factory Calabar, CRS Pharmaceutical Factory Calabar, Instant Noodles Factory, Feed Mill Calabar, Frozen Chicken Factory Calabar, Rise Seedlings Factory Calabar, Mega Watt Power Plant Calabar, Poultry Farm Calabar, Tooth Pick Factory Yakurr, Pyle and Pylon Factory Akamkpa, Industrial Starch Factory Obubra, Cocoa Processing Factory Ikom, Rice Mill Factory Ogoja, British Canadian School Obudu, Obudu International Airport, Cross River Airline Company (CALLY AIR), Organic Fertilizer Factory Calabar, Tinapa Resort Calabar,  Marina Tank Farm Calabar, Marina Resort Calabar, Calapharm, Songhai Farm Itigidi,  Referral Specialist Hospital Obudu, Groundnut Oil Factory in Yala and a host of others.
Cross Riverians are enjoined to visit any Local Government Area Headquarters close to them or log unto and avail themselves the opportunity to participate in the Referendum to determine the fate and future of our dear State owned Ventures/Industries.

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, an Administrator, Activist and Social Change Agent.

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