Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has again reiterated that his administration had established over 30 industries in the state since his assumption of office in 2015.
Ayade made the remarks in Calabar while addressing participants at the second dry run, as a build-up to the Calabar Carnival 2022.
He urged the seven Carnival Calabar bands to interpret this year’s theme of the annual fiesta, ‘Agro-Industrialization’ to reflect the importance of agriculture in the economy of the state.
“We want to focus this year’s carnival on agro-industrialisation and you all know what has been done in that area. We have established over 30 industries across the state. We thank God that those industries are beginning to function especially as concessionaires have taken possession of them.
“I want to urge the carnival bands that in trying to elucidate the theme not to fail to point out the fact that agro-industrialisation means that there must be various raw materials, which must come from agriculture to supply those industries.”
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, maintained that it had become imperative for the state government to place critical emphasis on agriculture to ensure that Cross River continued to produce crops in which it has a comparative advantage to enable the industries to function smoothly.
He asked the revellers and band leaders, “to also know that indeed Cross River is a special state. A state like no other that is agro-based. We do not want to remain as raw material producers, we want to grow a step further. Our aim is to leapfrog the state from a third world to a first world and I think we are doing so.”
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of the Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mr Austin Cobham, explained, “The theme of this year’s carnival ‘agro-industrialisation has brought to the understanding of people what this government has done in the area of agriculture and job provision.”
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