BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
As Cross Riverians join the rest of the world to bid goodbye to year 2020 and usher in year 2021, Governor Ben Ayade has congratulated them for their perseverance in a very challenging year.
In his New Year message entitled “Welcome to a dawn of freshness” signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita, Ayade said the year 2020 was characterized by great turmoil, one in which Cross River State, like the rest of the world, was sadly tossed by the storms of COVID-19 pandemic and apoplectic EndSARS protests.
While reflecting on the past 12 months and looking ahead to the budding opportunities of the new year, Governor Ayade expressed optimism that “2021 will be a year of significant milestones for the state.”
According to him, “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. For our us, we had begun writing our story five years ago when we vowed to decouple our dear state from federal allocations through aggressive industrialisation,” noting that “our focus in 2021 is to ensure the completion of our story for an exhilarating reading by all Cross Riverians.
While enjoining Cross Riverians to put the bruises and scars of 2020 behind them and radiate optimism, he assured that “2021 will usher in a full optimisation of the state’s industries with all the established industries across the state spiking up full production and getting more Cross Riverians engaged in the process.
“The year 2021 holds so much promise and optimism as we will create more employment opportunities for our teeming youths as more of our industries go into commercial operations.
“This year is one that Cross Riverians will begin to hold their future in their own hands when factories like Cala noodles, Ikom Cocoa processing plant, Vitaminise Rice Mill, Calabar Pharmaceutical Factory and Bekwarra groundnut oil Factory, among other industries will come into full flourish to crystallize a year of prosperity for the state.”
“The buds of prosperity are about to open up,” he assured.
Beyond the vistas of industries, Governor Ayade also said his “administration’s other projects such as the Teachers’ Continuous Training College in Biase, the British/Canadian school in Obudu, with a full amalgam of nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary education will be completed and put to use.”
On road infrastructure, the governor assured that “Dualisation of Calabar-Odukpani Junction, the 148km Mfom-Yala-Bekwarra-Obudu highways as well as the Boki East/West road will all be completed this year. It is a year we will all be proud to be Cross Riverians.”
Ayade while rallying Cross Riverians to remain steadfast and cling on to hope, said: “Today Cross River looks at its future more confidently than ever before with a sense of assurance that finally we have edged closer to the end of the tunnel where the light beams its rays at us.”