Ben Ayade’s developmental footprints in Cross River

1. Establishment of the Cross River Rice Seeds & Seedlings Multiplication City:

The model Cross River Rice Seeds and Seedlings Multiplication/Regeneration City conceived and built from scratch by Governor Ben Ayade is to bring about optimization in rice production and food sufficiency.

The Rice City has become a reference point in agricultural revolution in Africa with its ability to regenerate and multiply specific breeds of high yield, vitamized rice seeds and seedlings species for both upland and lowland cultivation.

The technology deployed is a replica of Japan and Taiwan put together with Ayade’s doctoral research whereby a rice grain can be converted into a seedling without any genetic manipulation, but by using a seed bombardment evolution technique.

2. Establishment of the Teachers Continuous Training Institute, Biase:

The adorably beautiful Teachers Continuous Training Institute (TCTI), Biase is designed to train and re-train teachers to boost manpower in the education sector.

The 19-structured edifice consists of ultra-modern lecture rooms with executive furniture, 20 Lecture halls with 25 sitting capacity each, 80 ensuite rooms as residential accommodation for retraining participants.

The TCTI consists of an Amph-itheater of 448 sitting capacity, Auditorium with 1500 capacity with a Gallery, Changing rooms, offices etc.

It is the 1st. Nigerian public institution to be accredited by Certiport as Center for Digital Literacy.

1st Nigerian Educational institution to conduct digital proficiency tests for various categories of workers on a large scale.

Nigeria’s 1st Public Institution to train participants on Digital literacy proficiency, up to IC3 Certification.

1st Nigerian educational institution to establish a mobile training centre for retraining of teachers and for the training of Nigerian workforce on Digital Literacy for Emerging Skills in any part of the country; both rural and urban.

3. Establishment of the Cross River Microfinance Bank LTD:

The Cross River Microfinance Bank was established by Governor Ben Ayade with a takeoff seed capital of N600 million.

The Bank, fully registered and accredited by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria provides credit facilities of between N500k to N5million to her esteemed, teeming customers. The CRMBL now has satellite branches in Obudu and Boki Local Government Areas of Cross River State.

4. Acquisition/Floating of a State Carrier – CallyAir:

The Administration of Governor Ben Ayade acquired CallyAir as the official carrier of the Cross River State government.

The 737 series Boeing aircrafts in its fleet, are among the largest in the Nigerian aerospace industry.
The aircrafts consists of 144 passenger seats each, which makes their planes the biggest for domestic flights in addition to parading the lowest airfares.

5. Construction of the Virgin 30km Boki East-West Road with Link Bridge:

The Boki East-West road is a creation of Governor Ben Ayade to open up Eastern and Western Boki to mobile access.

The road connects 5 communities of the hinterlands; Katabang, Kayang, Onitsha Farm, Boje and Nsadep.

6. Establishment of the Cross River Garment Factory:

The Cross River Garment Factory began full operations in 2018 after it’s commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The factory designs and manufactures hoses, Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), face shields, coveralls, Safety wears for establishments and other forms of apparel for the paramilitary services in the country, the N.Y.S.C, the Department of Public Transportation in the state, State Border Patrol Team and other corporate organizations of the government and the private sectors that require high quality fabric within a short time frame.

The Cross River Garment Factory has a combined manpower of about 2,000 staff who are predominantly widows.

7. Partnership with Zipline Technology:

Zipline Technology is a drone delivery system which ensures prompt delivery of medical supplies to the hard-to-reach hinterlands of the state. The drones have the capacity to deliver medical supplies in just 15 minutes.

8. Full Dualization of the Calabar-Odukpani Federal Highway:

Governor Ben Ayade undertook the full dualization of one of the busiest interstate roads in the South-South, which is also the only land access to the Calabar City centre – the Calabar Odukpani Federal Highway.

Before the dualisation of the highway, the road was a one-way entry and exit with motorists scrambling for space all of the time, until Ayade came into the saddle and undertook this towering legacy project.

9. Construction of a 1-by-27MW Gas-fired Turbine Station:

Governor Ben Ayade spearheaded the 1-by-27Mw gas-fired turbine station using one of the most sophisticated T&D manufacturers in the world; India’s Skipper.

The structure and methodology of the plant is rated one of the best in sub-saharan Africa by energy experts.

10. Establishment of the Construction & Fabrication Academy of West Africa:

In pursuance of the industrialisation agenda coupled with the pressing need to create employment avenues for the youthful population of the state and sub-region, Governor Ayade established the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa for creative and vocational training in different areas of interests for wealth creation.

The facility plays host to highly practical, industry related courses specifically drawn from the sciences, arts and mechanical fields and anchored in the creative industry.

Some of the courses include POP works technology, visual arts & design, civil engineering/masonry works, electrical fabrication, scaffolding, interior decoration, physical planning, event management, catering services etc.

11. Establishment of An Ultra-modern Cocoa Processing Factory, Ikom:

Governor Ayade conceived and completed the 500k tonnes ultra-modern Cocoa Processing Factory, located in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State as a one stop shop to cocoa processing, a sector that is currently exploited and under utilized.

The Factory has the capacity to produce all varieties of finished cocoa powder & chocolate bars with a wide range of technology in food processing, food engineering of the cocoa based products for export internationally to Europe and China.

12. Establishment of the British Canadian University:

Governor Ayade conceived and completed the model British-Canadian University to retain education tourism that is currently taken abroad by the elite class. This idea is to be driven by expatriate teachers, together with professionally certified tutors drawn from the very best of institutions and bodies in Nigeria.

The institute consists of a primary section, high school and university built with ultra-modern lecture pavilions, boarding hostels, worship chapel, studios, multi-purpose gaming hubs with pitch, staff quarters and every other criteria that makes up a transAtlantic institute of learning.

The institution was also conceived (and strategically sited) to drive traffic to the Obudu International Airport and the Ranch Resort since it will accept foreign admissions.

13. Establishment of the Obudu-German Specialist Hospital:

The model 140-bed, Obudu-German Specialist Hospital is a brainchild of Governor Ben Ayade built to set the pace for medical tourism in the State.

The facility was conceived with full specifications of a global medical facility and furnished with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan, Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan, Radiology and Dialysis Analysis equipment, including a special Unit to cater for patients with oxygen fully generated from within the system.

14. Construction of the Spaghetti Flyover:

The Odukpani Flyover was created to ease human and vehicular road traffic perpetually experienced at the Odukpani junction.

15. Construction of a 148km Northern carriageway:

The Ayade led administration undertook the building of the legacy 148 kilometres Mfom + Okuku + Ogoja + Bekwarra + Obudu + Obanliku dual carriage northern network of roads.

The highway is the longest stretch of a road network undertaken by any state government in Nigeria.

16. The Bakassi Social Housing Scheme:

The Ayade Administration saw to the building and commissioning of social housing units in Afiang-Ayong, Bakassi Local Government Area.

This was done in fulfilment of a promise to create shelter for the displaced people of Bakassi, some of whom have been living in the IDP Camp as a result of the handing over of the region to Cameroon Republic in 2005, after the ceding of the Peninsula to Cameroon by the ICJ.

17. Construction of the Obudu Int’l Cargo and Passenger Airport:

The Obudu International Airport currently being built by Governor Ayade is intended to create a corridor that will allow industries in the State and the neighbouring South-South region to have an export potential internationally.

This is also to harness the horticultural practice exploited and rotting away in storage in the South South region to Asia and Europe.

18. Establishment of An Ultra-modern Poultry Farm:

The Cross River Poultry Farm located at Lemna, consists of 5 chicken brooders, built to nurture birds from their day old stages to final maturity period with a capacity of 24,000 birds in every breeding cycle.

The Farm has a modular manure excavation system, suitable for keeping the birds shed dry and clean all day round.

Among Nigeria’s poultry industries, the Cross River Poultry Farm, built by Governor Ben Ayade is the biggest, choicest and the most sophisticated.

19. Establishment of The Cross River Instant Noodles Factory:

The Cross River Instant Noodles Factory was specifically built for the production of noodles as part of the Industrialization Agenda of the state.

Unlike the conventional noodles, the Factory takes a short time to complete a production cycle due to high specifications of factory equipment.

20. Establishment of the Legacy Piles and Pylons Factory, Akamkpa:

The Cross River Piles and Pylons Factory built by the Ayade Administration is a replica of the federal government-owned Ajaokuta Steel Company, established to fabricate pre-stressed concrete brick piles, steel and other associated components of iron for the building of port development infrastructure.

The establishment of the Piles and Pylons Factory in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the State is a huge boost to Nigeria’s metallurgical industry; it is an idea whose benefits will favour the marine and electrical industries because of its enormous impacts.

21. Review of State Tax Policy to Exempt Low Income Earners and the Artisans:

The State government set up the Cross River State Anti-Tax Agency to review the tax policy of the state to exclude low income earners and other categories of artisans.

Commercial tricycle riders, motorcyclists, small scale hoteliers, mechanics and motorists have been exempted from taxations.

22. Establishment of The Groundnut Oil Processing Factory:

Governor Ben Ayade established a Groundnut Oil Processing Factory in Bekwarra Local Government Area of the state.

The Factory extracts and processes oil from groundnut grains, processes into chocolate cake forms and ferment the commodity into other useful forms.

Groundnut which is a major agrarian component of Cross River and neighbouring Benue and Ebonyi States will have an export potential with the factory in place.

23. Establishment of the Cross River FeedMill Processing Factory:

The Cross River Feedmill Processing Factory, Calabar, was created to produce specific breeds of nutritionally balanced and easily digestible diet pellets and is specifically built to supply the Cross River Farms with condensed nutrition for poultry, livestock and aquatic feeds.

24. Total Overhaul of the Olympic Size AVEO Swimming Pool:

As part of sports sector reform in the state, Governor Ben Ayade undertook the total overhaul of the Olympic certified dual swimming pool at the U.J Esuene Stadium, Calabar to enable the state host major international sporting events.

The pool has been rated one of the best in Africa by the International Olympics Committee after the renovation exercise.

25. Creation of New MDAs/Expansion of Government to Bring on A Generation of Dream Leaders:

Governor Ben Ayade conceived the idea of a youth inclusiveness in governance policy termed “The Ayadesian Theory of Expanded Government”.

Under this ideology, a new generation of technocrats and opinion leaders have been born in the state.

His Excellency’s team of Commissioners, Senior Special Advisers, Special Advisers, Chairmen of Boards, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants, Directors-General, Executive Secretaries etc are the youngest in the country. Some of these cabinet members are in their early thirties and mid-forties.

The system is being replicated by a handful of other states nationally.

26. Establishment of the Cross River Chicken Processing Factory (Calachika):

The 24,000 birds per day chicken slaughterhouse (Calachika) is established to boost the protein intake of Nigerians through sale of subsidised chicken.

Calachika is an agro-based industry established by Governor Ben Ayade in sync with the federal government’s policy on agricultural production which greatly discourages importation of frozen foods.

27. Construction of A 23mw Gas-Fired Power Station:

The 23 megawatt power plant located at Parliamentary Village Calabar was started and completed by Governor Ben Ayade to support street lights infrastructure in the city centre and to augment the shortfall from the national grid.

28. Establishment of the Ultra-modern Rice Mill and Processing Factory, Ogoja:

The model Ogoja Rice Mill and Processing Factory built by Governor Ben Ayade provides thousands of jobs in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the rice value chain in the state.

The Mill is made up of state-of-the-art elevators, vibration cleaners, destoner machines, rice hullers, polishers, graders, color sorters, engravement, packing/bagging machines and every other mechanism that makes up an ultra-modern rice mill assembly line.

This Agro-Industrial revolution is borne out of Ayade’s obvious understanding of the need to meet the challenges of upscaling food production, arising from the increasing population of the state, which puts pressure on the state’s food security and supply mechanism.

29. Lifting of a 20-Year Embargo on Employment and promotions in the State Civil Service:

As a way of strengthening the state civil service, the Ayade-led Administration lifted a 20-year embargo on the state civil service with the employment and promotions of thousands of civil servants.

This is in addition to the conversion and regularisation of ad-hoc staff of the Cross River State Waterboard Ltd and the Cross River State Geographic Information Agency (CRGIA) into full staffers.

30. Establishment of the Cross River Pharmaceutical Company (Calapharm):

Governor Ben Ayade conceived and completed The Cross River Pharmaceutical Company (Calapharm) specifically for the Production of drugs & medical supplies to feed primary and secondary health facilities in the State and beyond.

31. Approval and Implementation of a Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) for Resident Doctors:

The CONMESS structure puts medical doctors working in state-owned facilities at same level with their counterparts at the federal cadre.

This salary scale was (deliberately) initiated to curb brain drain and applies to doctors at Level 1 Step 1. Only Cross River and Lagos States have such structures in place.

32. Renovation of several Primary & Secondary health facilities, introduction of the State Health Insurance Scheme:

The scheme is designed to provide quality and affordable healthcare to residents of the state. Minors aged 0-5, the aged people, destitutes, pregnant women and the incapacitated persons get enrolled and treated for free, while other categories of persons pay a paltry 1,000 Naira per month to enjoy full service.

33. Introduction and commissioning of OPERATION AKPAKWU:

Operation Akpakwu a joint taxforce of the military and paramilitary operations was introduced to enhance security in the State has remained successful since its commissioning in 2020 Post Endsars.

The crack team of OP AKPAKWU is currently the most combat-ready joint force operation by any state government in Nigeria.

34. Renovation and overhauling of the Cross River Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC):

CRBC radio now transmits signal at 10.6kwatt from the 1.6kwatt transmission power it was operating on for decades.

CRBC TV has now been transformed into CRBC Plus+.

35. Prompt payment of salaries and pensions throughout the 8 year administration without fail. Ayade paid salaries and pensions 96 over 96.

36. Establishment of a Toothpick Processing Factory, Yakurr:

37. Construction and commissioning of the phase 1 of the 275km Superhighway:

38. Rehabilitation of several streets, Lanes and Closes in Calabar South Local Government Area.

39. Remodelling of the annual Carnival Calabar Festival to bring in more participating nations and the establishment of Northern Cross River Cultural Festival (Northfest).

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