The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) has chosen to build its laboratory complex in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, so says its Director General, Farouk Salim.
The laboratory will be cited at the sprawling Ayade Industrial Park, Calabar which houses a cluster of industries built by the Professor Ben Ayade-led administration.
Speaking during inspection of the Park, Salim said the sheer size of the industrial park and the industries therein was amazing despite Cross River’s meagre federal allocation.
“It is amazing what has been done here by His Excellency and to think it was done despite Cross River being number 35 out of 36 in the country in terms of allocation.
“It’s amazing that with that little income the state has been able to harness and build such a facility. It is quite impressive and the most important thing about this facility is that locally, it is going to create many opportunities for people from farmers, to processors and to the off-takers who sell the products. It is a very interesting and a special approach by a state government which I have not seen such so far in the country.”
Paying glowing tribute to the governor, the SON DG said: “His Excellency is a man of foresight , as a Professor with great ideas, it looks like there is more harmony between Cross River State and the federal government which is the most important thing because if there is harmony there is going to be progress. The federal government has every reason to contribute to Cross River State because they are now part of the harmonious relationship with the federal government.”
He described the industrial park as “one of the choice areas in the state and it is a wonderful opportunity for our organization to site our operations here.”
Salim expressed SON’s readiness to certify the products of the industrial park after passing through the certification process.
Responding, governor Ayade thanked SON for the decision to cite its laboratory complex in Calabar, describing the move as a validation of his industrialisation policy and dividend of socketing to the central government.
“Coming here and feeling excited by what we have done so far, for me, is a vindication and basically a socio political accreditation of my achievements. I want to thank him so much for the encouraging words, thank you for willingness and committment.
“But I think Cross Riverians should know at this point that our socketing into the centre by moving to the APC is beginning to yield far much more dividends at a speed I never imagined.
“Today we have SON here, not by any proxy but by the DG himself coming here, making a choice of a location to build a SON complex in Calabar and we have given them a place at our ultra modern industrial park.
“I am quite excited at the opportunity that SON is bringing to Cross River State and this would not have been possible if we didn’t have this socketing to the centre principle. I agree that the harmony existing between federal government and Cross River at this point is so strong and much better and Cross Riverians should expect to see more of this”, the governor said.
The governor explained that his industrialisation drive was driven from anthropological perspective “to create jobs for our people.”