Nigeria’s First Referendum, Gov. Ayade Relinquish Power To Cross Riverians to Decide on Industries

History is made again as Governor Ben Ayade relinquished power to Cross Riverians to decide on the destiny of over 40 industries in the state. He has again proven that power truly belongs to the people strengthening inclusion in governance. The first ever Referendum has been granted to all cross riverians including those in Diaspora as Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade has decided that only cross riverians can decide the fate and sustainability of all her Assets/Industries either through Privatization, Concession or 100% state owned and operated.

Making this known through a Press Briefing involving the Chairman of the State Privatization Council Mr John M. Odo, Health Commissioner Dr Betta Edu, Commissioner for Industry Hon. Peter Egba, Commerce Commissioner Barr Rosemary Archibong, LGA Chairmen and other members of the Committee, Mr John who thanked his Excellency Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade for Industrializing the State through his numerous Agro Industrialization Revolution Program stated that the State will be carrying out a Referendum to decide on the fate of her Assets/Industries “There is need to put in place a transparent sustainability plan which will ensure increase IGR and provide more employment opportunities to Cross Riverians, the Ayade’s administration has decided to put powers in the hands of the masses through a Referendum on what should be done with their Industries. He further stated that if Cross Riverians decide on privatization, it will be done through a transparent process that will give priority to Cross Riverians who are interested in the privatization of the industries before anyone else.” He stated.

Also speaking during the briefing, the Honorable Commissioner for Health, 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 added.”

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 rieverians to take the Referendum as an opportunity to determine how their Industries can be run and managed effectively.

The third tier of government through the Chairman of Chairmen Hon. Emmanuel Offiong Bassey Chairman Akpabuyo LGA declared the willingness and support of all Chairmen to take active part in the referendum Exercise. some of the State own Assets/ 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 LGA Headquarters at close to them or log unto and take part in the Referendum exercise as the fate of the State owned Assets/Industries depends on their decision.

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