Ayade Decries Level Of Decay In Nigerian Universities

The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade has decried the fallen standards and level of decay in tertiary institutions across the country.

Ayade proffering solution to this fallen standard said Nigerian Government should restructure it’s educational system by focusing more on human capacity in order to graduate students who can compete with their counterparts in developed countries.

Governor Ayade, addressing the 12th Governing Council, University of Calabar, said it is saddening to discover that, most university students and graduates especially science related courses have no practical experience in order to make meaningful contributions in their line of study to the development of the country.

READ ALSO: Police Parade Over 70 Robbery Suspects In Cross River

“Today, we have a very sad situation where products of our universities cannot hold their hands up. It is very saddening when we look at the amount of young people who are seeking to be admitted into Nigerian universities and the entire number of universities in Nigeria, 153 with almost 10 million people seeking admission at a time.

“We cannot continue to depend on foreigners to give us solutions. The black man is in a very hot climate, it takes a foreign company to provide air conditioner for us. So where are the professors and researchers in Nigeria? The council therefore has the responsibility to restructure the academic curriculum of Nigeria to reflect our core.”

The council was led by the Pro-chancellor and chairman of the council, Senator Nkechi Justina Nwogu who were on a visit to Ayade in his office in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital.

He thereby called on the 12th governing council to restructure academic curriculum and encourage expertise in schools as done in the western world.

Cross River To Float Air, Shipping Lines Soon – Ayade

Cross River To Float Air, Shipping Lines Soon – Ayade
File photo

The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, says the state government will soon commence the operation of air and shipping lines as part of its industrialisation drive.

Professor Ayade was optimistic that the business plan for the procurement of at least two aircraft, an oil tanker vessel, and a fishing trawler would go a long way in meeting the investment needs of the state.

He stated this after observing a series of presentations for consideration as transaction advisors by some companies for the procurement of the aircraft and vessels for the proposed Cally Air and Shipping lines respectively.

“We are going to have a referendum on this project; we are going to throw it back to the people of Cross River to make the final decision.”

Governor Ayade, who was pleased with the viability of the projects as expressed by the companies in their presentations, adopted five out of the 10 companies for a successful technical evaluation.

He asked them to present their bidding for the project in two weeks’ time, saying: “The intention of running an airline was not only focused on making money, but the underlining philosophy is to drive traffic to Calabar and to boost the economy and tourism potentials of the state.”

The successful companies are expected to present their financial bids for the proper procurement exercise on August 15.

The companies that participated in the presentation for Cally Air are Catalyst Gold Innovations, Glory Airlines, Travel Essentials, Manyata Engineering, Dana Airlines and Tropic Aviation.

Others who made presentations for the procurement of vessels and fishing trawlers are Lumberg Services Limited, Strickland Services, Travel Essentials and Obyke System Consults.

C/River Projects: Ayade Wants EFCC, ICPC To Witness Bidding Process

Cross River Wants EFCC, Others To Witness Bidding Process For Projects

The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to witness the bid evaluation process for the superhighway and the Bakassi deep seaport signature projects in the state.

The governor’s call followed the recent Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approvals by the Federal Ministry of Environment for the commencement of the projects.

Speaking at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Professor Ayade noted that the projects have attracted bids from over 71 companies.

“The superhighway and deep seaport projects are in good progress. Only yesterday, there was a major opening of the bid and about 71 different companies have bided.

“We are using this opportunity to call on EFCC, ICPC, NGOs and other organisations to please come and watch the bid evaluation process which will take about 10 days,” he said.

Governor Ayade explained that the invite was necessary to demonstrate the transparency in the process of arriving at a preferred bidder.

“The essence of inviting the anti-graft agencies is to demonstrate the transparency in the process of arriving at a preferred bidder commencing works under our proposed deep seaport and superhighway,” he said.

In another development, Governor Ayade said the peace being experienced in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the Supreme Court ruling was a healthy development for the people of Nigeria and indeed Africa.

Osinbajo Commissions Garment Factory, Other Projects In Cross River

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has described the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, as a man of credible ideas.

Professor Osinbajo also described the governor as a great achiever who has inspired a generation of young people by availing them the opportunity to be gainfully employed.

He said this on Thursday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital while in the state on an official visit to commission some major projects embarked upon by the State Government.

One of the projects is the Cross River Garment Factory which presently has a staff number of 3,000 and an additional 1,000 persons to be absorbed soon.

The Acting President was also taken on a guided tour of the Ayade Industrial Park, the Rice City and the Cala Pharmacy, all located in the state capital.

Commissioning the projects, he commended Governor Ayade for creating an avenue for employment and money generation in the state.

Also commissioned by Acting President Osinbajo was the State Monorail where he alongside the governor took a tour on the rail to the Calabar International Convention Centre.

He further visited the palace of the Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, where he paid homage to the first class ruler of the Efik Kingdom.

The traditional ruler used the occasion to call on all political office holders to unite in building a stronger Nigeria, irrespective of political affiliations.

He also urged the present administration to keep fate with their campaign promises, two years after being voted into office.

In his response, the Acting President assured Nigerians of a better and developed country under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

On his part, Governor Ayade commended Professor Osinbajo for the visit which he described as memorial.

Before his departure from the palace, the Acting President was conferred with one of the highest traditional titles of the Efik Kingdom, Ada Idaha Ke Efik Eburutu.

Ayade Grants Clemency To Over 30 Prisoners

The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has granted clemency to over 30 prisoners currently serving jail terms for various offences.

Professor Ayade explained that their release was in the spirit of the celebration of the state’s golden jubilee, which coincides with the Children’s Day celebration.

He used the occasion of Cross River State at 50 to urge the people of the state and residents to join his administration towards ensuring a better future for the state.

A breakdown of the figure showed that five prisoners were on death row, 16 on life sentences, four inmates above 60 years, while nine others were terminally ill.

May Day: Cross River Workers Decry Early Payment of Salaries

Cross River, Special CourtsWorkers in Cross River State have criticised the state government for paying their May salaries early.

Adorned in colourful apparels to mark May Day, the workers who received their May salaries on the eve of the celebration protested against the early payment of their salaries.

At the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium in Calabar where the workers converged for the celebration, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state, John Ushie, said labour had advised the government against such a move.

He said, “We had advised the governor not to be paying salaries like this but he insisted.

“Maybe it is his own way of showing that he cares for the people. He feels he should make the life of the people better and he has expressed this by paying a month salary in arrears.”

Ushie called on workers to be prudent to avoid running into financial problems before the next pay day.

He said, “We believe that salaries should be paid for work done but since he has gone ahead to pay, we can only advise workers to be prudent.

“He did the same thing last year, but we didn’t expect he would do the same thing again because he just finished paying salaries last week and then by yesterday (April 30) he had paid May salaries. That is the situation of ground.”

Similarly, the Chairman, Nigerian Civil Service Union in the state, Dr. Peter Ipole, said paying two months’ salaries under one week is not a good idea for majority of the workers.

This, according to him, is because many workers do not have the attitude of saving, especially considering the present economic times.

While commending the government of Professor Ben Ayade for the prompt payment of salaries since he became governor of the state, the workers called on the government to pay salaries at the end of the month and not at the start.

The state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Eyo-Nsa Itam, said although the workers did not expect to get paid, the attitude of the governor towards salaries was good.

Itam said, “I think it is a tradition. We didn’t expect it yesterday. We expected it today. But you know because of the economic strain, there may be suffering if people are not careful.

“It means people would work for two months without seeing salaries, because the governor just paid salaries last week. Within one week, he has paid two months’ salaries. So it is a good development, but the impact would be very hectic.”

Calabar Tragedy: Akwa Ibom Gov. Sympathises With Cross River

Calabar Tragedy: Akwa Ibom Gov. Sympathises With Cross RiverThe Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has condoled with Governor Ben Ayade and people of Cross River State over an incident that killed some football fans at a viewing centre in Calabar, the state capital.

Governor Emmanuel, on behalf of the people of Akwa Ibom State, prayed God to give his Cross River State counterpart and the people the fortitude to overcome the impact of the tragic event.

A statement from the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh, said Governor Emmanuel commended Cross River State Government for the proactive steps taken to unravel the cause of the incident and the assistance extended to the bereaved families.

The Commissioner added that the Governor would lead a delegation of the State Executive Council on a condolence visit to the state.

FG Commissions ‘Falcon Eye’ To Tackle Illegalities On Nigerian Waterways

waterways2The Federal Government has commissioned the operation Falcon Eye, Eastern Regional Control Centre in Cross Rivers state, for an over the horizon maritime surveillance from defection to intervention.

This, according to the government, is in continuation of its fight to reduce the rate of illegalities on Nigeria’s waters.

The Chief Of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, reiterated this objective, while officially commissioning the environment protection infrastructure.

Also present were other security chiefs as well as the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade.

In 2016, the Nigerian Navy had also embarked on a sea exercise, named ‘Exercise Eagle Eye’, which was aimed at assessing its operational capacity in the fight against internal and external aggression along Nigerian waterways.

Shortly after kick-off, the force recorded some success as it arrested five suspected oil thieves during their regular sea exercise.

They also destroyed four illegal refineries set up at Ijawkiri in Rivers state during the operation.

50 Civil Society Orgs. Name Gov. Ayade ‘Man Of The Year’

CSOs, Ben Ayade, Man Of The YearCross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has been named the ‘Man of the Year’ by 50 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Civil Society National Lectures and Awards (CISNALA).

The latest award is coming on the heels of similar recognition by three Nigerian newspapers – Vanguard, Business Hallmark and the Authority newspapers respectively.

The conferment of the CSO Man of the Year on Governor Ayade, according to CISNALA, “is for his recorded milestone in good governance, democracy dividends, people-oriented policies and programmes, transparency and accountability, as well as infrastructure and human capital development”.

A statement which unveiled the honour was jointly signed and issued on behalf of the CISNALA by its convener and the National Coordinator of COCMEP, omrade Innocent Okadigbo, and the Convener of Transparency Centre Network, Mr Umar Farouk, among others.

According to the group, the exercise which led to the eventual “emergence of Governor Ayade as the CSO Man of the Year, was a product of a keenly contested and due process compliant selection system” which the Governor had no inkling of.

The statement disclosed further that the award would be conferred on the Governor in Abuja on a date yet to be announced.

The CISNALA also highlighted other considerations for the conferment of the award to include “(Ayade’s) strident green life advocacy, construction of the largest garment factory in Africa, construction of multi-million dollar rice city project, completion of Calabar International Convention Centre, prompt and regular payment of workers’ salaries, ongoing construction of his signature projects, namely, the Bakassi Deep Seaport and 260km Digital Superhighway, among others”.

Cross River Govt. Lauds FG For Border Projects In Bakassi

Ben Ayade, Cross River, Border ProjectsThe Cross River State government has commended the Federal Government for some developmental projects sited around the boarder area of Bakassi Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Ben Ayade, who made the commendation on Wednesday, however advocated for the speedy conclusion of the projects.

He expressed optimism that the development would be beneficial to the Bakassi community when concluded and commissioned for use.

The governor made the remarks when he received the National Assembly Joint Committee for State and Local Government at the Government House in Calabar, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

Represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, Senator Ayade noted that much needed to be done for the displaced Bakassi people, whom he said were subjected to harsh climatic conditions at their various camps.

He highlighted the importance of the projects and assured the committee that his administration would ensure the prompt conclusion of the projects without external or internal interference.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, Senator Abdullahi Gumel said that the lawmakers were in the state to inspect the Border Commission Development Agency’s projects around the boarder community of Bakassi.

The Executive Secretary of Boundary Communities Development Agency, Mr Numo-Ipre Wills, also expressed delight at the progress of the ongoing projects.

Mr Wills, however, urged the government for provide more funds for successful completion of the projects.

Ayade, Wike Sign 2017 Budgets Into Law

Ayade, Wike Sign 2017 Budgets Into LawThe Cross River state government has signed into law the 2017 appropriation bill of 707 billion naira.

Christened budget of infinite transposition for medium term expenditure framework for capital projects, the budget is expected to cover 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.

The new budget was handed over to the State Governor, Ben Ayade at the government house in Calabar, the Cross River state capital by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, John Gaul-Lebor.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has also signed the 2017 budget into law, with a promise to intensify project execution and development in the state.

At a meeting with members of the Rivers state House of Assembly, in Port Harcourt, the state capital Governor Wike also gave the assurance that all arms of government would be allowed to function independently.

Ayade Signs 707bn Naira Budget Into Law

ben ayade signs Cross River budgetThe Cross River State Government has signed into law a 2017 appropriation bill of 707 billion Naira into law.

The budget christened “Budget of Infinite Transposition” will cover medium term expenditure framework for capital projects in 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.

It was handed over to the State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, at the Government House in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital by the Legislature, led by its Speaker, John Gaul-Lebor.

Expatiating on the new budget, Professor Ayade said the budget was a new budgeting concept where all capital heads were being captured.

“It is a budget that has an infinity clause which stretches beyond 2017 and saves us the agony of continuous planning and re-strategising. This year is a year of action because our spirit is desperately determined to make a difference,” he said.

According to him, “the energy that is expected to characterise 2017 budget is to drive the very core of the needs of our people which therefore defines the ambition and the level of weight that has got the state into an epoch budget of 707 billion Naira.

“It will fast-track the execution of various projects of his administration ranging from the Super Highway project, the Deep Sea Port project, the Rice City project and the Calabar pharmaceutical company as well as other projects, with a view to creating job opportunities in each of the senatorial district among other developmental initiatives,” the Governor said.

While justifying the adoption of the new budgetary strategy, Professor Ayade explained that “the economic situation we find ourselves as a nation requires us to carry out such huge thinking and heavy planning.

“So, the budget strategy we have adopted is to focus on all our investments at this particular time, stretching from our garment factory, the pharmaceutical factory, Rice City, banana plantation investment, the cocoa processing facility, rice mill and other huge investment outlays that have short gestation period across the state, bearing in mind the huge inflows that will come to us at the end of the day that will decouple us from federation allocation”.

Governor Ayade, who thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for believing in the industrialisation drive of his administration, said “the vision of the government is one that has the capacity to take the nation out of recession with the actualisation of the proposed superhighway and Bakassi Deep Seaport which gives us the hope that in terms of challenge, the President has a responsibility to give a budget support”.

Also on ground to witness the signing of the budget that was submitted to the House of Assembly on October 31, 2016, were Members of the Executive Council.