COVID-19: Cross River Begins Payment of N30,000 To Youths

Easter: Ayade Calls For Peace, Prayers For Leaders
A file photo of Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade.


The Cross River State Government on Monday began the monthly payment of 30,000 stipends to beneficiaries of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) as a way to cushion effect of COVID-19 lockdown on poor residents.

The disbursement is in collaboration with the World Bank.

Commissioner for International Development Cooperation in the state, Inyang Asibong, during the commencement of the distribution in Akampa Local Government Area of the said the aim is to assistant the vulnerable during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic to meet their needs.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: St Nicholas Hospital Shuts Down Lagos Branch

He added that the government has approved the payment for beneficiaries who are engaged in community services such as sanitation, clearing of gutters, erosion control among others.

The State Governor Ben Ayade had earlier imposed new restrictions on residents of the state including ‘no mask no movement.’

The governor said no resident of the state would be allowed to move without a face mask to contain spread of the Coronavirus.

Although, there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cross Rivers, it shares border with Cameroon which has over 1,000 confirmed cases.

High Level Of Insecurity Scares Calabar Residents

Residents Cry Out Over Insecurity In CalabarResidents of Calabar have appealed to the Cross River State Government and security operatives in the state to tighten security network in the metropolis.

Some of the residents told Channels Television that in the past two weeks, they have been living in fear, following series of cult-related activities and other crimes which have led to the death of some persons.

The State Government, however, assured them that the situation was under control.

The government said it has equipped the Nigerian Army with more operational vehicles to assist the Police in tackling the menace.

The Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, who also assured Calabar residents of safety, disclosed that the State Command has made arrest of some notorious gangs believed to be terrorising residents in some parts of the metropolis.

According to him, a team from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on March 20 at about 1130hrs, arrested a gang of seven youths between the ages of 22 and 28 allegedly involved in armed robbery and cultism.

He said one locally made pistol and some other items were recovered from the suspects, following their confessions to the crimes.

Mr Inuwa said more suspects were also arrested for armed robbery and car snatching at Marina Resort, Calabar.

He said recovered items include two Beretta pistols with three 9mm live ammunition, an axe, two locally made pistols, a Toyota Corolla Car, a Murano SUV and a Toyota Rav4 SUV.

The Police Commissioner said some arrests were also made with connection to piracy, conspiracy and adulterated cement.

He stressed that in view of the successes made by the Police, the Command has the capacity and capability to deal with any miscreants posing danger to the peace of the state.

Cross River Records First Death From Lassa

Lassa Fever, Cross RiverThe Cross River State Government has confirmed a case of Lassa fever death in the state in Nigeria’s south-south.

The confirmation follows a positive test result received from the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control, Irrua in Edo State.

The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, made the announcement in a statement issued on Thursday.

She said the ministry consequently mandated the epidemiology team to begin contact-tracing immediately for effective monitoring.

Dr. Asibong described the incident as unfortunate, adding that it was the first time the state is reporting the case of death from the disease.

She called on the general public to increase their personal hygiene as this remains one of the most effective preventive measures.

The commissioner stated that personnel at the primary healthcare centres across the state have been asked to watch out for the signs and symptoms of Lassa fever in their patients and report any suspected case to the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA).

Cross River Set To Float Cally Air And Shipping Lines

airline and shipping line floating plan underway in cross riverCross River State Government has completed plans to float its own airline as well as a shipping line, as part of efforts to increase revenue and lower dependence on federal allocation.

Addressing reporters in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade said the state was taking full advantage of its huge tourism potentials and vast maritime resources by going into both airline and maritime services.

Huge Maritime Resources

The governor noted that while Cally Air was expected to transport tourists from all over Nigeria to the beautiful tourist sites dotted across the state, particularly the famous Obudu Ranch Resort, the shipping line would concentrate primarily on cargo services, especially along the shoreline of the Gulf of Guinea.

Ayade maintained that “Cross River State is only taking full advantage of its huge maritime resources by focusing on maritime trading particularly, cabotage services by providing merchant vessels that will ply the Gulf of Guinea and provide services to countries along this shoreline.

“In our 2017 budget, there is a provision for a merchant vessel that will provide maritime businesses with Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroun and the entire stretch of the shoreline.

“There is another provision for Wharf landing and other support services. So, we are also going to have a fabrication yard and other allied maritime services as we refocus on broadening the maritime sector in the state”.

Justifying government’s decision to venture into maritime services, Professor Ayade reasoned that with the maritime trade and connectivity along the region, his administration was confident that the return on the investment would definitely be huge and contribute immensely to the budget of infinite transposition.

“Our vessels are already berthing in Calabar as part of investment in 2017 because we are establishing business outlays in some West and Central African countries dealing mostly on petroleum products and because Cross River State is looking at an aggregate of driving an industrialised, business-like module for governance, soon, you will see us go into full time trading.

“That is why in our budget, we have budgeted about 14 billion Naira to expand investment in this direction to the Gambia,” the Governor explained.

Professor Ayade further told reporters that the state had the capacity to handle the huge investments, knowing full well that, it is a very delicate combination of public-private service administration structure running it from a private business perspective.

Cross River is announcing its plan two days after Imo State government said it had taken delivery of the first aircraft, to kick start, as the first state owned commercial airline, Imo Air.

During the official launch of the new airline at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo airport in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the Governor Rochas Okorocha said the investment by the state government would boost economic activities in the state.

He added that it would increase the state Internally Generated Revenue and also generate employment opportunities for teaming unemployed youths in the state.

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.

Cross River Govt Introduces Food Festival At Calabar Carnival

Cross River Govt Introduces Food Festival At Calabar Carnival
Florence Ita-Giwa

The Cross River State Government has revealed that it would feature an African Food Festival at the 2016 Calabar Carnival.

The government also revealed that it is partnering a former Presidential Advicer, Florence Ita- Giwa, on the maiden edition of the new concept, expected to run between December 21 and 23 2016.

Speaking in Calabar the state capital, Ita-Giwa said, “the event, which will showcase the best cuisines from several regions in Africa, will feature the first African Culinary Boot Camp for knowledge transfer and skill acquisition among participants.

Explaining further, she said, “the project aims to showcase the abundance of indigenous delicacies as a formidable tool for ordinary tourism, as well as empower participants with the needed knowledge and funding for business start-ups.

“It will create awareness and interest in the ordinary potential in Cross River state to achieve measurable socio-economic benefits.

“It will also excite target audience by offering entertainment using a core attribute of the Calabar people, who are known and celebrated for the excellent cuisines. It is sponsored by Dangote Foods,” she added.

The state Governor, Ben Ayade, also explained that another major objective of the new concept is to “create awareness and interest in the culinary prowess of the state and the African continent.

Cross River State officially launches EU SIGN Project

Cross river, EU SIGNThe Cross River state government has officially launched the European Union Support to Immunization Governance in Nigeria, (EU SIGN) project, in Calabar, the state capital.

The health initiative, was witnessed by stakeholders in the health sector and representatives from the EU.

The project according to the Deputy Governor of the State, Professor Ivara Esu, has contributed greatly to the eradication of many preventable deaths among pregnant women and children, under the ages of five.

Immunization of children has over many decades, served as a single most important way parents can protect their children from serious diseases.

This perhaps, underscores the reason why the Cross River state government is leaving no stone unturned, towards ensuring that vaccines are readily available at health centers across the state, where women can take their children to, for immunization.

Cross River state is one of the 23 beneficiary states in Nigeria and the progress according to the government, is phenomenal.

The deputy governor expressed gratitude to the EU team, for all the support it has given to immunization governance in the state, which includes providing equipment and facilities to care for the vulnerable across the 18 local government areas of the state.

He also re-iterated the government’s effort to continue offering effective health care to women and children, especially those in the rural communities.

The Mr Esu who represented the governor, further appealed to the EU to complete all on-going projects in the state.

“I use these opportunity to urge the EU-SIGN to complete all on-going projects in the State such as our cold room and cold store system.”

Head of EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Michel Arrion, equally commended the state government for its commitment shown from the inception of the project since 2011 to its winding down in 2018.

He also commended the government for its ‘primary healthcare under one roof’ initiative, designed to promote efficient delivery and streamlining services, which are key to the EU-SIGN objective.

“Government has done well in trying as much as possible to strengthen the health care system, through the establishment of the ‘primary health care under one roof’ initiative, and we are very happy with that”.

“I will say, Cross River state is one of the states that we collaborate with and it has demonstrated reform mindedness, we are very happy to collaborate with the state.

“We are not only collaborating in the area of health and nutrition but also areas of micro project and water sanitation,” he added.

The EU had earmarked over 60 million Euros for the project, which according him has been worth it.

Also speaking, the Director General of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu, sued for the full implementation of the ‘primary healthcare under one roof’ initiative, to enhance service delivery to the people.

Cross River, Huawei Sign MoU To Make Calabar Smart City

Ayade Presents 2017 Budget To House of Assembly, Cross RiverThe Cross River State Government and Huawei Technology of China, have both signed a Memorandum of Understanding to completely digitalise the state with a 3G and 4G network, thereby making Calabar Nigeria’s first smart city.

Asides providing 3G and 4G network connectivity, the contractor is also expected to provide fibre to homes, which will afford residents in the state the opportunity to download music, news, movies as well as research materials directly from their homes.

Signing the contract at the government house in Calabar, the State Governor, Ben Ayade, expressed excitement over the development, knowing that, the execution of the contract would herald the full digitalisation of Calabar and the entire state.

Ayade maintained that, the smart city project would ensure availability of cheap Wi-Fi services everywhere in Calabar.

“This will be the first time that data would be provided from the cloud. With this digital cloud, it will offer opportunity to get information with ease and comfort, including boosting research and academic works.

“The project is in partnership with Huawei of China, the equipment Cross River, Huawei, smart citymanufacturer, and Sino Infrastructure Development company Limited, as the technical partner in Nigeria for the project,” said Ayade.

He stated that “this partnership will provide cheap access to connectivity- Cross Riverians will know that Huawei is bringing the best technology to us. They are a known name in the world and a pace setter in the industry.

“Cross River deserves only the best which they have to offer,” he stated.

The whole state is going digital as the Cross River super highway will have super-connectivity, where all the best internet and technology services will be offered to users of the super highway.

Furthermore, Mr Ayade said “this will be the first fully smart city in Nigeria. Cross River will be the model for Africa and we are proud to be associated with this”.

Commissioner for ICT, Chief Offu Aya, said the importance of ICT development to any growing society, underscores the essence for the epoch making event which was witnessed by representatives from both countries.

“You have taken us to China to appreciate what Huawei has done in that country, a country with about 1.7 billion people, and how Huawei has turned China into a huge smart city and we have come back with a detailed report.

“Today is a very unique day for the ministry, as before the carnival, the pilot scheme will be ready where there will be free Wi-Fi services.

“This will make Calabar the first smart city in Nigeria, it will benefit Cross Riverians and Nigerians as it will make communication faster and easier,” Chief Aya stated.

In his response, the Managing Director of Sino Infrastructure Development Company, Mr Li Yamping, added that “Huawei and the Cross River Government will work as technical partners on the project and will both maintain the required standard and deliver as at when due”.

Cross River State Govt. To Float Shipping Line

Cross River shipping lineCross River State government in southern Nigeria has announced plans to float a state’s shipping line that will service countries along the coastal line.

The State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, announced the plan on Friday at a meeting with 21 indigenous Merchant Navy Maritime Students from the Philippines. They were on a courtesy visit to his office, in Calabar.

Assuring them of the government’s continuous support, the governor said that as a result of the new development, coupled with the fact that Cross River now has well trained maritime experts, his administration would see to the creation of Maritime Services Department in the state.

Governor Ayade further told the visitors that, the Maritime department would oversee the affairs of the students and ensure that they got to the peak of their chosen career.

Leader of the group, Deck Cadet Olom Gabriel Odey, thanked the governor for the role he played in facilitating their admission into Maritime Universities of Cebu and Lecyean, both in the Philippines, as a serving Senator.

The trainees further requested for an opportunity to have sea time experience which is the perquisite for their training programme.

Cross River State Gets Limestone Exploration Licence

Ayade, Cross River, Supreme CourtThe Cross River State government in southern Nigeria has obtained exploration licences for limestone and quarry from the Federal Government.

The licences include quarry lease for granite, exploration licence for limestone, clay and shales as well as reconnaissance permit.

The State government says the development is part of strategies to reposition its economy.

Receiving the licences, during the State Executive Council meeting at the State Executive Chambers, at the Governor’s office in Calabar, the State Governor, Mr Ben Ayade, thanked the Federal Government for the feats.

The Governor also applauded the Commissioner for Solid Minerals Resources, George O’ben-Etchi, for his level of commitment to procuring of the licences.

Governor Ayade maintained that, with the licences and the availability of the limestone in the state, the next step would be sourcing for finance to begin exploration to positively reposition the economy of the state.

Reasoning that Cross River indigenes were not limited by the challenges of the time, the Governor averred that, the state was rather inspired by the challenges to act and dream big.

Limestone is the raw material for the manufacture of quicklime (calcium oxide), slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), cement and mortar.

Pulverised limestone is used as a soil conditioner to neutralise acidic soils, this can help in the area of agriculture that the Nigerian government is exploring to increase its input to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

Pulverised limestone is crushed for use as aggregate – the solid base for many roads as well as in asphalt concrete.

Ayade Reaches Out To Hausa Settlements In Cross River

Cross River, Ayade, HausaThe Cross River State government has reached out to the Hausa communities in the state, to commemorate the Eid-el-Kabir with them.

The residents of Bogobiri community have benefited from different healthcare services such as testing and treatment of malaria and the distribution of over 600 mosquito nets among others.

Some inhabitants from other smaller Hausa settlements were also on ground to be part of this gesture by the government.

The Director General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr. Beta Edu, led a medical team to the Hausa settlement in Calabar, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

She started by sensitizing the people about the AyadeCare Health Insurance Bill and the need for them to use the treated mosquito nets as their environment seemed to a breading place for mosquitoes.

The CRSPHCDA boss also urged the women of the community to partner with the government to reduce to its barest minimum maternal and child mortality.

Some of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the Governor Ben Ayade led government.

They said he has made the history of being the first administration to visit their communities with gifts during a festive period.

Cross River Govt. Approves Recruitment Of 1,000 Teachers

Cross River, Ben AyadeThe Cross River State Government is giving employment opportunities to its unemployed citizens across different sectors of the economy.

The State Governor, Ben Ayade has given approval for the recruitment of 1,000 teachers across the eighteen Local Government Areas of the state by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

The need to employ more teachers according to the Board Chairman Stephen Odey became necessary following the Ben-Ayade led government’s passion to improve the quality of teaching at the basic education level.

He was speaking in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital, South South Nigeria.

The discoveries according to him ranged from, teachers with fake certificates, ghost workers and the fact that, most teachers employed about 12 years ago had passed on without replacement.

Mr Odey maintained that, the present administration is on a rescue mission in the Educational Sector beginning from the foundation, a process which will begin with the employment of professionals.

According to Mr. Odey, applicants will be subjected to vigorous aptitude test, oral interview and verification of certificates before they can be employed.

Some applicants commended the process which according to them is orderly while others sued for flexibility in one of the employment requirements which has to do with age.

The board is screening applicants with (NCE/B.Ed) from Monday, August 29, to Monday September 12, 2016.