The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, on Tuesday said his administration will partner with Dana Group, a consortium of Indian investors, in areas of air transport and pharmaceuticals.
The partnership, according to the governor will lead to the setting up of a state-owned airline, to be known as Cally Air, with Dana Group overseeing it’s management, as well as the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company (CalaPharm).
Governor Ayade disclosed this when he led the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dana Group, Mr. Jackies Hartmani to the site of the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company, currently under construction in Calabar, the state capital.
Governor Ayade said Cross River was creating new platforms, new business opportunities that “will open a fresh horizon for young people to exploit”.
The Governor further expressed optimism that the state will become the hub for the manufacturing of drugs in the whole of the South-South region of the country and Cameroun.
He said the state’s airline will be up and running in two to three months flying Calabar, Obudu, Lagos and Abuja.
Thousands of workers at the Dana Group of companies can heave a sigh of relief as the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos urged the company and Sterling Bank Limited to explore the options of settling it’s dispute out of court.
Sterling Bank through its counsel, Dele Ogunba, SAN had dragged Dana group to court over two loan facilities it granted the company.
The bank wanted the court to wind up the company and to appoint a receiver/manager over the company’s assets. But Dana Group through its lawyers from the firm of Joseph Nwobike SAN, claimed it had paid 200m out of the debt and wanted the suit nullified.
Presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Yinusa, held that the company did not fully establish the fact that it had paid the money.
The court also held that Dana Group still had an outstanding debt of about N2.2bn and that an intermediate payment of N200m was not enough to nullify the suit and discharge the order of receivership.
After the ruling, the court directed the parties to explore the options of an amicable settlement in the interest of the workers and all parties to the suit.
The parties will report terms of settlement back to the court on the 27th of October.