Ayade's Move a Migration for Cross River - Igbe-Aruku

A state chairman of the Young Surveyors Network and a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Cross River State, Kalita Igbe Aruku said that the defection of Governor Ben Ayade from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress is in the overall interest of the state.

Addressing newsmen in his office in Calabar on Saturday, Igbe Aruku said he supports Governor Ayade's decision to move from PDP to APC because of the tremendous impacts the socketing at the national level would provide.

The Surveyor who said he is in support of Ayade's defection and his youth inclusiveness in governance and said: 

"First and foremost it is very important to confess that the defection is one of the best things to have happened in the state since 1999. This is because, after 1999, the state has been a one-party state practically. This in effect has made some of our elected officers quite lazy in delivering service to the people. I see His Excellency as a liberator because for one, he is running an all-inclusive government, which in effect might have brought him at loggerheads with the old guards. The Governor wants to bring more young people to governance, so decided that the best platform for him to express himself better is the APC".

The APC stalwart also stated that Ayade's defection will enable Cross River to renegotiate the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon, 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom, support from the presidency for the superhighway, deep seaport and other projects".

"Since 1999 Cross River State has been at a disadvantage. Apart from Tinapa, even when it was commissioned, the centre still didn't approve the trading in Tinapa. This was even then that the centre was PDP. However, since Buhari became President he has shown that he has some love for Cross River State even though we have been in opposition. In fact, I would like you to say that President Buhari wooed Governor Ayade. I don't think that he just moved. Despite the fact that Governor Ayade was in the opposition party, there were many projects that the presidency carried out in the state beyond the appointment that he gave the state". 

"As we speak, the Biase to Ikom road is smooth. The Ikom bridge is completed. NDDC projects are going on in the state. Governor Ayade might have looked at all these and said if I am in opposition to this man, yet the Presidency is does these for is, how much if I get to the centre. I was at a rally when the governor stated clearly that chief among his aims is to look into the ceding of Bakassi and the return of the oil wells. And I believe firmly if the governor plays his politics well Cross River will be the new bride".

"Governor Ayade was the first the President ever travelled out of this country with. The President looks at the governor with high esteem. I don't see this defection as a matter of PDP versus APC I see it as a defection for the migration of Cross River State", the Surveyor said.

Igbe-Aruku asserted that the embargo on timber should be lifted to enable the state generate more revenue.

"There have been an embargo on the processing and export of timber in the state since 2007. If we are truthful to ourselves, timber export is still going on illegally. And this is affecting the IGR. I believe one of the ways which can bring return on investment is for us to lift the ban. A Committee should be set in place tasked with replanting these trees immediately. That means for every tree cut down an immediate replanting is going on. That way we will be able to regulate the business. If you go to central Cross River at night you will see trucks moving, paying bribes. But the state is not getting its necessary due. So, let us open the market and regulate it".

"We can even get other species from foreign countries. So many people don't know that the governor is forward-thinking. The governor is a Professor, so I'm sure he has thought about the future. We can go into research and regenerate species", Igbe Asserted. 

"The oil palm estate at IBIAE was taken by the Malaysians years back from Cross River. They took it to their country, regenerated it and are now selling it back to Nigeria. I'm sure our governor does not want that for the state. He wants us to be the ones who will control everything, hence the setting up of artificial intelligence ministries and many other technological research agencies".

Surveyor Igbe Aruku who is also Assistant Secretary, Nigerian Institute of Surveyors in the state counselled on how the ministry of lands can generate more income for the state: 

"What is the importance of your land registration documents and the C of O? It is the only registrable document that can be properly admitted in court. It is also the only document that can be admitted in banks for business in terms of collateral for loans. I am talking to you as a professional, the state is losing billions. I am talking about billions per annum. The proper thing is that you buy a land, do your agreement, register and get your Certificate of Occupancy, which means it is the certificate that grants you the right to occupy the land. So you are not supposed to start building without your Certificate of Occupancy duly signed by the Governor. And all this means you have to pay certain taxes to the government".

"If the governor rejigs this whole process - we have the Cross River Geographic Information System Agency charged with that. I think the governor has made some steps in trying to get through it, but I think it's still slow. There are better ways it can be offered.

Surveyor Igbe-Aruku also talked about industries built by the Ayade Administration which can transform the state into a more envied destination.

In his words: "the industrialisation projects of the governor are very laudable. Sometimes I wonder where he gets the idea to bring them up. Look at the Garment Factory offering employment to many. There are deals to sew NYSC uniforms. A lot of landmark deals. I believe the Industrialization concept is very strategic. The Toothpick Factory, the Pile and Pylon in Akamkpa, the Cocoa Processing Factory. It can process cocoa to chocolates. Do you know what that means? That value chain is the employment we are talking about. Not civil service". 

"The biggest one that is coming up very soon - CallyAir. You can imagine how many people will get employed. Not just air hostess or attendant, but marketers, the salespersons, cleaners. These are all employment opportunities because CallyAir for instance is not going to be working on the civil service, but on pure business model strata". 

"So holistically, I am fully in support of the governor's industrialisation drive. And it's very good to see that he's passionate about them. Ayade will be remembered for ages in Cross River State after 2023".

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