By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Cross River State is set to partner Dortmund state in Germany in a twin state partnership for a social housing scheme powered by renewable energy as the method of electricity generation in the country is fast becoming archaic says Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade, Wednesday in Calabar.
This is even as the a Swedish firm, Greenland resources last week announced plans to build a pulp mill in the state which will produce 1.5 million tonnes annually.
“The whole essence of my trip was to meet with the city of Dortmund for a twin city partnership between Calabar and Dortmund city and I am happy to announce that we have a very healthy relationship. Hopefully we are expecting a team from Dortmund coming and the whole focus is to look at the people of Bakassi who by circumstance have found themselves as refugees in their own ancestral home” Ayade said upon his arrival at the Margaret Ekpo international airport.
Continuing, He said that, “Having shared this concern, the people of Dortmund think it is imperative to support Nigeria and indeed Cross River State to find a place for the displaced people of Bakassi”.
“Specifically, the focus is to create homes, to create a kind of housing completely dependent on renewable energy source and that brings it to a critical issue. As a country it is very clear that our focus has been using our gas to generate electricity and this is graduate and this is gradually getting our fashion. The whole world is moving into hydrogen energy”.
The governor later inspected the Nsidung beach in Calabar South where he disclosed that a beach resort will be built there as earlier reported by CrossRiverWatch.
Announcing the plans for the mill at the Governor’s conference room, the President of the firm, Tobjorn Johansson who led the delegation said that; “The mill has no forest of interest for its establishment and deforestation of natural forest is out of question” and explained that the choice of Cross River State for the mill which will create about 14,500 jobs was owing to its peace and security.
Johansson who said the mill will increase the Nigeria’s annual export worth by 1.2 billion dollars also noted that the country “has a big population, great workforce and the security in Cross River is the best. We have been trying round the world to find a place to site the firm and were very close to giving up, but the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria advised us to come to Calabar, so we are here and it is nice to see the investor-friendly Governor Ben Ayade.”
The mill according to the team will also produce Bio fuels, viscos, bio plastic products as well as raw materials for carbon fiber with the final products directed to international and domestic paper manufacturers while the financing “will be sourced from investment and commercial banks, including other investors with which negotiations are ongoing” Johansson said.
Governor Ayade in his remarks pledged support for the project and directed the relevant government agencies and parastatals to fast-track the necessary documentations.