By Archibong Jeremiah
Architect John Etim Bassey, Director General of the Cross River State Investment Promotion Bureau, has revealed that plans are underway to hold the first Cross River State Local Government Economic Summit in March 2019.
According to him the summit will hold across the eighteen Local Government Areas of the State but will be in zones; according to Senatorial district with the South as the first and Odukpani as the piloting Local Government Area.
He made the disclosure when he played host to some indigenes of odukpani and party faithful at his Calabar residence for an end of year thanksgiving get together.
According to him, “This summit which is in line with His Excellency? Senator Professor Ben Ayade’s desire to deliver human development initiatives and increase jobs in the Local Governments within the next 10 months is aimed at expanding the various economic eco-system within each Local Government.
“This initiative will see increased small scale activities in the local Government with an aim of empowering the locals and creating jobs from the various unique opportunities and resources (human and Natural) available in the local governments . The outcome of the summit will be considered and implemented by the Senatot Ben Ayade led administration that I can assure you.”
He added that, “The summit will also explore the available resource materials in the respective Local Government Areas. It is going to be done in each Senatorial district.
“This is an avenue for us to brain storm on the way forward for our community and the State at large. We are lagging behind in many areas. We need to look beyond politics or individuals but aim to work collectively as one politically and otherwise.”
Earlier, the PDP Odukpani Chapter Chairman, Pastor Torrence Orok lauded the effort of their host, Arc. John Etim Bassey stating that “You have contributed immensely to this government, we can see your handwork but my problem is that Odukpani still lack jobs and development.
“We at the party, we have our own challenges of operational secretariat, vehicles among others,” and encouraged their host to help solve some of these challenges.
Also speaking, Mr. Inyang Anefiok, a native of the community revealed that, “I’m glad to hear that a local government economic summit will hold in 2019 and personally I say it is a welcome idea.”
Mr. Inyang also stressed that being part of the team that carried out a need assessment in the Local Government in time past, he is willing to make available the records and results of the exercise carried out in early 2017.
Others who spoke lauded the initiative of the Economic Summit and appealed that its outcome be treated seriously and implemented.
Earlier, he visited the community and distributed goats, drinks and cash gifts to the 13 political wards in Odukpani as part of his yuletide felicitation.