By Our Correspondent
Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has disclosed that the construction of the Calabar garment factory will be completed in two months.
The governor who disclosed this to news men during the inspection of the project site along Goodluck Jonathan Bypass, said the garment factory is one of the projects earmarked by the state government for actualization within his 100 days in office.
Upon completion, the factory is expected to generate about 1000 jobs, the bulk of which would be women, particularly widows.
According to the governor, “Equipment for the factory has been procured and when fully completed, will be a major employer of labour, especially widows as its work force. Investigations show that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh employ mostly women in their garment factories while in Turkey, women constitute 40 percent of its work force.”
Governor Ayade further hinted that “Apart from women, the factory will also provide employment to some teeming unemployed youths roaming the streets.”
The factory which seats on three hectares of land, will provide fabric for the production of school uniforms, army uniforms, police and other paramilitary uniforms.
On the choice of the factory, Ayade revealed that “During the just concluded political campaigns, we discovered that the T-shirts and caps worn by party members all across the country were imported from China, and Cross River being a border state, and with the support of the federal government, will supply these items to the neighboring states and countries.”
According to the governor, “The factory is also expected to enhance the revenue profile of the state which apart from creating employment, will improve on the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR).”
The governor, however, said that with government being a poor manager of business, the factory will be run under a PPP structure to allow the state have a small percentage of ownership, emphasizing that, “work has started and progressing well and both the electrical and mechanical drawings have been completed, while the choice of this location is to create an industrial area where other investments can grow.”
Ayade therefore directed the Ministry of Lands and Town Planning through its Permanent Secretary, Dr. Chris Ita, to stop issuing further approval for construction of houses on both sides of the bypass, adding that such an approval should henceforth come directly from his office, adding that he wants standardized buildings of four storeys on both sides of the road.
A representative of the host community, Chief Jacob Etim Asuquo, while assuring the governor of their support and cooperation to ensure the actualization of the projects, appealed that access be created to link the adjoining communities.
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