By Our Correspondent
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, yesterday, signed the State’s Infrastructural Fund Bill into law.
The law empowers the state government to seek for external funding for its capital projects such as the governor’s signature projects in its effort to render services to its citizenry.
Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Executive Council chamber in the Perogrino House, Calabar, which was witnessed by members of the State House of Assembly led by the Speaker of the House Hon. John Gaul Lebo and the State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ntufam John Okon, Governor Ayade, described it as a bill that intends to seek for funds to cater for the people.
Governor Ayade, while expressing his appreciation to the lawmakers for the passage of the bill into law, said: “I specially thank you because you recognized the challenges ahead of us, particularly when you juxtapose them with the pregnant hope we have given to our people, inspiring them, giving communities dreams beyond their limits of reasoning, beyond bounds of human expectations, it is a huge challenge”.
According to Ayade, “That change is not something brains alone can deal with. The governor alone cannot deal with it, it requires you and I, it requires the three tiers of government and I am humbled that the legislature is taking the lead in driving the executive’s ambition”.
The governor noted that the cooperation of the lawmakers is the kind of synergy required so that Cross River could move forward and become a leading state among the comity of states in Nigeria.
Senator Ben said being the first bill to be signed into law by him showed that the choice of the people in voting PDP was right after all, adding that though the signature projects envisaged by his administration look like a mirage and scaring, the intention, he argued, is to create a sustainable take off and a brighter hope for the people.
He observed that the Infrastructural Fund Law is an indication that the deep seaport, super highway, garment industry, haulage city, modular refinery, and other projects were achievable based on the philosophy guiding development economy which is to provide infrastructure for the economy to grow.
“Government should not only provide an enabling and conducive environment for the private sector to grow, it is the government’s duty to provide a platform where people have employment. We have to choose the Chinese economy which is what a developing economy should do”, he said.
Furthermore, he ended by saying, “Government expects that horizon broadens as it will bring fresh economy which is a developing economy and we have the verve, force and capacity to go ahead and you have started it right and it is my duty to ensure that all the projects are on course. Let the world know and the entire Cross Riverians celebrate that we have set the pace for others to emulate”, he concluded.
On his part, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. John Gaul Lebo, disclosed that the legislature’s support for the fund is provided under section four of the Nigerian constitution as it invoked its power under sections 44 and 46 of the Sta
te Bureau for Public and Private Enterprises Law that requires in future that Cross River Government should consider a bill that will take infrastructure forward.
According to the speaker, “The law provides how welfare can be rendered to its people and the legislature owes it a duty that whatever is required by law is given a speedy order. I must say this is the first private bill to be entertained by the House since 1999 and we owe the governor an obligation to move ahead by deliberating on it speedily”.
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