By Our Correspondent
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade left for Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland where he is expected to meet with key Irish investors as he continues his drive to industrialize the state.
The Irish trip was preceded by a courtesy call on the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Sean Hoy with a request for stronger partnership that will engender growth and prosperity for his state and the Republic of Ireland.
While acknowledging the strong Irish heritage of the people of the state given their association with Irish missionaries, Ayade said the time has come for a more economically productive partnership between Cross River and Ireland.
The governor said he would want Ireland to take advantage of the vast arable land in the state and invest in agriculture, especially in diary, feed milling, cultivation of tomatoes and potatoes for export.
“In Cross River, we have a strong Irish heritage, especially in Calabar. I really will like to see a stronger Irish presence in Agriculture. I want Irish companies to take advantage of the potentials our state offers,” the governor stated, even as he made a strong case for the establishment of a brewery in the state.
In his remarks, the Irish Ambassador, Sean Hoy disclosed that Calabar has been home to most Irish missionaries and expressed his desire to visit Calabar.
Hoy informed the Governor of plans by the embassy to bring Irish musicians to perform in Calabar.
While disclosing that one of the most celebrated rights activists in his country once served in Calabar as a young officer, he further revealed that even the uncle to his country’s current Foreign Minister was a missionary in Calabar.
He stated the willingness of his country to invest in Agriculture in the state, disclosing that his country currently produces ten times what it consumes.
He praised Cross River for being a stand out state in the country, adding, “I have heard about your Cattle Ranch. It is amazing that as big as Nigeria is, everybody keeps talking about only one place; Calabar and the Ranch Resort.”
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