Governor Ayade’s 100 Days In Office, An Appraisal BY OKOI OBONO OBLA

In Breaking News, Columnists, National News, Opinion, Politics
Obono Obla
Obono Obla

On the 29th May 2015, in a pomp ceremony held in the so called Calabar International Conference Center, the Honourable Chief Judge of the High Court of Cross River State, honourable Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam, administered the mandatory Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance on Senator Ben Ayade to become the 4th elected Governor of the State.

Today is exactly 100 days since Governor Ben Ayade took the oaths and his subsequent assumption of office as Governor of the State.

Well I do not believe in the hype about three months or 100 days in office. In my opinion 100 days in office of the President or Governor is too unreasonable or unrealistic for anybody to use as the barometer to gauge or measure the performance or otherwise of anybody particularly in a third world environment where the government is confronted or grappling monumental developmental challenges. It is supposed to be a period of stock taking or shaping of the policy thrust or direction of the government that has just taken over the reins of political governance.

In this wise I will submit that the policy thrust of Governor Ayade is mired in uncertainty and confusion to me. What is the governor’s policy on education, justice sector, agriculture, job creation, social services etc?

Governor Ayade has told us about several signature projects that he intends to execute in his first tenure. We know that the price of crude oil has drastically slumped in the international market which caused a drop in the revenue allocation from the federation account for Cross River and other States in the country.

So in the face of dwindling revenue, I am at a complete loss on Ayade intending to fund the execution of these signature projects! If the government is entering into PPP or Build and Operate and Transfer, BOT, no foreign investor or even domestic investor would put his money down if he is not too sure he will recoup such investment. It is excellent to be ambitious but such ambition must be tampered with reality. Also the government of Cross River State is heavily indebted.

The domestic debt profile of Cross River State is about N110 billion. The external debt profile of the State is $110 million. The last regime in the State took a loan of N31 billion which it made an irrevocable standing order that entitles the Federal Ministry of Finance to deduct from its monthly statutory allocation N633, 134, 951. 92 (Six Hundred and Thirty Three Million, One Hundred and Thirty Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty One Naira, Ninety-two Kobo) every month for 84 months. So how can the government realistically execute all these multi million dollars projects?

I think the government should desist from embarking on white elephants projects or playing to the gallery. We have seen how elephant projects such as Tinapa and Calabar International Conference Center have worsen the economic woes of the State rather than improving it.

The governor is too overzealous or quick in making promises that are in reality not feasible. I call it grandstanding or playing to the gallery for the governor to suggest that he will build a superhighway or a garment factory in three months or 100 days. It is even frivolous to make such grand promises as if he is on the campaign trail.

The governor ought to know that it is practically impossible to construct a factory in three months. The garment factory is not provided for in the appropriation law of the State for 2015. So where is he getting the money to build the garment factory and other projects which he keeps promising every day? I am aware that the governor has not tabled a supplementary bill before the House of Assembly!

You cannot set up a garment factory corporation that requires an enabling law to be passed by the House of Assembly. I am also aware that the garment factory has not been incorporated either under the companies and allied matters act as a limited liability company.

So all this talk about garment factory is hot air calculated to impress other than a conscious effort to improve the economy of the State. It is almost one week to 100 days, we have not seen this much advertised factory other than pretentious effort to recruit staff which to me is putting the cart before the horse.

I wonder why the governor should even be contemplating building a government owned garment factory in this era of unbridled free enterprise when government intervention such as ownership of business is discouraged. Rather what governments do nowadays is to create a favourable environment for private business to thrive.

I think the governor is deceiving the people of the State. I also think that he should apologize to the people of the State.

Why are the courts in the State under lock and key since December 2014? Why is Governor Ayade pussy footing over the implementation of the agreement he reached with the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, Cross River State Branch since July 2015 concerning the protracted industrial action by court workers in the State?

I had thought that Governor Ayade ought to have decisively dealt with the matter in his 100 days in office !

Okoi Obono-Obla

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3 commentsOn Governor Ayade’s 100 Days In Office, An Appraisal BY OKOI OBONO OBLA

  • pls won’t it have been easier and cheaper for the govt to upgrade d facilities at calabar port to increase capacity and dredge the calabar channel instead of engaging in the wild goose chase of building a new deep sea port when all we hear everyday is that there is no money? then build a new super highway, those measures are enough to stimulate d economy.

  • While i’m not an ayade’s sympathizer but I make bold to say that his signature projects are quite very intelligent and strategic as they are aimed to stimulate the economy of cross river and drive up IGR, especially the seaport and super highway. Compared to his predicessors, whose project were basically white elephant and lacked much substance as they were not properly and adequately thought out. So it never really benefited the common man, i’ll counter the author of this article on that ground.
    Lagos became what it is today because of the seaport it has, so this administration is actually on point even if at the end of the day it’s only the seaport this administration ends up delivering cos it will stimulate the economy of the state and benefit the common man.
    I think i’ll also counter Mr Obono-obla on the garment factory. Yes we operate a free market enterprise system of capitalism but it does’nt mean the government can’t invest directly into the economy to boost commercial activities. It’s not just enough for the government to provide policy framework, at times they have to invest in the economy to boost investor’s confidence in the economy of the state.
    Rather than slam and lampoon this administration with skepticism for coming up with an economic blue print through its signature project(seaport) to stimulate the economy of the state, we should instead rally round and give it the needed support to accomplish the projects in order to have a better Cross River whose economy is diversified and not only dependent on tourism. Thanks.
    Totally committed to a better Cross River.

  • While i’m not an ayade’s sympathizer but I make bold to say that his signature projects are quite very intelligent and strategic as they are aimed to stimulate the economy of cross river and drive up IGR. Especially the seaport and super highway. As compared to his predicessor’s whose project were basically white elephant and lacked much substance as they were not properly and adequately thought out. So it never really benefited the common man.
    So i’ll counter the author of this article on that ground.
    Laos became what it is today because of the seaport it has, so this administration is actually on point even if at the end of the day it’s only seaport this administration ends up delivering cos it will stimulate the economy of the state and benefit the common man.
    I think i’ll also counter Mr Obono-oblast on the garment factory. Yes we operate a free market enterprise system of capitalism but it does’nt mean the government can’t invest directly into the economy to activate commercial activities. It’s not just enough for the government to provide policy framework at times they have invest in the economy to boost investor’s confidence in the economy of the state.
    Rather than slam and lampoon the this administration with skepticism for coming up with an economic blue print through its signature project(seaport) to stimulate the economy of the state, we should instead rally round and give it the needed support to accomplish the projects in order to have a better Cross River whose economy is diversified and not only dependent on tourism. Thanks.
    Totally committed to a better Cross River.

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