Organized Private Sector Asks Governor Ayade To Unveil Economic Blue Print For The State

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The Organized Private Sector, OPS in Cross River State, made up of The Calabar Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, (MAN), National Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME) and the National association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) is requesting the Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade-led administration to come up with a blueprint on reviving of the state’s ailing economy, as his administration reaches the one hundred days milestone since its formal inauguration.

In a statement issued in Calabar recently and signed by Kenneth Asim Ittah, Executive Secretary of the group, the OPS congratulated the governor for reaching his first hundred days in office and his proposed signature project and called for improved governance and constructive spending priorities.

“We first wish to congratulate the Prof. Ben Ayade led government on reaching its 1st 100 days in office and its proposed signature projects – The deep sea port, the super highway and garment factory, we extend our best wishes to the governor and all Cross Riverians, and call for improved governance, better expenditure quality, constructive spending priorities, transparency in the governance process, enhanced security of life and property, investment friendly policies, promotion of democratic ideals and the primacy of the rule of law.

“An economic blueprint is required at this critical time to define the policy directions of the new administration, as members of the organized private sector, (OPS) are waiting for its release to enhance our strategic planning, investment decisions and help improve investors’ confidence in the state’s economy.

“Now that the administration has had 100 days to settle and onboard itself, we are eagerly awaiting Governor Ayade’s economic blueprint that would define the policy directions of his administration and the immediate constitution of an executive council to drive the administration’s policies and plans.

The OPS reiterated that a clear policy objective was imperative to enable them make investment decisions and boost investor confidence.

“It is very critical for a clear policy objective, strategic plan and investment direction to be crafted for the state in order to enhance and promote private sector investment decisions and investors’ confidence.

“Major business decisions have been put on hold over the past eight months because of the political risk associated with a transition regime. The first half of the year was characterized by deep uncertainty which slowed down the momentum of economic activities in the state.

“This new political dispensation offers the state a huge opportunity to bring about the desired change in all facets of our lives – the economy, socio-political climate, quality of life, value orientation and governance quality.

“We note with satisfaction that Gov. Ayade’s administration currently enjoys tremendous goodwill due to his pro-business and pro-people stance and we urge him to take full advantage of this goodwill to immediately commence the charting of a new course for the state’s economy. Four years is a very short time and the clock has been ticking!”

“We hope that in the next couple of days, we would see the unveiling of a blueprint and a clear roadmap especially in agricultural sector reforms, interventions in ailing infrastructures like roads, healthcare, housing and education. A structured investment drive and incentives for attracting private sector investments.

We also wish encourage the Governor to make concerted efforts to intervene in the long protracted dredging of the Calabar port channel which would go a long way in helping improve the local business climate while we await the completion of the proposed deep sea port complex.

“We note that releasing such guiding directions and sectoral policies – will drive growth and economic diversification; we also implore him to pursue key initiatives – to reduce the cost of doing business; creation of jobs; meeting contractual obligations, outstanding contractor and salary arrears and security of lives and property in the State.

“Clarity in respect of the above is very crucial to the economic restructuring of the state, as the momentum of economic activities need to be rebuilt in earnest and urgently.” The statement concluded.

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