By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government says it has concluded plans to float a shipping line as provided for in its revised 2016 budget with the 2017 budget to include provisions for wharf landing where fabrications will be carried out.
The governor, Senator Ben Ayade also says he will soon appoint a Special Adviser on Maritime Services.
“We will focus and broaden our horizon in the aspect of maritime industry. If you look at 2016 reversed budget, we were conscious of the fact that you are passing out this year and there is provision in the budget for a Merchant vessel to provide maritime services between Cross River State, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and Cameroon” Ayade told 21 Merchant Navy Cadets of Cross River origin he facilitated their movement and admission to study and obtain marine related degrees in the Philippines Wednesday when they paid him a courtesy call at his office in Calabar.
“There is also a massive provision for us to provide for wharf landing in 2017 budget that is coming, and we are going to do a lot of fabrications here” Ayade said.
CrossRiverWatch has sighted in the Calabar Channel, an oil vessel marked “Cross River Petroleum Company” recently.
This also comes years after immediate past Governor Liyel Imoke floated the “Tinapa Lines” which died shortly after its maiden voyage.
Ayade who said that he did that while as a senator representing the northern senatorial district of the state, promised that now that he is the governor, he will ensure that the same opportunity is extended to the other two senatorial districts and described them as worthy ambassadors of the state’s cultural heritage even as he hoped they won’t despair upon return as his administration will aid in facilitating jobs for them.
Ayade who thanked the Federal Government for providing opportunity for the programme, as he disclosed that as a result of the return of the 21 Cross Riverians from the Philippines, a Special Adviser on Maritime to coordinate the activities in that sector and would be reporting direct to him.
“Because of this, I am going to have a Special Adviser on Maritime services, and create one office in my office directly reporting to the Governor to provide up to date programme to ensure that all of you get to the peak of your chosen career as some of you study nautical sciences, marine engineering, marine architecture, so we have a broad spectrum of Cross Riverians who are ready to go into the state shipping line/business and take it to the next level, so we are decoupling from the FG and focusing on the state shipping line as a result of the expertise you have acquired today, as Cross River would not send you on training and leave you by. Put all the experience you have acquire into optimum use” Ayade said.
Earlier, Desk Cadet Gabriel Olom Odey who spoke on behalf of his colleagues appreciated Governor Ayade for facilitating their admission and sponsorship which he said was an indicator that his leadership was unique in Nigeria’s history.
“We are very proud of you for what you have done for us and your sterling leadership toward making Cross River a better place for all”.
Odey therefore appealed for the support of the Governor to enable them ensure their certification and a vessel to board that will facilitate quick issuance of their certificates.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.