By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has performed the ground breaking ceremony for a Post Service Housing estate for its retired officers and civilians at Adiabo, Calabar.
Ayade, Thursday, in the company of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai for the ceremony, called on the need for real estate investors to troop in now as the state will enjoy a new socio – economic paradigm when the signature projects, which includes a deep seaport in Bakassi and a 260km six lanes Superhighway connecting the port to the north are completed.
“Your choice of Cross River State suitable, timely and adequate and consistent with economic principles” Ayade said.
He continued; “The upcoming superhighway presents a very good opportunity for you to invest now and urgently too because as soon as the deep seaport starts, a completely new paradigm will set in, and Cross River State will observe and of course experience an economic blossom.”
He also charged the Army to design the estate using the concepts of new cities with a lot of greenery where each house has at least 10 trees and some green patch to it, even though it was below the world standard of 17 trees.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff in his address said the Army’s decision to construct the estate was part of its effort to ensuring peace and security in the state.
“The establishment of the mega estate in Calabar, will no doubt add to the growing social and economic activities after the successful launch of exercise crocodile smile in August this year.”
Lt. Gen. Buratai said the Army through its Post Service Housing Development department was poised to help fulfill the federal government’s initiative in ensuring the reduction in housing deficit as similar projects were been executed in Abuja, Akwa Ibom and Enugu states.
The Chairman of the New Cities Development Board, KJ Agba said upon completion, the city which sits on 130 hectares of land will open the host community up for business and compete favorably with the “Colony West estate in Houston, the Billar Terry in Texas and the Banana Island in Lagos.”
“Sitting atop 130 hectares of land, the mix estate development project will comprise of low, medium and high income strata of our society. The projection is to provide quality and affordable housing and business area for people to live and do business in a peaceful and secured environment” KJ said.
“The project will generate employment for well over 1,000 skilled laborers” said the Chief Executive Officer of the Post Service Housing Development, Brig. Gen. M Bashir.
“In addition, the government is also expected to generate revenue from the project. Whilst indigenes of the state are expected to benefit from the scheme especially Nigerian Army personnel from the state to enable them reintegrated into the society after meritorious service to their fatherland” Bashir said.
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