By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has disclosed how his administration is funding the several projects embarked on despite the lean resources accruing to the state.
The Governor disclosed this on Tuesday in Calabar during an exclusive interview with CrossRiverWatch’s Agba Jalingo and Ukung Alawa in his office where he said that his master’s degree in Business Administration offered him insight to creative project financing.
Mr. Ayade’s administration has embarked on projects with a value totaling over NGN2 trillion since he came into office in May 2015 and has continuously posited that he does not really need the state’s money to achieve his industrialization dream.
These includes the Bakassi deep seaport, 275.5 kilometers superhighway, Mfom – Okuku – Abuochiche – Obudu – Obudu mountain resort highway, Cocoa processing factory, Banana Processing factory, toothlick manufacturing factory, Calapharm, garmet factory, rice seeds and seedlings factory, and several others.
But the governor has reiterated that there are over 42 ways of financing a project creatively and the most common being the use of “Other People’s Money (OPM)” which sees the state use its “intelligence to sequester money from those who have in excess and use them to grow.”
“There are 42 ways of doing business without money. If I have the raw materials and you have the money, that marriage does not require the catalysis of money,” and argued that the failure of the black man to recognize his value is what has left his society underdeveloped.
“It is failure of black people to recognize their value; that is why a road construction company that is out there in Turkey or in America looking for jobs when there is excess competition and you are giving them an option in Africa to come and construct a road and put a toll and get their money; that des not require a contract, it requires only partnership.
“You cannot also be foolhardy to award a contract of one kilometer for two billion, one billion and the contractor ends up using your own quarries, buy off your stones, take off the stones, put a dredger inside the river, dredge out your sand, build a road and you are paying a premium.
“Why don’t you cut off all of those areas and bring out your own intellect into it – cut the cost, reduce it to what is reasonable and then if you are awarding a contract, you award the contract, taking some of those variables that are avoidable costs and crash the price down and push the contractor to move on knowing that at all times, you have allowed yourself an opportunity to exit into an investor and take out the contractor at all times allowing that window to exist.
“It is high level intellectual engineering that I have done to keep these projects on track.”
The Governor also shared insights to how he has been running the administration, why he prioritized industrialization and the reason for embarking on so many projects.
Full details of the interview later…
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