By Grace Orok and Deborah Obot
The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade has said that the Calabar Rice Seedling and Seed Manufacturing center popularly referred to as the Rice City will be a major source of revenue for the state.
Ayade stated this while taking journalists on a tour of the facility on Friday in Calabar where he posited that the ideology that drives the construction of the facility which will also carry out research and development will excite his successor.
“Anybody who takes over from me would be happy to see that this is a source of revenue,” Ayade said, adding that; “it is already making money for the state.”
Mr. Ayade had said he fears there may be need to run the facility for twenty four hours as there are so many states queueing for improved seedlings from the facility.
He denied allegations that the construction of the facility was politically motivated and maintained that as a legacy project, he had to commence the factory on time to be able to complete it.
He averred that; “You start your leadership project very early so that you can finish on time. You can imagine that for about five years, I have nurtured this to maturity; to a level that it becomes self sufficient, very professional.”
Mr. Ayade said selling the property was not in consideration as it will aid create jobs for Cross Riverians.
On the tour and inspection, he maintained that there was need for the larger populace to be aware of what was ongoing and ruled out a bid for second term as the motivation.
He said that the facility has become “stable” and posited that; “2019 is in the hands of God, you cant question God.”
The governor sued for the media’s cooperation in ensuring that the facility is marketed in positive limelight.
The Rice City is located at the Ayade industrial park.
And, Mr. Ayade told journalists that the industrial park will upon completion, create thousands of jobs due to the number of industries to be sited there.
To ensure the utilisation of its maximum potential, Ayade said that; “for the first five years you are paying nothing, the land is also free, roads have been provided, cost of power and water is zero. We will have police station and good security here. So just be patient with me.”
CrossRiverWatch‘s Jonathan Ugbal contributed to this story.
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