By Violet Isek
The Cross River State Government has replied critics of the Governor Ben Ayade led administration who say he may not have performed well.
A statement issued by the commissioner for information and orientation, Mrs. Rosemary Archibong in Calabar, the state capital earlier in the week reeled out some projects of the administration which it said are being embarked on despite lean resources.
A new wave of criticisms targeted at the governor recently, had labelled him as an underachiever.
And the state said the “claims that took a dim view of the performance of the state government under the leadership of the governor,” was a function of the freedom of expression which is “in line with the tenets of democracy.”
However, it said: “These views must however be canvassed with due regard and respect for facts and accuracy; especially when it is taken to the public space.
“All over the world, opinions usually differ on matters of public discourse; but when falsehood is being deployed as a tool for evaluating the performance of the state government, we owe Cross Riverians and other residents a duty to put the records straight and pull up the facts which are all easily verifiable.”
Reeling out the achievements of Mr. Ayade, the state said that: “In the Agricultural sector, being an agrarian state, substantial impetus has been injected into adding value to the farming activities to increase earnings accruable to the state.
“The construction of Cocoa processing plant in Ikom and the Rice Mill in Ogoja are in advanced stages of completion, while the Banana Plantation Farm in Odukpani and the Cotton farm in Woda, Yala local government area have already produced crops which are ultimately destined for the export market.
“To further demonstrate Governor Ayade’s strides in Agriculture, President Buhari was recently in Calabar to commission the first automated rice seedlings and seed factory in Africa, where he highly commended the Governor’s clear vision in “decoupling the State from dependence on Federal Allocation.” Already, supply orders from customers have been received at the rice seedlings factory.
“In partnership with South African farm experts, a Feed Mill and Soya Bean farm is to be established in Ochon, Obubra, where site clearing has already commenced.
In terms of infrastructure, the garment factory in Calabar has been completed and in use while the construction of a toothpick Factory in Ekori, Yakurr local government area has been completed. The construction of the Piles and Pylon factory in Akamkpa is ongoing while the Power Plant in Calabar is 95% ready.
“In the education sector, Cross River State moved from 22nd to 2nd position performance in NECO Exams, alongside the construction of UBEC Schools in Akpabuyo, Abi and Yala local government areas and the Canadian International School in Obudu local government area.
“To properly motivate the workforce, Governor Ayade has attracted national acclaim for regular and prompt payment of workers’ salaries; appointing an unprecedented 32 permanent secretaries in the state civil service.
“The fact, as they say, speaks for itself.
“These achievements which are like a snap shot of progress are dotted across the three senatorial districts of the state with other projects ongoing and also being contemplated.
“Without doubt, there exist an array of development initiatives and projects which evidently repudiate the false impression being bandied in some quarters that there is no achievement after three 3 years of Governor Ayade’s leadership.
“As universally practiced, opinions can be freely given but let us keep facts sacred!”
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