By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State government has commenced the allocation of land at the Senator Ben Ayade industrial layout along the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan airport bypass in Calabar to investors willing to set up factories.
The allocation is free of charge and currently houses the Cross River Garment factory, the automated rice seedlings and seed manufacturing center, the Calabar pharmaceutical company and an instant noodles factory, a statement signed by the Governor Ben Ayade’s spokesman, Mr. Christian Ita said.
The industrial park is, “fully serviced with water, street lights, free WiFi, good road networks and drains as well as electricity,” the statement read, adding that: “The location is less than five minutes’ drive from (the) Margaret Ekpo International airport, Calabar.”
The statement added that certificate of occupancy will be issued at no cost to investors allocated land at the industrial park.
But, to qualify for the free land, “the investor must be ready to build a factory that creates a minimum of twenty direct jobs,” the state government said.
It added that: “The investor is further required to commence actual construction of a factory within six weeks after being allocated the land.”
The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), Mr. Emmanuel Jime, had in April 2018 described the Industrial park as the best to be conceived by any state government.
“If you ask me, and without being immodest, I will say that this is the best industrial site that has been conceived by a state government during my time as the MD of NEPZA,” Mr. Jime said during an on-the-spot inspection of the industrial park.
He had promised that he will make a compelling case for Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to put pen to paper to grant it an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status, stressing that: “As far as I can see, all the requirements that need to be in place are already in place and we can tick all the boxes believing that this industrial park has satisfied all of those boxes, therefore there is no reason on earth why the license will not be granted.”
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