By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The inability of the resident population to patronise the projects conceived by the Cross River Government in the past led to the inability of the State to sustain them due to their low income generation value said the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade during a parley with journalists on Tuesday.
Ayade who had said he values his honor much more than anything public office offers him explained that contrary to the rumors that he killed the cable car at the Obudu mountain resort and is the reason why the monorail is not working, there are other factors that caused their failure.
He explained that his administration could not put money into projects such as dredging the Calabar channel and Tinapa as experience with the cable car had taught the State a lesson in project financing.
He said that: “Those two projects (funding Tinapa and dredging the Calabar channel) which you would have thought that I breathe life into them and get them working, I did so with the cable car in Obudu cattle ranch.
“I bought the type of cable needed to keep the cable car running again with a huge monthly imprest to the white guys running the cable car and then you get there and there is nobody; everybody goes on a bike or goes on a vehicle u the ranch because the immediate population that ought to support a tourist site like the cable car will not have NGN1,000 or NGN500 for the trip.
“And so, how long will I continue sustain that sophistry without an economic justification.
“Then I went ahead, met a circumstance where there was an invincible survey and some materials delivered for the monorail.
“I met it when some materials were already on ground. Donald (Duke) started the concept and the survey, Liyel (Imoke) did the order of the equipment, I came, completed the order of equipment; items that were lying in the port for so long, cleared them, brought them out, started the installation, finished the installation, did the commissioning and the monorail is running.
“Every day it runs from Tinapa to CICC empty. I have a software license to pay, I have to service the switching company and I call them, just look at an example; I need the monorail to work for this 2018 carnival, I will show you the bill – NGN368 million and then 336,000 euros.
“Last year, the monorail was running, total amount generated NGN83,000.
“If you don’t know, you don’t know. I spend billions to get the monorail working in recession just to keep the legacy. I am back to another carnival year and the monorail is staring me in my face and the cable car is staring me in my face; all requiring billions to get them work again and running.
“And so you see, we don’t have the footfalls, we don’t have that huge population to patronise all these great ideas that we have put in place to ensure that it can work on its own.”
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.