By David Nsa and Margaret John
The Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jens-Petter Kjemprud has rated Cross River a ‘top-notch investment State’, says it has all the needed resources suitable for development.
He stated this in his address at the two days International Collaboration and Investment Summit held at the Calabar International Conference Centre (CICC) Calabar Tuesday and Wednesday, where the State 30 Years Growth and Development Strategy was launched.
Ambassador Kjemprud said: “You have it all in Cross River; you have the natural resources, you have the human resources, you have the location, you have the land area. You have rivers, which mean you have potential for renewable energy.
“You have to get out to the world and you have to be specific, you have to reach out to targeted audiences and you have to work very hard to attract people because sometimes the negative perception about Nigeria affects investments.” He maintained.
In his address, the Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade who was represented by the outgoing Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barr. Tina Agbor, commended the efforts of the various MDA’s and stakeholders for the initiative of the summit stating that “We have made remarkable strides and ready to do more in creating a conducive business environment for investors.
“In keeping faith with our collective vision of becoming a prosperous Nigerian State with healthy and well educated citizens, living in harmony with people and nature, pursuing inclusive and sustainable growth, moderated by good governance, our key goals and prosperity aspiration of deepening the State economy from the current 2.7 trillion naira level to 9.6 trillion naira (GDP) by the close of my term in May 2023, in a manner that no one is left behind, is captured in the sector based GDS.”
Also speaking, the Chief Economic Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade who doubles as Head of the State Planning Commission, Dr. Francis Ntamu illuminated on the Cross River State 30 years Growth and Development Strategy.
Mr. Ntanu pointed out that although “implementation has always been an issue across our continent; we have to agree with the reality that Cross River State will not be an exception but the approach we adopted in the plan and the bind we extracted from the administration is such that enable the legislative backing of the Government.”
He further stated that the 30 year development plan is such that aids continuity as it is subject to review and revision every five years, enabling the next administration to carry on from where the previous one left off.
He affirmed that “What we did in the structure of the GDS to ensuring the requirement as a principle and dependency so such plans to be revised every five years, what it means is that come 2023 as His Excellency exits, the new Governor gets on board, if he fears the outcome of the program and initiative are not well articulated or he needs to qualify some of the initiative we have in the current plan, he can go through the methodologies we had adopted and consult with the people, and I’m glad he will listen to the private sector, consult with the private sector, consult with the market women, have a State wide consultation across the eighteen LGA, consult with professional groups, civil society in articulating justification why such plans should be revised, this way or whatever. So it is that flexibility that gives life and sustainability to the plan.”
The Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State on International Corporation and Investment, Mr. Victor Edet enjoined participants and guests in the summit to cease the opportunity to interact and share ideas that will promote Cross River State.
Mr. Victor said, “There will be talking over different sessions, there will be lots of networking opportunities, there will be leaders here meeting with the single purpose to design together the future collaboration.
“This program will show why we have the department for International Corporation and Investments, where we have to develop new trends, build strong friendships and collaborations for the future. So, I expect that as you interact throughout this summit, throughout the group presentations, the breakout sessions, the luncheons and all the networking platforms available to us, everyone will use this opportunity to position Cross River State.”
High point of the event was the launching of the book title “Growth and Development Strategy” and a group photograph of the guest speakers with organizers of the event.
See pictures below;
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