By Solomon Asha
The Govermor of Cross River State, Sen. Ben Ayade, has been conferred with a “Special Recognition Award” for his monumental strides in developing the creative economy, his giant leap in the area of industrialization and avid support for growth of tourism in the and Nigeria by the Abuja International Film Festival.
Abuja International Film Festival which is the longest running film festival in Anglophone West Africa, equally honour alongside the Cross River Governor include the Managing Director of Air Peace Airlines Mr. Allen Onyema, for the patriotic and humanitarian gesture in the evacuation of stranded Nigerians in South Africa.
Others who received the Film Festival Awards are, Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, for his enviable contributions to developing the industry, and Mr. Charles Okpaleke of the Play Network Group for his investment in the Nigerian movie industry.
The organizers of the festival which strives to celebrate outstanding work in video film in Nigeria and promote growth on the film industry in particular and the creative industry in general, conferred the awards on the awardees/recipients during the 16th edition of AIFF in Abuja.
Speaking, the Festival Director, Mrs. Temitope Duker, disclosed that the Cross River State Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade was selected for the award based on “his strides in developing the creative economy in the State, his industrialization strides as well as support for growth of tourism.”
Continuing, Mrs. Temitope Averred that “Governor Ayade has supported the development of the creative economy in Cross River State during his term and recently rewarded outstanding creative industry players in the State which include the winners of the Linda Ayade Literary Art and Afi Ekong Visual Art Competitions, who got one thousand pounds prize money each. He also supported and invested in the production of several nollywood films within the State.
She listed some of Sen. Ayade’s achievements and industrialization projects to include the Cross River Garment Factory, the Rice Seeds and Seedlings Factory, the Ultra Modern Vitaminized Rice Mill, the Cocoa Processing Factory, the Frozen Chicken Plant, the Toothpicks Factory, the Feedmill and the Pharmaceutical Company among others.
In the area of tourism, she explained that the Governor has brought innovation to the Carnival Calabar and Festivals with the introduction of the international carnival and the bikers carnival, as well as the introduction of the exotic cars show, the Miss Africa pageant and the latest, the Black Africa Music Festival.
Responding, the Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade who was represented at the august occasion thanked the organizers and promised to continue to support the development of the creative industry, redouble his efforts in industrialization and further grow tourism in the state which are pillars of its growth.
The award was presented to the Governor at the closing ceremony of the 16th Abuja International Film Festival which held at the Silverbird Cinema in Abuja on Friday 25th October, 2019.
Past winners of the award include former President Goodluck Jonathan, Engr. Musa kwankwaso, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, late Ambassador Segun Olusola amongst several eminent Nigerians in the last 16 years.
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