By Patrick Obia
Youths of Cross River State have been charged to safeguard their own and support Governor Ben Ayade’s industrialization drive.
This was the clarion call by stakeholders in an Industrialization Walkathon organized by National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Cross River State chapter, held Thursday, 25 March, 2021, in Calabar.
Declaring the walkathon open at Rabana roundabout, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Eteng Jones William, accompanied by Commissioner For Industry, Peter Egba; Commissioner for Youth and Skills Acquisition, Signor Omang Idiege; Commissioner for Solid Minerals, George O’Ben-Eche; Commissioner for Lands, John Ofem Inyang and Special Advisers; beaconed on youths to protect their heritage (industries).
“Cross River youths have identified with what the Government have done and we are today showcasing what we are made up of. Let us do the work; we are not only doing the talk, we are doing the work.
“Let us protect it, let what happened during the #EndSARS protest not happen again, it is our heritage and we must protect it,” the Speaker said.
On his part, the Commissioner for Industry, Peter Egba averred that, the idea of the State industrialization drive is to create jobs, reduce unemployment and improve the life of the people.
His words, “The idea from the beginning is to create mass employment, gradually decouple ourselves from over dependent of the Federal allocation, so far we have been able to achieve part of it and we are glad.
“With industrialization, most of the youths unemployment we are having will be addressed. Cross Riverians should believe the philosophy of youths empowerment, with that there will be peace in the country.
“They should be the ones to protect all these industrial infrastructure the Governor has put in place because we know that when there is employment the youths are usually the first beneficiaries; it belongs to the youths and not to the old”.
Also, Commissioner for Youth and Skills Acquisition, Signor Omang Idiege, disclosed that the State will soon begin training of 500 youths on various skills every six months.
“We are to train 500 youths at every six months of various skills, the equipments and resource persons for that are on ground and all the youths that will be so trained will be empowered according to the words of His Excellency to ensure every youth is useful to themselves.
“I want to urged us all to align with the leadership of the youth for encouragement as you people started today,” he said.
Further speaking, the Commissioner for Solid Minerals, George O’Ben-Eche, inferred that, “I think that anyone who thinks good about Cross River State should be excited and continue to pray the heavens open for resources to continue to come so that the Government can complete these projects because when they are completed and begin to work hundred percent, I’m sure the youth of Cross River will be excited; everyone will be happy and posterity will never forget Governor Ben Ayade. Our youths are the future of now, not just of tomorrow but now.”
In his own remarks, the Commissioner for Lands, John Ofem Inyang thanked the youths for the gesture to sensitize themselves and pray for continuous support to the State Government’s endeavors.
Shortly after the walkathon, the Chairman of NYCN, Cross River State chapter, Comrade Dan Obo, implored the youths to give the Governor Ben Ayade led administration maximum support towards his industrialization agenda adding that, when Ayade leaves office in 2023, 80% of Cross Riverian youths will no longer depend on politics.
“As young people, these industries scattered across is for our good and so people are beginning to play politics and the system which is the industry. As youths of the State who are major beneficiaries of these industries, our prayer is simply; we should support His Excellency to finish strong, to achieve the Industrialization. His interest is to create job opportunity and decouple us from the allocation. We totally support the Industrialization.
“As a Cross Riverian, I believe that after the Ben Ayade’s administration, 80 % of our youth will no longer depend on politics and of course this politics we depend on, it is the first time we are heading Government agencies at this age, it is the first time we are finding this kind of people in offices who are young.” He ended.
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