By Sylvia Akpan, Government House Correspondent
The Executive Governor of Cross River State, Senator Bassey Otu has sought collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government in a bid to address food security, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the State.
He made the call on Thursday at Dan Archibong’s Lodge while playing host to the Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, Hon. Bello Goronyo, in Calabar.
Describing water as one of the most important components of food production, Otu lauded the federal government’s effort to improve water resources, especially in the River Basins.
“We in Cross River are open to more River Basins. We are carrying out feasibility studies on two or three locations. That was why immediately after the inauguration of the State Executive Council, we made sure that members quickly aligned with ministers at the federal level to understand the program on board and possible areas of synergy with the view to bring the needed benefits for Cross Riverians.”
Governor Otu remarked that though a subnational, Cross River runs a Renewed Hope Agenda that is rooted in people-oriented policies and programs, adding that the grassroots programs are being felt by the masses.
“We want to ensure food security as quickly as possible. Once there is food security, there is a guarantee for the security of almost every other segment of society.
“We are working hard to improve sanitation and hygiene. We want to eradicate open defecation completely from Cross River State.
“We need your ministry’s support and also seek collaborations with relevant MDAs like the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to enable us to achieve our set objectives.”
The Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, Hon. Bello Goronyo, who lauded the governor for his leadership disposition, said his team was in Calabar on a familiarization visit to the River Basin.
He noted that there are several projects to be carried out by his ministry in partnership with the State Government while commending Governor Otu for budgetary provision as counterpart funding for the projects billed to be executed in the State and affirmed that his ministry’s support for the delivery of projects would enhance the living standard of the people.