Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River had set out to industrialize the state, a move that drew the applause of residents and other people across the country. To achieve this supposed dream, he established 38 factories across the state, but from all indications, these projects do not seem realizable. And the people are not happy, as all that can be seen are mostly empty structures meant for the variously amplified projects.
Daily Trust reports that 95 percent of these projects are still undergoing construction or have hardly taken off. Some seem to have been abandoned, but government spokespersons would suggest that they are already up and running.
There are reports that the governor often unilaterally initiated these projects and the State House of Assembly would later merely endorse them. And members of his cabinet would hardly hear about them.
When the governor attended the rice pyramids exhibition in Abuja few months ago, he announced that President Muhammadu Buhari would personally visit his state to commission two of his latest ‘ultra modern’ rice factory in Yala Local Government Area, as well as a cocoa processing plant in Ikom few weeks after, but the people took it with a pinch of salt. The cocoa plant has not churned out a single bar of chocolate ever since it was purportedly established.
The special adviser to Governor Ayade on cocoa development, Oscar Ofuka, said the factory had reached an advanced stage, and that Nigeria would have no need to process its raw cocoa into beverages outside the country.
The president is yet to commission the two factories as the governor promised; perhaps he fears that he might be disappointed.