The state Governor, Senator (Prof.) Ben Ayade has called on the people of Yakurr Local Government Area of the State to venture into aggressive bamboo farming to sustain the toothpick factory and improve their socio-economic well-being.
Governor Ayade made the call while commissioning the state toothpick factory yesterday, Thursday, in Ekori, Yakurr Local Government Area.
He said with the commissioning of the project, the factory would commence full production of toothpicks, hence the need to embark on bamboo farming to supply raw materials to the factory to enhance maximum production to meet the market demands.
Governor Ayade noted that his administration would continue to initiate projects that will impact positively on the lives of Cross Riverians.
According to Governor Ayade, “the toothpicks industry would provide thousands of jobs to the people of Ekori and Yakurr at large,” while urging them to guard and protect the factory from vandalization.
He also disclosed that Cross River State is the lowest in terms of Federal Revenue Allocation, ranking number thirty five out of thirty six in allocation shearing formula, stressing that he is running a government with the lowest amount of money in Nigeria, yet with the highest amount of debt.
The Governor however assured the people that his administration will in a short while address the erosion challenges faced by the people, as well as provide vehicles for factory and the police station for easy distribution and policing.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Rosemary Archibong said the factory which is in line with the Ayade-led administration’s policy of ‘one industry per Council Area’ is a promise fulfilled.
The factory, she noted, will create jobs for the catchment area and bring economic development and growth into the rural communities.
In his address, the Obol Lopon of Ekori, Obol Donatus Ibor, thanked Governor Ayade’s magnanimity in siting the factory in Ekori, which has engaged most youths in the area and pledged on behalf of the people to support Governor Ayade’s re election bid.
The Obol Lopon of Ugep, Obol Ofem Ubanga said the gesture will help the people to explore the raw materials that abound in the area for economic benefits.
The event which climaxed with the investiture of Governor Ayade with the traditional tittle of ” _Obol Ojou Onong of Ekori,”_ meaning the ‘Talk and Do Chief of Ekori,’ also featured the rich cultural displays of the Yakurr Nation, with attendance from Members of the State Executive Council, Yakurr Traditional Rulers Council, among others.