The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Prof. Ben Ayade said there is no Continent like Africa in the world, in terms of natural resources that can improve the African economy, industrialization and business growth.
He stated this during a one-day sensitization and consultation workshop organized by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, for the south-south Geo-Political Zone, which took place at the International Conference Centre, Calabar.
Governor Ayade Commended President Mohammadu Buhari for not taking a decision on his own, on the African Continental Free Trade (AFCFTA), but organizing a Consultation workshop across the six (6) Geo-Political Zones to listen to the view of the people.
The Governor who maintained that, Cross River State today has the largest number of industries in African that are capable of transforming and promoting Africa globally and supplying products to any part of the world, mentioned some of the State Industries under his administration to include; the Garment Factory, Rice Processing plant, banana plantation amongst others.
He charged Africans to wake up and not to relent in spite of challenges, adding that, from global perspective, “the only important thing in life is the value you have left behind”, calling on Africans to create a new value in the economy that will attract development.
Earlier, The Chief Trade Negotiator/Director-General NOTN, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe Presented a voluminous text entitled: “Trade Constitution book” a relevant material that addresses issues and serves as a guide to participants.
He urged stakeholders to bring out suggestions views and identify areas of interest such as; food security, national security and other relevant areas they want to pursue as well as areas they want government to implement.
Highlight of the event was a motion moved by the participants asking President Buhari to sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, also a motion for the appointment of Governor Ayade as the Champion of AFCFTA in South-South Region.
Participants however listed some of their challenges to include: Trade Facilitation, having over 50 Check points, within Lagos to Calabar Highway, floating the National shipping line, issue of inward borders within Nigeria amongst others.
The following people were in the Communique drafting committee: His Excellency, Ambassor Chiedu Osakwe, Mrs. Gyang Demitta, Mr. Boycy Omamo, Dr. Jaspher Efaliyi, Mrs. Emelda Godum, Mr. Peter Agboro and Mr. Peter Egba.