The United States Consul General to Nigeria, Mr. John Bray says he is impressed with the industrialisation drive of the Cross River Governor, Prof Ben Ayade within his three years in office.
Bray stated this in Calabar on Wednesday shortly after being conducted round several industries built by the Ayade-led administration in the state.
Industries visited included the Cross River Garment Factory, the Rice Seeds and Seedlings Factory, the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company and the 21 megawatts power plant.
“I am really impressed as I have not seen a lot of things like these in Nigeria in my five years in the country. Seeing all these developments in one area is very impressive,” the US Consul General remarked.
Bray who was in Calabar to prepare grounds for some visitors into the state explained that he had to take time out to see investments opportunities in the state and that what he saw is a beautiful state that would compel him to visit often.
On possible areas of collaboration between the United States and Cross River, he said it was evident that such exist already with the American-made tractors on ground at the rice seeds and seedlings factory as well as American engineers at the power plant.
His words: “There are always areas of collaboration. Seeing the American-made tractors in the rice city with United States engineers on ground, that is an evidence of collaboration between the United States and Nigeria, though from a private sector, but there is collaboration already.”
Continuing, Bray said: “it is beautiful because government cannot do everything, so seeing the private sector here and United States products and engineers on ground, it is very great.”
In his reaction, Governor Ayade expressed delight that his efforts at developing the state were being acknowledged, adding that “it is a reflection of the fact that I have a pass mark from America and Germany. Americans don’t mince their words, when they want to say something to you, they will tell you truly how they feel.”
“This is my third year in office and we have gone round three factories with many more to go if we had the time. I wanted to take him to the largest banana plantation in Africa few minutes away from here, but I am sure we have other things to do, but one day we will be back and I will take them through.”
Ayade who commended Bray for accentuating and concentrating America investments and interest in Cross River, noted that the deployment of American turbines, engines and other machines in the factories remain a source of delight to him.
Highpoints of the visit was the planting of rice seedlings with the transplanter machine at the factory amidst cheers by Cross Riverians who gathered at the scene chanting, “digital,” “digital governor,” “super digital,” “na you we know.”