BY Frankie Ifop

In order to ensure education is made free and affordable to all, the governor of Cross River State has suspended the payment of school fees for all Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH students.

According to the governor on Thursday, October 22, 2020, the school fees suspension is only for indigenes of Cross River State and indefinitely.

The governor also ordered the immediate employment of 20,000 persons into State and Local Government Civil Service.

Meanwhile, the governor in another statement on Tuesday, while addressing the issues raised by youths that has let to the nationwide protest, made the following commitments:
“We will proceed with the process of asphalt overlay and fixing of potholes within Calabar metropolis. We must however, allow the rains to subside to give us a dry sub-surface to make for a better and more lasting job.

“We will find additional means to create more jobs for our young people. I would like you to note that in spite of being the least federal allocation earning state, we do not owe salaries. We also do not owe pensions. Our lean resources not withstanding, we will strive to commence the payment of gratuity as soon as possible.

“The focus of our administration has been on industrialising the state with a view to creating job opportunities for our people. We have established several industries including the ultra-modern rice mill, Ogoja, Cocoa Processing Factory, Ikom, Calabar Pharmaceutical Factory, Calabar Noodles Factory, Frozen Chicken Factory, Calabar Garment Factory, Rice Seedling Factory, Toothpick Factory, Piles and Pylon Factory, all of which have been completed. The factories will soon commence operations, thus providing more job opportunities for our people, including our young people.

“We are doing more than it is in public domain to confront the security challenges in Calabar. We have deployed a special security team from Abuja and so far, the team is doing a good job, arresting between 15 to 20 suspected kidnappers on daily basis. 99.9 percent of suspects are non-indigenes of the state. So I commend our people for their non-involvement in this crime of stealing human beings.

“The dualisation of the Tinapa-Odukpani Highway with the spaghetti flyover and an interchange bridge will be completed this coming dry season.

“Asphalting of the dual carriage road in northern part of the state will get to the Bekwarra axis of the road by the end of the month. The Okpoma, Mfom part of the road will be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

“Boki East-West road and the North Ukelle road which the World Bank reckoned was beyond the capacity of the state, will be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

“The construction of the 275km superhighway and the Bakassi Deep Seaport was set back by three years when the Federal Government took our state to court. It took a special presidential intervention by President Muhammadu Buhari for work to commence. We have since attained appreciable milestones”.

Ayade also stated that, “our state does not just earn the least allocation from the federation account, it can also not borrow because it had attained the threshold of borrowing even before the advent of our administration. So please be fair when analysing the achievements of our administration. It is always easier to see what government has failed to do while conveniently turning a blind eye to what it has achieved.

“We have given appointments to over six thousand of our people, most of them youths, employed over five thousand into the civil service, including the 2500 workers recently reabsorbed into the payroll, after lifting an over 20-year old embargo placed on employment.

“The power of the people is supreme. Your voices have been heard and we will not sleep until your demands are met. Please do not confront the security agents deployed to keep the peace. Let us remain peaceful, for that is what we are known for.

“Please note that government will not abdicate its responsibility of protecting lives and property. Everything within the ambit of law, will be done to uphold this sacred duty.

“I advise parents to keep their children away from misguided elements who might want to recruit them to cause violence in the state”.

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