By Frank Ulom
The Government of Cross River State headed by Governor Bassey Otu has approved the sum of four hundred million naira (N400m) as a grant for the agricultural sector state.
The approval was given during the 17th State Executive Council (SEC) meeting held on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at the temporary Government House, Calabar and presided over by Governor Otu.
Also approved by the SEC was an Executive Bill for the Re-establishment of Cross River State College of Agriculture and Forestry, Obubra.
“Towards Government’s effort in improving the livelihood and productivity of the citizenry, Council granted approval for a N400,000,000 (Four Hundred Million Naira) counterpart funding for the Agro-processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project facilitated by the Ministry of International Donor Coordination.
“An Executive Bill for the Re-establishment of the State College of Agriculture and Forestry, Obubra, was also approved by Council for transmission to the State Legislature. The re-establishment of the College is to boost the availability of middle-level manpower in agriculture and forestry as well as assist in the State’s re-afforestation programme,” a statement by Emmanuel Ogbeche, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Otu said.
The SEC further approved several emergency intervention works on roads and drainage in the Calabar metropolis.
“The Executive Council also approved the contract award for the refurbishing, remodelling and upgrade of the State Library complex, Calabar. Among the roads to be rehabilitated are; Murtala Muhammed Highway and Ndidem Iso Road. Emergency intervention and remediation works were also approved for the Marina Resort gully erosion.
“The State Governor disclosed at the meeting that, henceforth, memos from parastatals that are not routed through the supervising Commissioners will not be honoured.
“The Cross River State Data Centre domiciled at the Office of the Governor is being rehabilitated to support real-time digital exchange within the bureaucracy,” the statement by Ogbeche added.
It further stated that “Council ratified the composition of a State Policy Review Committee comprised of eminent personalities to review extant policies in order to ensure policies and plans align with the current trends and best practices.”
The Policy Review Committee comprises of the following:
i. Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo as Chairman
ii. Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong as Member
iii. Col. PAM Ogar (rtd) as Member
iv. Mr Dave Ashang as Member
v. Dr. Fidelis Obo as Member
vi. Chief Patrick C. Okem as Member
vii. Mr Bassey Kooffreh as Member
viii. Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita as Member
ix. Mr Sylvester Mgbe as Member
x. Engr. Effiong Bassey as Member
xi. Dr Julius Okputu as Member
xii. Mr Gabriel Achong (CP rtd) as Member
xiii. Chief P. J. Ekunke as Member
xiv. Dr Ajah Ekwan Ajah as Member
xv. Dr Jake Otu Enyia as Secretary
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“The Governor reiterated the government’s resolve to clear the backlog of unpaid gratuities owed retirees and emphasised that the government cannot allow the aged to sleep hungry or be unable to afford their medications.
“Consequently, funds are being sourced from the capital market to redeem the debts owed retirees by the government,” the statement concluded.