Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has emerged as the Blueprint Newspaper Governor of the Year for 2021, in recgonition of his giant strides in agro-industrialization.
The award was presented to him at an event that took place at the prestigious Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
According to the newspaper, Ayade emerged after a highly competitive evaluation process conducted by its board of editors.
He was singled out for his relentless and remarkable efforts to create a long term sustainable economy through aggressive industrialisation with a view to detaching the state from over reliance on federation allocation, as it earns the second least allocation in the federation.
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The organizers say the award became necessary to recognize Ayade’s “commitment and demonstration of political will in the development of the economy of Cross River State, through massive industrialization which has changed the narrative of the state from a civil service state to an agri-business hub despite limited resources”.
They observed that Ayade’s deep vision was responsible for the establishment of numerous completed and on-going industries in the state, leading to the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs with consequential prosperity on the people.
“All these industries, when mainstreamed, are expected to, not only turn around the economy of Cross River, wean the state off dependence on monthly federal allocation, but also set her on the path of financial independence”, they said.
Presenting the award to him, Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan commended the governor for showing examplary leadership and sincere commitment to transforming Cross River State.
In his remarks, Ayade said: “The import is that it is going to challenge me to do much more for my people and most interestingly, because we are bringing innovations into industrial revolution, particularly in the agric subsector.
“I think Cross River will have a lot to show for this. Besides, the state has a vast landmass and I think that this award will challenge me to develop more of the landmass and bring food sufficiency to the country”.