Ayade moves to acquire merchant vessel to boost export in Cross River
Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade has disclosed the state’s willingness to purchase sea-going merchant vessel as proposed in the state’s budget billed for presentation.
He said the vessel will enable the state to start exporting its locally manufactured noodles, frozen chicken, rice and everything produced from the state’s agro factories.
Ayade said this follows the success and impact, which the state CallyAir Airline is making in the aviation industry.
The Governor stated this while receiving a delegation of the state chapter of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in his office in Calabar.
Ayade cited the state’s long Atlantic coastline and the huge industrial value chain, which he said position’s the state to be designated as export corridor.
He further advocated for the state to be designated as an export corridor so as to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The governor stated that exporting with the merchant vessels from the Calabar port will position products from Cross River’s industries as a ready market in at least 15 countries in the West and Central African coast.
“We must take advantage of our industries and push our products beyond Cross River and Nigeria and take advantage of the AfCFTA to expand the horizon of our market. That is why we have the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to focus on how we can export.
“ I remain committed and dedicated on the need for Cross River State to have a very robust maritime trade activity to enable us develop our business environment where young men and women will migrate out of politics into business,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the association, James Alicha, commended the governor’s industrialisation drive, while assuring that with 33 industries established by the Cross River state government under Ayade, the state will benefit immensely from non- oil earnings through AfCTA efforts.
“If we are to showcase these 33 industries alone, Cross River State will compete favourably with other states that are deriving their revenue from other businesses other than oil,” he said.