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Ayade pushes for Cross River’s designation as export corridor

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar
26 October 2021   |   4:06 am
Governor Ben Ayade is pushing for Cross River State’s designation as an export corridor to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA).

Ben Ayade

Governor Ben Ayade is pushing for Cross River State’s designation as an export corridor to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA).

Citing the state’s long Atlantic coastline and huge industrial value chain made possible by his administration, Ayade said Cross River deserved to be so designated.

Speaking at the weekend in Calabar during a presentation by the state chapter of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, the governor submitted: “This presentation enables us to decide on our merchant vessel as proposed in our budget so that we can start exporting our noodles, start exporting our frozen chicken, start exporting our rice, and indeed start exporting all that we produce from our agro factories.”

He said exports from Calabar port would find a ready market in at least 15 nations within the West and Central African coast. Ayade added: “We must take advantage of our industries and push our products beyond Cross River, Nigeria and take advantage of the AFCTA to expand the horizon of our market. That is why we have the Ministry of Commerce, that is why we have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to focus on how we can export.”

“I remain committed and dedicated to Cross River State having robust maritime trade activities to enable us develop our business environment where young men and women will migrate out of politics into business.”

Earlier, state chairman of the association, James Alicha commended the governor’s industrialisation drive, assuring him that with 33 industries established by his administration, the state would 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 stated.

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