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Ayade succumbs to pressure, shelves plan to privatise industries

By Anietie Akpan and Tina Agosi Todo, Calabar
24 December 2021   |   2:37 am
Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has said the state government has shelved plans to privatise over 30 industries built by his administration.

Ayade. Photo/TWITTER/SENBENAYADE

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has said the state government has shelved plans to privatise over 30 industries built by his administration.

The governor, who disclosed this during end of year interaction with the media in his office, said he took the decision in response to some persons against it.

Some of the industries include the state garment factory, the ultramodern rice mill, cocoa processing factory, the rice seeds and seedlings factory, noodles factory and CallyAir, a state-owned airline and few others.

Recall that three months ago, the state carried out an opinion survey of the industries scattered across the three senatorial districts of the state.

Ayade said although most indigenes of the state were in favour of privatisation, there were, however, a few who gave negative connotations to the plan.

He said: “So, we are trying to put a structure in place which is more like a management system. I did a referendum. For the first time government subjected its decision to a referendum. In spite of the fact that there is a provision in the privatisation law of 2007, I decided to withhold my powers and allow five per cent of the public opinion to prevail, which is that we should not privitise any of these Industries.”

Recollecting a discussion he had with his father concerning public service, he stated: “My father said to me in his dying moment, ‘Son as I’m going to part from this world, if you cannot add to the quality and value of my name, please don’t denigrate it.’ So Ayade is not going to be counted among those who sold government assets; that is why I am not going to privatise.

“So, let whoever becomes the next governor decide what happens to them but my job has been completed. I have functional factories. I will only put in place a temporary management structure pending when the new government comes in.

“It is not the right decision but it is the correct decision. It is not right because for the prosperity of those factories we needed to send them into private sector for the people to invest more money but it is the correct decision because its politically the right thing to do, otherwise you will say Ayade has sold them to his friend, brother, uncle or sister.”

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