Photo Credit: Hope Obeten

Abara Etop

The Cross River State House of Assembly has called on the state Government to Privatise some state-owned Industries and Enterprises.

The call followed a motion brought before the House by the Member representing Ogoja State Constituency and Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey.

The House resolved that the State Government should immediately commence some the process of Privatization of some of the State-owned Enterprise, with a view of keeping the state Industrialization programme on track for the overall development and growth of the State economy.

The House also resolved that the State should seek core investors who are experienced and possess the technical know-how on the enterprise they wish to invest and to also posses financial muscle and have the required managerial skills to profitably manage the said enterprise and deliver the same quality service that is envisaged by the State.

The lawmakers also resolved to call on His Excellency, Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Ben. Ayade to immediately constitute the State Privatization Council, in line with the provisions of the State Privatization law, 2001.

Deliberating on the floor of the House, Co-sponsor of the motion and House Committee Chairman on Commence, Industries, PPP and Privatization, Hon. Chris Njar Mbu Ogar, decried the decay in existing government facilities such as the Obudu Ranch Resort, Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort amongst others. He explained that the motion is intended to breathe life back to these facilities while also ensuring that the industrialization drive of the state is sustained, even when the incumbent government leaves office.

Supporting the motion, Mr. Friday Okpechi, Member representing Obubura 1 State Constituency and Co-sponsor of the motion, urged the House to be ready for criticism.

Okpechi noted that many people would criticise the House of wanting to sell government establishments to themselves but it was important to privatise the industries in the state as many of them have become moribund.

“We will have a lot of stones thrown at us for the privatisation of the industries in the state but i strongly believe that if this House aligns with the executive to privatise these ventures, it will be of immense benefit to the state”, he said.

He, however, warned that if industries in the state would be privatised, it should be done with sincerity of purpose and honesty.

In his contributions, Member representing Boki II state constituency, Rt. Hon. Hilary Bisong lamented at the huge operational funding in maintaining these state industries.

According to him, he said, “The Garment Factory has earned nothing for Cross River state even though the staff wages is about N18 million per month under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries”.

He advised that government should transfer the burden of running these industries to investors and channel the resources to rural infrastructure. 

Other Members who spoke vehemently supported the motion and reiterated that this not asking for the outright sale of the State Industries and Enterprises, but for investors who can help grow the economy of the State to manage them.

Members also mentioned that Tinapa, Obudu Ranch Resort, Calabar International Convention Centre, Garment factory, Rice factory and others are among Enterprises government invested so much and has been left to faith, adding that the Metropolitan Hotel, now Transcorp Hotel, CALCEMCO  now LAFARGE and others that were previously privatized are all doing well. Therefore, the state government should go back and look at the state privatisation law passed in 2001.

Addressing the press after Plenary, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams thanked Members for being very proactive in their contributions. He assured Cross Riverians that the House of Assembly is on the right track to ensure that the state does not depend only on the dwindling federal allocations.

The House adjourned plenary till Tuesday, September 10th, 2019.

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Hi, I,m Pospi Otuson. A Nigerian Blogger, Social Entrepreneur and Convener of the renowned Boki Business Conference. CEO/Founder of Possibility Desk, the largest online consulting platform for possibilities in the world. Lets connect today.

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