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Igbos offered free land to build factories in C'River

L-R Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, His Royal Highness, Eze Igbo, Cross River State, Eze E.A Ezenwenyi and his wife, at the 2018 Igbo Day celebration in Calabar weekend

To boost his industrialization drive in the state, Cross River Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade has promised to provide free land at the Ayade Industrial Park located along Jonathan Bypass, Calabar for the Igbos to establish factories.

Ayade made the pledge while receiving award at the Abraham Ordia Stadium University of Calabar, venue for the grand finale of the 28th anniversary celebration of the Nna Ndigbo of Cross River.

The Governor however said that the offer was for factories with the capacity to create at least 20 jobs, 10 of which must be Cross Riverians .

While adding that the construction must start within three months from the day 
of offer, he directed the Igbo apex sociocultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Cross River branch to liaise with the Commissioner for Land to gets special land for the creation of Igbo city.

Ayade who thanked them for the honour added that he respects the dexterity, value, capacity, integrity, honour, intelligence as well as the philosophy of hard work which the people have continuously portrayed.

The governor, decked in full Igbo regalia, a red cap and walking stick,  said: "If we have given land to have Nasarrawa and Bogobiri areas, it is also important for us to have an Igbo city. The Igbos are indeed the real blood that drives our economy, so, not to make a special provision for them is to neglect the realities of the times.

"I will want Ohaneze Ndigbo Cross River branch to liaise with my Commissioner for Land, he will take you to three locations, make a choice of one, we will allocate it as Igbo city".

Extolling the spirit of enterprise among the Igbo, the governor who described them as "the great Israelites of Africa," maintained that "the security and social calmness that we enjoy today in Cross River is because the Igbo people have continuously supported us with mercantile activities, creating jobs and so many opportunities that have allowed us to have peace.

"The industrial park that we have set up has over 42 industrial plots with water, electricity and road provided, whether you come by the instrumentality of a collective whole or as an individual, once you are Igbo with the capacity to set up a factory, we shall give you a piece of land to commence the construction of your factory at no cost to you at all.

"In Ayade industrial park, I assure that the Igbos will have five major plots, free of charge to commence construction of factories provided each of the factories can employ at least 20 people of which at least 10 will be Cross Riverian.

"Once you make that provision for me, please come over, take your piece of land, start construction, we will issue you a certificate of occupancy but you must start construction within three months", Ayade said.

On the issue of over taxation of petty traders raised by the leadership of the Igbo, he said "No government that is responsible can tax its people to prosperity, prosperity comes from intellectualism, it comes from hard work, it comes from agility of the muscles and therefore the mechanical taxation of your people is illegal, unacceptable and negativity to the economy".

Earlier, the Ohanaeze Indigbo declared their total support for Governor Ben Ayade reelection bid in 2019.

Speaking about the award, President of the group in the state, Barr. Ugorji Nwabueze, said that the honour was in recognition of Ayade's landmark achievements in the area of industrialization.

Nwabueze said that "This award from the five Eastern states is in recognition of your achievement and contributions to the growth of Cross River especially in areas of industrialization.

"It is also in appreciation of your good performance while exhibiting good strength to the Igbos."
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