Jedy : Boosting Economic Growth In Cross River Through Revitalization of Key Commercial Centres

Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR, Honourable Minister of State, Power 

Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR, Honourable Minister of State, Power and member, representing Cross River State in the Federal Executive Council (FEC), has strategically, stepped up efforts to boost the state's economy by revivinng some key economic centres in the state through electricity.

Th facilities; Obudu Ranch Resort and the Calabar Export Processing Zone
have been identified as critical infrastructures with the potentials to turnaround the state's economy if properly harnessed.

Last month, the Minister had a major breakthrough in his efforts when he inaugurated a 60KVA solar mini-grid power plant at the Obudu Ranch Resort as well as performed a ground breaking for the construction of another 100KVA solar mini-grid power plant at the Bottom Hill axis of the resort in Obanliku local government area of the state to boost electricity supply in the tourists area.

Folorunsho Coker, the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) when reacting to the development said that the development would reduce the cost of electricity. 

Folorunsho Coker, the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation at the Ranch recently 

Coker said that, "The multiplier effect of the injection of solar hybrid energy into the Obudu Ranch Resort tourism asset is well known. It is a revolution. Water can now be sucked and processed and pumped. The cost of power is averaged downwards.  Larger stock of perishables can now be held as refridgerated stock. Communications is now uninterrupted. Entertainment specials are now feasible". 

While noting that with the improved electricity, the resort now needs a token investment to upgrade its fixtures and fittings, he urged the state government to to repair the existing Donald Duke Aistrips as well as the cable car to render services to locals and guests. 

Similarly, two months ago, through the collaborative efforts of the Minister with his colleagues, the FEC approved the sum of N35 billion for the building of dedicated power stations in Calabar and Kano Export Processing Zones.

The contract for the construction of the power stations in the two export zones have been awarded to Messers Mutual Commitment Nigeria Limited. It would be jointly funded by Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPA) and the company in the ratio of 25 to 75 percent. 

The plant is expected to be completed in two years and operated for ten years by the contractors. Within this period, no fewer than 100 Cross Riverians are expected to be trained and built capacity to took charge of the maintenance. 

The project which is done in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is geared at making the export zone more attractive for investors. The 24-hour electricity which would be guaranteed on completion of the project is to serve as incentive to pursuade investors to the zones. 

Cross River is not blessed with many industries or luxury of commercial centres like Kano or most states of the federation hence, making the few existing ones function to their capacities is a step in the right direction. 

Speaking, the Minister said that electricity is the main driver and the most effective tool to stimulate rapid economic growth and development.

He  explained that while he understands that his responsibility is not limited to his state, Cross River, he was taking advantage of every opportunity to ensure he attracts development to the state through electrifying key facilities to create jobs and boost economic activities.

According to him "we are proud of our achievements. We've commissioned projects across the six geopolitical zones and still counting. We understand the place of adequate power supply in stimulating economic growth. This is why the government is investing heavily in the power sector. In my state, Cross River, we're trying our best to boost economic activities. Just last week, we commissioned a dedicated power plant in the Obudu Ranch Resort and performed groundbreaking for another 100KVA plant. 

The Buhari administration is doing everything to improve all sectors of the economy. This is evident in the massive investment in power, roads, railway and other infrastructures. The Government also wants to make Nigeria number investment destination in Africa. This is why we're building two power stations in the Calabar and Kano Export Processing Zones. 

With the 24-hour electricity to be enjoyed upon completion, we expect the influx of investments and investors into the area. The idea is to try as much as possible to revive and upgrade some of the existing infrastructures in the state and country through improved electricity ".

Governorship aspirant of APC in 2019, Mr. John Upan Odey at the Ranch Resort recently 

Commending the Minister, governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC in 2019, Mr. John Upan Odey said that" the efforts of the Minister to energize the Obudu Mountain Resort and the EPZ are highly commendable. I was at the ranch last weekend and was highly impressed. 

This is the kind of collaboration that we need to encourage amongst the tiers of government. The solar energy solution for the ranch will greatly improve the lives of the residents and promote tourism. I encourage the Minister to continue to bring the energy solutions of the federal government to more and more commercial centers to help spur on economic activities in our state".

President Muhammadu Buhari 5927829681047292164

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