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Ben Ayade: Salary And Pension Payments Are Great Achievements, More Critical Than Any Other Project

He said his administration has drastically reduced the rate of unemployment in Cross River State.

The Governor of the Cross River State, Ben Ayade, in an interview with ARISE NEWS, said the 53.65 percent figure of unemployment in the state is false and an old report as his administration has taken it away from there.

“I don’t know how you derived your figures but statistically speaking, I met Cross River State at that very figures of unemployment. That has changed dramatically and I have spoken to the statistician general of the state to give them a more current figure.

Again, all the entire debt mentioned are debts that I met. I met between 383 to 403bn naira debt as governor. I have been servicing this debt by an approximately 2.2 billion every month which has dropped down to about 1.6 billion today. So, I didn’t borrow money. I have never borrowed from any foreign country”

Speaking on Calachika Chicken factory project, he said the project was delayed as a result of lack of materials to produce the feeds for the chicken.

 “On the Calachika Chicken, the first of its kind in the whole of Africa I must say, unfortunately we need a lot of soya bean and maize to be able to produce the feeds. The feed meal is there, the poultry is there and the factory is there. Unfortunately, we need massive amount of soya bean to be able to produce the feed to feed the chicken to be able to get them to the slaughter house. And so, we try to encourage young people to go into farming. That has been particularly difficult, occasioned by the issues of insecurities, lack of the initial capital”

Ayade also denied the 45billion Bakassi stabilization fund. He said the allegation is false as he has never received such money in his account as Bakassi settlement.

“There is no such thing as the bakassi stabilization fund in Cross River state. I’ve built a very outstanding estate for the people of bakassi and brought them in there but I think with the End Sars, it was destroyed. Cross River earns far less than our salaries in a month. 500 million that used to come monthly that has since stopped was a fund that was used to augment salary payment. Ayade has never received 45 billion in my account as bakassi settlement. Never ever.

Also reacting to his loss in the senatorial election in the state, the Cross River State Governor said there was no election but a militarization of the polling units.

“We heard a security report that they were going to bring in a lot of armies to destabilize my senatorial district. This was communicated to the 13th brigade commander in my last security council meeting. The election didn’t not hold. The smallest local government area that has never brought votes, now was bringing thousands and thousands of votes. Now as you go further, you could see clearly that there was no election. It was simply the militarization, capturing the polling units, driving people away, counting results and announcing the results.

Ayade emphatically said that Salary and pension payments are huge achievements, giving to the current circumstance of the country.

“Salaries and pensions is a fantastic achievement in the circumstance today. I tell you why, you see you build a road but you need the citizens to have their independent ease and integrity to be able to walk on those roads. What is the point of building a sky scraper when your citizens are poor? I am a son of a civil servant and because of that I am conscious and I know the circumstance under which I was brought up. So, I know that salary and pension is far more critical than any other project”

Chioma Kalu

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