By EMMANUEL OBETEN, Calabar
The Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade has re-affirmed that poverty will soon be a thing of the past in the state.
In a statement on Tuesday, the governor assured citizens that rather than using taxation to raise funds for projects, human capital development would be given priority.
“As a result of our collective brain-tasking in lieu of crushing tax weight on the people’s shoulders and welfare-retrenchment, I have invited an Oil & Gas company to the State which has already commenced site evaluation. Equity arrangements between the company and the state has already been perfected. Also, investors of the rice city in Cross River are already in Nigeria. I want to assure Cross Riverians that very soon, poverty will be a thing of the past.
“My people must be happy and proud of their state: no new taxes, no retrenchments. Rather, we shall develop our human capital to make our labour market vibrant then, make our state a haven of industries where the civil service and companies will be struggling over employees. The anger of being enmeshed by poverty and backwardness has provoked us into thinking. However, an emergency on the economy has been declared. It’s time for action, no going back! I have have received appreciations for prompt payments of salaries, that’s just the beginning,” he said.
The governor explained that although new forms of taxes were proposed to him, he opted for other consolidation measures to help the state weather the economic storm.
“When new forms of taxes were proposed to me as one of those fiscal consolidation measures to enable us endure through the storms of economic recession, I looked at the faces of my beloved people and what I already saw made my heart to bleed: these people gave me a mandate by transforming their collective power through their vote to put me in authority, why should I acquiesce to some policies devoid of human face to make them suffer?
“With challenge and empathy, I saw the need to go into our aprons of invention and I told my people, let’s rather task our brains which made me develop a unique template of statecraft: I saw an urgent need to improve on our collective cognitive content, develop our human capital to make our labour market active and establish indigenous service industries that will complement local and direct foreign investments in which results have started turning in,” he assured.