By; EDEM DARLINGTON, Calabar
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has said that at the completion of the rice city project along in Calabar, between 500 – 1000 Cross Riverians will be employed from labour force to technical staff.
He said he was excited about progress at the project site and expressed hope that the work will soon be completed at the expected September this year dateline
Governor Ayade was speaking when he led a team of journalists in the state on a media tour of the rice city located at the Ayade industrial park along Jonathan bypass in Calabar.
The state chief executive who said that the rice seedlings will be known as CALLAS 77, told journalists that the already other state governors and buyers are interested in buying the seedlings once they are ready.
“already we are over subscribed today, some of my colleagues are calling that to demand for the seedling, so there is a demand that we may not be able to cope”
Mr. Ayade who said the project which is fully automated was the first of its kind in Africa, expressed confidence that the seedlings will soon take over the Nigerian market.
On technical knowledge transfer, governor Ayade expressed confidence that in about a year from now Cross Riverians will take over full control of the technical expertise of the factory.
He said “even though right now we have Taiwanese and Irish operating the machines and doing other jobs, but am sure between six months to one year we will have our local people taking over from them”
Mr. Ayade also expressed the state government’s readiness to set up a construction and fabrication company will be setting up construction and fabrication academy to bring to an end the unfavourable and frequent importation of equipments such as that of the rice seedling into the country.
” it will be a shame that after having this plant that I want to expand and I go back again to the same coloured people to give us another one. It will be a failure on my part as a professor. We must allow that process where Cross Riverians will take full responsibility and take full charge and very interesting, Cross River State will manufacture another plant that will be better than this”
Governor Ayade called on potential investors to leverage on the 24 hours power supply, good security network and water supply, hospital and many other facilities the Ayade industrial park offers to invest in the state.