The Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade has shelved plans to privatise more than 30 agro-industries built by his administration.
Governor Ayade made the announcement during an end of year interaction with selected media practitioners in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
He said although most indigenes of the state were in favour of privatisation of the industries, there were however, a few who gave negative connotations to the plan.
In favor of the few
The Governor explained that he choose to listen to the voices of the few for a number of reasons, which also included the fact that he would not want his name to be mentioned amongst those, who sold government owned assets.
He said; “these Industries are set, the beneficiation pathways have been articulated and addressed.
It is now to get the the operators.
Public sentiment is against privatisation and my father says, ‘do not privatise’, even in his greater beyond because when you sell government asset to an individual in the African sense ‘you don carry government property give person.
“So, we are trying to put a structure in place, which is more like a management system.
I did a referendum.
For the first time government subjected its decision to a referendum.
In spite of the fact that there is a provision in the privitisiation law of 2007, I decided to withhold my powers and allowed five percent of the public opinion to prevail.
Which is that we should not privitize any of these Industries,” Governor Ayade explained.
The Governor recalled a previous discussion on public service with his late father noted, saying “my father said to me in his dying moment, ‘son, as I am going to part from this world, if you cannot add to the quality and value of my name, please do not denigrate it.
’ So Ayade is not going to be counted among those, who sold government assets and that is why I am not going to privatise.
“So, let whoever becomes the next Governor decide what happens to them but my job has been completed.
I have functional factories.
I will only put in place a temporary management structure pending when the new government comes in.
About his decision, he further stated, “It is not the right decision, but it is the correct decision.
It is not right because for the prosperity of those factories, we needed to send them into private sector for the people to invest more money.
But, it is the correct decision because its politically the right thing to do otherwise you will say ‘Ayade has sold them to his friend, brother, Uncle or sister’.
“Let another Governor come and do it where he will not be accused because he is innocent.
He did not create the idea.
But truly, the pathway to development of this State is for our people to rally round the government.
Some of the industries established by the Ben Ayade led administration include; the Cross River Garment factory, the ultramodern rice mill, cocoa processing factory, the rice seeds and seedlings factory and the noodles factory as well as CallyAir, a state-owned airline managed by Aero Contractors.
Cross River Governor shelves privatisation of Industries