By Ene Asuquo
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed has commended the state Governor, professor Ben Ayade for his industrialization effort towards changing the status of the state.
The Minister who was in the state for the 2022 World Tourism Day, gave the commendation after visiting some industries built by Governor Ayade’s administration.
Some of the industries visited by the Minister include the noodles factory, chicken processing factory,Calapharm and the garment factory.
Speaking on the importance of these industries, the Minister described them as the “future for Cross River State. “I must commend Governor Ben Ayade for planting the seed for industrialization.
“The engine room of any economy in the world are the small and medium scale industries that will generate employment and encourage backward integration.”
On the garment factory, he explained “The garment factories is very interesting to me because at the pick of the Covid-19, the garment factory came handy, producing face masks and became the solution to the Covid-19 pandemic challenge and changed the thinking of the world on the type of materials that can be used for face mask. For quite a while,there was a controversy on whether locally produced materials can be used which Governor Ayade argued publicly untill World Health Organisation ruled that it is recommended for use and healthy.”
While projecting that the factory will become the cornerstone of the textile industry in the country, he disclosed that his ministry recently carried out a survey on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on some aspects of the economy and that the result was astonishing.
His words: “After Covid-19, the ministry commissioned a study on the effects of Covid-19 on the tourism industry. Amazingly, we found that even though Nigeria is known for film, music but that in-terms of receipt, the fashion industry yields the highest revenue. While music generates about N300 billion a year and film about N179 billion, the fashion industry has about N2 trillion revenue. So the market for this garment factory is unlimited. It is a huge investment.”
The Minister urged other state governors to emulate the industrialization policy of the Cross River State Governor because these industries generate both direct and indirect employment opportunities for the people.
According to him, “There is need for other governors to do peer review here and do what Cross River State Government is doing interms of setting up factories. It is a good initiative and we look forward to the near future where as Calabar Carnival becomes a global brand, Calachika, Cross River noodles and others will become an international brand which will be known as Nigeria brand.”