Some members of the Senate Committee on works who were in Cross River state at the weekend for their oversight function have urged other governors to emulate governor Ben Ayade’s Agro- Industrial strides.
The Senators who took time off to embark on a facility tour of the Industrial park in Calabar where some of the industries established by the governor are located, said that if the federal government and other state governments could replicate the Ayade example, Nigeria will achieve food sufficiency in a record time.
Speaking, Senator Adamu Aliero ( Kebbi Central) described governor Ayade as a role model who has brought value to agriculture. He said he was impressed by what he saw.
” I am impressed by what I am seeing. Governor Ayade has brought value to agriculture. From what I am seeing here, agricultural revolution is on course in Nigeria and I urge other governors to come and emulate what governor Ben Ayade is doing.
“If the Federal Government can replicate this, I think we will be self sufficient in food production and even export food in two to three years”, the Senator said.
Aliero, a former governor of Kebbi State, described agriculture as the largest employer of labour.
His words: “We can generate a lot of employment through agriculture. Agriculture is the largest employer of labour in Nigeria. For me personally, this is an eye opener. I have already made up my mind to sponsor out-growers to come to Cross River and learn what Governor Ben Ayade is doing.”
Aliero also pledged to get the Director-General of Agricultural Seeds Council of Nigeria and the Senate Committee on Agriculture to visit Cross River state to understudy the Ayade agricultural policy.
“We have the Agricultural Seeds Council of Nigeria. That Council is dormant and I will recommend very strongly to members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture that they should come and see what Governor Ben Ayade is doing. They can come even with the DG of Seeds Council of Nigeria and he will take it to the federal Executive Council for adoption and implementation”, he said.
On his part, Senator Kabiru Gaya representing Kano South said Nigeria needs people like the Cross River state governor, saying he is proud of him.
Gaya: ” I am so happy with Professor Ben Ayade’s policy. Your Excellency, we are proud of you. Nigeria needs people like you. I am happy with the people of Cross River for having this gentleman as their governor.”
For Senator Abdullahi Kabiru( Kastina Central), it was imperative that small scale farmers Come to Cross River to understudy Ayade.
On his part, Senator Chukwuka Utazi representing Enugu North, discribed the industrial park as overwhelming, saying they had seen something different, the type seen overseas in terms of agricultural value Chain.
“I am very happy by what I have seen here today and I will come back. Coming here today, I have learnt alot of new ways of doing old things which I will put into use.
“His Excellency, Professor Ben Ayade has taken the lead, a giant lead for that. I am very proud of this governor. He is a pace setter.”
Among the industries the Senators inspected at the Industrial Park were the ultra modern Rice Seeds and Seedlings factory, the Garment Factory, Calachika Chicken processing plant, Cala Noodles Integrated Food processing plant, the Feed Mill factory among others.