The United Nations Industrial Development Organistion (UNIDO) Regional Director to ECOWAS and Nigerian regional office, Dr. Jean Bakole, has described the industrialization policy of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State as a model for Africa.
Bakole who was in Calabar, the state capital on a courtesy visit to the governor said he was impressed by Ayade’s effort at industrializing the state, noting that the governor’s vision was in tandem with that of UNIDO for Africa.
“I think I have been to 44 African countries and my last posting was in Ethiopia. What I saw here in Cross River is exactly what the Ethiopian government is doing. Two years ago, I went to the garment factory in Ethiopia and what I saw at the Ethiopian garment factory is exactly what the Governor is doing here,” he said.
Commending Ayade’s determination to diversify Cross River’s economy through industrialisation, the UNIDO boss said committed leadership breeds success: “We just visited a number of industrial initiatives, including the garment factory, integrated Agro industries, pharmaceutical factory. It is absolutely impressive to see this kind of innovative projects which shows clearly that when a leader is committed everything can be done.”
Bakole expressed the optimism that the federal government would find a way to assist the state to fully actualise its industrialisation goals.
He pledged UNIDO’s readiness to partner and support Cross River.
“If the Governor continues like this, and gets the support at the federal level, this state is going to be the mirror of innovative industrial development activity in the country.
“I will like to encourage it and I will like to on behalf of UNIDO clearly indicate that we are going to partner with the governor, we are going to support him, we are going to mobilize a number of investors because to do this kind of investment, we have to recognize that without it, we cannot move ahead but we need a very good management and I think His Excellency shows that he has a vision.”
The UNIDO Regional Director maintained that Governor Ayade’s industrialisation policy will go a long way to addressing issues of poverty and unemployment.
“I can see his commitment to move ahead with the development agenda of the state to address the issues of poverty, to provide jobs for youths and ensure better life for the people of Cross River and also to support the development of the entire nation of Nigeria,” he said.
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