Gov. Ben Ayade on Sunday declared that Cross River could not remain raw materials producer alone but would aim at adding value to them through industrialisation.
Ayade said this in Calabar while flagging off the second Dry-Run for the 2022 Calabar Carnival with the theme: “Agro Industrialisation.”
Represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, the governor disclosed that his target was to move the state from a third world society to a first world state through industrialisation.
He implored the various carnival groups to effectively elucidate the year’s theme to reflect the importance of agriculture on the economy of the state.
“We want to focus this year on agro-industrialisation, you all know that we have over 30 industries across the state which are gradually beginning to function, especially as concessionaires have taken possession of them.
“I urge the bands to elucidate this year’s theme while pointing out that agro-industrialisation means there must be increased agricultural raw materials to feed the industries.
“It has become imperative for the state to place emphasis on agriculture and continue to produce crops in which it has comparative advantage to enable the industries to function smoothly,” he stated.
Speaking earlier, Mr Austin Cobhams, the Executive Secretary of the Cross River State Carnival Commission, said that the second dry run was a prelude to the main carnival in December.
Cobham said the theme of this year’s carnival has broadened the understanding of locals and the entire country on the economic direction of the Ayade-led administration in Cross River.
“The theme of this year’s carnival has brought to the understanding of the people what this government has done in the area of agriculture and job provision.
“While hoping that the state benefits in the long-run from its investments in the sector, the attention of the world is on the Calabar Carnival and the state government’s achievements over the past eight years,” he maintained.
It was reported that the first dry run for the 2022 Calabar Carnival was held on Oct. 16.