Dreams and visions are the propelling forces to achieve the unusual; break the jinx; go beyond the ordinary; actualize the unimaginable; contemplate and surmount the impossible; break the record; make history; set great targets and attain lofty heights.
They are compelling drive to success and breakthroughs.
They make us read God’s mind; foresee tomorrow and prepare adequately for the future.
The presidency of Barack Obama in United States today was a product of king Martin Luther dreams about 4 decades ago on the liberation and rising of the Blackman.
Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine had a dream and from that dream created the sewing machine.
Niels Bohr, Nobel Prize Winner claimed that he had seen the structure of the atom in a dream.
Professor Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade, the Obudu born Executive Governor of Cross River is a visionary leader because he visualizes a greater and new Cross River where the great natural endowments and potentials of the state as well as the beauty, hard work and resilience of the people are tapped and developed to the fullest.
His visions and dreams for the state are with a difference because he has not only attained some of his dreams and visionary targets but has done so with speed and in record time.
Gov. Ayade not only conceived the establishment of garment factory and the signature projects namely the development of the Bakassi Deep Sea Port and 260km digital super highway but has matched words with actions.
The Governor has completed the construction of the Cross River Garment factory to consolidate the bi-annual “Calabar Carnival” where the state makes loud statement on well-designed and beautiful fabrics.
The factory which has a floor size of 5,000sqm is reputed to be the biggest single floor Garment factory in the world and has already employed 3000 Cross Riverians mostly women and widows who work in three shifts.
With the garment factory already operational, the world is going to see something extra-ordinary and amazing in the 2017 edition of “Calabar Carnival”.
With the great water potentials in Cross River, Governor Ayade has commenced the preliminary process for the construction of the Bakassi Deep Sea Port which will turn out to be the biggest deep sea port in Africa with about 16meters draft.
The construction of the deep seaport will commence as soon as the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) which is already at an advanced stage is released in favour of the project by the Federal Government.
Already detailed design and the bathymetric survey of the seaport have been completed.
The Deep Seaport will boost commerce in the state because it will have the status of port of origin and port of destination where large ocean going vessels will load goods and take-off to other countries and also berth with goods from other countries.
The twin sister project of the seaport is the 260km digital Super Highway to be decorated with speed cameras and Wi-Fi is meant to serve as the evacuation and entry corridor for the Bakassi Deep Seaport.
Based on the projects merit and Governor Ayade’s tact and intelligence, PMB performed the ground breaking ceremony for the project in October 2015 after the Federal Ministry of Environment had issued an interim EIA report.
The EIA report for the construction of the Highway is at an advanced stage and once it is released, procurement processes for the project commences.
Already, the soil studies, detailed survey and route survey for the project have been completed and found it bankable, viable and feasible.
The argument by the Highway critics that the project will affect conservation, forest reserves and dislocate people is porous, weak and ignorant because for every one tree lost, two would be planted while enumeration of the identity of those to be affected is on-going for purposes of future compensation.
The state government has established the Green Police made up of 1,500 Young Cross Riverians to protect the state’s rich and vast forest reserves as well as its clean and green environment.
Interestingly, the seaport and Highway projects have attracted 500million Euros for their construction based on Public Private Sectors Participation (PPP) arrangement.
Similarly, the proposed building of China City and Africa’s haulage centre in the state has attracted another 10billion US Dollars from a Chinese Provincial Government on same PPP arrangement.
Government intends to establish three new cities in the three senatorial zones of the state namely Calas Vegas in the South; Centicort City in the Central and Northstradam in the North.
In the preservation of Cross River’s Green Life, Ayade who is a scholar of monumental erudition in Environment led other African Governors to the 2015 summit on Climate Change in Paris, France and made vocal advocacy against the negative effects of climate change in Africa.
Back home, his administration is embarking on the planting of 5million trees in the state to curtail the devastating effects of climate change in the country.
Ayade brought an innovation in the Calabar Carnival by introducing the Green Carnival which was seen in the theme of last year’s carnival-climate change.
The popularity of the Signature Project appears to dwarf the compendium of Governor Ayade’s achievements in virtually every sector of the state’s economy.
Examining Ayade’s dreams and visions for Cross River [page 2]
This is not correct and the true position. The light of Ayade’s visionary leadership shines on every sector.
The 654million naira 80 transformers secured after rigorous bidding procedure was recently commissioned by the Deputy Governor Professor Ivara Esu as part of the purchase of over 200 transformers aimed at generating additional 90megawatts of electricity in the state.
Within a year in office, Governor Ayade has commissioned a four megawatt power turbine electricity generating plant which provides lights in most streets and pipe borne water to more than 3,000 families in Obudu in fulfillment of promise made at his thanksgiving service and a hydro power for water scheme in Ikom.
The first functional monorail in Sub-Saharan Africa which is the ten-coach Calabar monorail has been completed and connects the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort with the Calabar International Convention Centre.
The multi-million dollar Rice City project to produce specie of highly vitamized rice for local consumption and export is under construction in the state in partnership with the Thai-Africa group.
The 5000 seat Calabar International Convention Centre started by his immediate predecessor, Liyel Imoke has been completed by Governor Ayade.
The Calabar Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Company (CALA PHARM) expected to provide about 2,000 jobs on completion is under construction.
The morale of the workers in the state has been boosted through the lifting of ban on employment; prompt and regular payment of workers’ salaries and car loan scheme for the senior civil servants in line with the utilitarian model of giving the greater happiness to the greater number of people.
The Ayade government is embarking on the construction of 5000 housing units and has earmarked 200million for the construction of homes in partnership with Lafarge cement for Bakassi returnees.
The existing primary health care centers across the state are being renovated and equipped; old roads are being rehabilitated while new roads are being constructed in addition to erosion control.
There are very serious incentives to boost the educational sector in the state; a cement factory in Akamkpa will be established before the end of 2016 while farming is seriously being mechanized in the state.
Ayade is indeed a great reformer, change agent and a core democrat who is bringing new things and runs an inclusive government.
His wonderful performance within one year which cannot all be captured in this short space keeps his profile rising every day to the admiration of his people and to the jittery of his enemies who cannot deny his great jobs.
Governor Ayade is adopting the John Locke model of governance which says that government is a trust which the governors hold for and on behalf of the peoples’ good.
Comrade Okadigbo a pro-democracy activist and media practitioner writes from Abuja via email@example.com