The United Nations (UN) has declared Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade as the Champion of Industrialisation in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of the state’s Industrial Policy at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office in Calabar, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Country Representative, Jean Bakole, hailed the governor for his agro-industrial revolution, proclaiming him the “Champion of Industrialisation”.
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The industrial policy is a strategic policy document that aims to ensure inclusive and sustainable development through industrialisation.
It was produced with the technical support of UNIDO.
The official signing of the Cross River State Integrated Trust Fund Agreement with UNIDO also took place at the event.
Bakole said since the global body started the implementation of the country programme in Nigeria in 2018, it had recorded a lot of achievements with Cross River State.
The UNIDO chief attributed these to the governor’s determination to industrialise the state.
“This is a historical day for UNIDO on the industrialisation of the country. For the first time since we have been around the country, we are signing a trust fund agreement with a state in Nigeria.
“We cannot emphasise enough the good industrialisation works of Governor Ben Ayade. We call him a captain of industrialisation in the country. I, therefore, on behalf of UNIDO, proclaim him the Champion of Industrialisation in Nigeria.”
The UNIDO chief recalled that “in 2018, under Governor Ayade’s watch was the first time we organised the celebration of African Industrialisation Day in a state”.
Ayade thanked UNIDO “for identifying with Cross River State and identifying with our ambitions that today they have come to sign an agreement with us, committing themselves to supporting Cross River towards the Agro-Industrialisation that we have started”.
The governor said he was delighted that UNIDO prepared two reports on the state’s industrial policy plan, including the GAP analysis submitted for the Cross River pharmaceutical factory “which is the master plan on the industrialisation of Cross River State, particularly from the Agro-Industrial perspective”.
He expressed optimism that UNIDO, by its report, would also help the state to fast-track the process of getting a World Health Organisation (WHO) certification, which will allow it to export drugs abroad.
“With this GAP analysis and ultimately fulfilling all the recommendations of the GAP analysis, the Cross River Pharmaceutical Factory, which is indeed the only factory in the South of Nigeria, will then be producing drugs to deal with issues that are fundamental to public health, to deal with issues like hunger, poverty, malaria, yellow fever all those public diseases that have always made us to run out seeking for drugs,” Ayade added.
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