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Gov. Otu Vows To Make Agriculture Backbone Of C’River

Cross River State Governor, Sen. Bassey Edet Otu, has pledged to make farming the mainstay of Cross River’s economy.

Otu made the commitment after he received fact-finding committee’s report on the activities of ENG-HAUT rubber industries limited in Calabar.

The Secretary of the committee, Barr David Amlye presented the report on behalf of the Chairman of the committee, Major General Okoi Ubi Obono (Rtd).

Governor Otu, has assured that his administration is committed to ensuring that the rich agricultural endowment of the state is developed.

“We will make agriculture our mainstay,” the Governor said.

Recall that Otu had set up a committee to look into the activities of ENG-HAUT Rubber Industries Limited, at Uyanga in Akamkpa LGA.

Again, the governor recalled when Oil Palm, Rubber and Cocoa farming were the mainstay of the country’s economy.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Nsa Gill, made this known via WhatsApp post on Thursday April 25, 2024.

Also, he said the era of Sir Michael Okpara, the late Premier of the defunct Eastern Region, centered on farming including the present-day Cross River state.

For instance, he said when a renowned state like Cross River had agriculture as the mainstay of economy, all the potential of the rubber plantations, oil palm and cocoa endowments were fully operational and profitable.

Thus, he expressed confidence that his administration could rejuvenate the past glories.

While thanking the fact-finding committee, Otu noted that what they did, would have impact beyond the current generation.

Above all, he has promised to critically look into their report and recommendations, with a view to ensure steps are taken to turn around the fortunes of the industry.

Meanwhile, the committee’s chairman Maj Gen. Obono Rtd. told the governor that ENG-HAUT rubber industries limited owed the state over N178 million for non-payment of ground rent dating back to 2006.

Afterward, the committee made six-point recommendations, suggesting the revocation of the Right of Occupancy, by invoking the Sections 1 and 28 of the Land Use Act of 1978.

The committee also suggested that due process be followed in acquiring the company’s land.

Again, it said the amount should be deducted from the accumulated ground rent owed the state government by Eng-Haut rubber industries limited, but where compensation was to be paid.

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