Otu Shares Reform Strategies With Diplomats, Development Partners

Cross River State Governor, Senator Bassey Otu, has presented his administration’s reform strategies, actions and economic indices to a gathering of diplomats, policy makers and investments drivers with the aim to attract and create more development opportunities in the state.

In a presentation during an “Executive Governor’s Roundtable” summit, with the theme: “Building Cooperation for a Better Today and a Resilient Future” held on Tuesday at Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, Otu revealed that Cross River State is loaded with opportunities for cooperation which cut across sectors such as infrastructure; healthcare; education; social development and humanitarian services; agribusiness; commerce and industry; manufacturing; solid minerals; oil and gas; tourism; and hospitality.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Nsa Gill, the event was the first in a series of engagements planned by the State to build strong collaborative ties with the Diplomatic Community and Development Partners towards a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.

The Governor had in audience the High Commissioner of Canada, James Christoff; Belgium Embassy’s Ambassador Leenknegt; French Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission, Mr Jean-Francois Hasperue; India High Commission, Mr G. Balasubramanian; Ambassador, State of Israel in Nigeria, Michael Freeman; Norwegian Embassy’s, Minister Counselor and Deputy Head of Mission, Ms Kristin Waeringsaase; development partners’ representatives as well as Federal and State Government functionaries.

“We have completely keyed into the Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda, aligning it with our administration’s People’s First Agenda,” Otu said.

“We are negotiating with the federal government to take over the over 600 megawatts power plant located at Ikot Nyong in Odukpani Local Government Area in the state, capitalising on the recently signed Electricity Law. It will establish our energy efficiency for development.

“Besides, there is a state-owned 33- megawatts power plant in the northern part of the state, and in the next six months, the state will draw gas pipeline supply to the plant,” he said.

He maintained his administration’s commitment to ensuring Energy security, achieving set targets and promoting policies that would strengthen the institutions of government.

“We are committed to revolutionising the state agriculture sector. We have recently completed the soil mapping of the entire state. So potential investor in that area can operate with informed data on the soil type and arability for cultivation.”

He thanked the participants for honouring the invitations and thereafter committed himself to a boardroom meetings where teams from Israel, Canada, India, Brazil, NEXIM Bank, UNIDO, USAID met with him and discussed concrete terms of collaborations and partnerships.

There were also two presentations during the Roundtable on “Cross River State Development Proposition and Roadmap” by Dr. Bong Duke, the Executive Vice Chairman of the State Planning Commission.

A presentation on “PPP Opportunities: Framework and Institutional Arrangements” was also made by Dr. Francis Ntamu, the Director-General of Cross River State Bureau for Public Private Partnerships.

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