Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, recently completed and delivered the first phase of a housing estate to residents of Bakassi area of the state.
The state government said the provision of the housing estate was to improve the people’s standard of living and ameliorate the hardship suffered by them
This is even as the governor has made a provision of N50 million take-off grant for operators in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) aimed at boosting the operations of the sector in the state.
Lamenting the neglect suffered by the Bakassi people, the governor said: “I am shocked that with all the lawyers we have in this country, with all the civil rights movements, they watch as my people, the people of Bakassi, bleed and live where they fetch water, defecate on the same land, feed on the same land, with no hope. Yet the country allocates billions to elitist projects and programmes.”
Ayade who was upbeat about the housing estate – Ayade Social Housing Estate – in Ifiano Ayong, Bakassi Local Government Area, enthused that it was his number one project, noting that God had given him an opportunity to put a smile on some faces.
“I could see a grandma dancing to her new home. I could see the hope; I could see that her grandchild will have a feeling that truly African leadership cares.
“Because we care, even from the little the state has, we have to demonstrate the empathy, the show of love and concern for our brothers.
“This is the first social housing in Africa in absolute terms where the ownership is in perpetuity and the property is yours; it is yours to keep forever and ever. I think that if there is anything I have done that is worth it, it is this project.”
“Let’s use today as a day to tell a story, a reverse of all that has been your experience; that finally, you have a home called your own, you have a house that is yours, you can get a C of O.
“This is not shelter. This is housing. It means it has amenities, it has power, it has water; it has all the utilities you would need. You have solar lighting, you have generator, you have the national grid.”
The governor promised to expand the estate to accommodate more people.
Governor Ayade announced the provision of a take-off grant of N50 million to Bakassi residents to support those interested in starting small businesses.
He equally announced the acquisition of fishing boats for the residents engaged in artisanal fishing.