Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has stated that his administration has shelved the idea of privatisation because Cross Riverians seem not to be in tune with the exercise.
Ayade; who stated this during an interactive meeting with journalists in Calabar on Wednesday, said though the exercise to privatise over 34 industries situated across the 18 local government areas was born out of good intention, it has become imperative to make a detour due to popular demand by the people who want the industries to be managed by the government for the meantime.
The Governor admitted that the government has no business running a business, but added that the decision to discontinue the privatisation exercise was a correct decision at this nick of time but may not be a wise one.
He further said that there is need to listen to majority of Cross Riverians who feel that these industries were built with tax payers money and should be managed by the state and nature it for full privatisation in the years ahead.
And to accede to the people’s demand, he said an interim management team would be set up to overseas the affairs of these industries and ensure its funtionality and viability for the meantime for the interest of the state.
He disabused the minds of Cross Riverians on the allegation making the rounds that he wants to sell the industries to his cronies, adding that his aim of industrialising the state is to decouple it from the civil service structure and create employment opportunity for all.
He urged the opposition to engage in constructive criticism and always be positive about development issues rather than embarking on destructive venture that paints the state in black colours.
According to him, his intention is to finish strong and leave the state better than he met it, calling on all stakeholders to think of the state first and the people’s welfare before themselves.
Ayade commended the Fourth Estate of the Realm in the state for its objective reportage and called on them to do more by partnering with the administration in its development strides even as it is faced with huge financial challenges.