Cross River State House of Assembly has called for immediate privatisations of all government industries for efficiency and income generation.
The lawmakers said government has not done very well in running industries and enterprises in the state, adding that government has no business doing business.
Moving the motion calling on the government of Cross River to privatise state-owned industries on Wednesday, the member representing Ogoja State Constituency, Mr. Peter Odey, said almost all the state-owned industries are not functioning either are they yielding any income and therefore should be privatised.
The House Leader said it was his belief that if the industries in the state were privatisation it would be better to do business with private investors.
He lamented that investments in Garment factory and Tinappa Business and Leisure Resort have not yielded any dividends till date.
He said: “Transcorp, Unicem and Flower Mill were all privatised, today, they are all doing well. The House should set up a privatisation council to advise the House on how to go about the privatisation of the cocoa factory, the rice seedling factory, Calapharm and other newly created industries by the governor of the state.
“The state should seek core investors who specialise in different areas to invest in the industries in the state where they have expertise in.
“We must start looking beyond 2023, what if the next administration comes into power and does not follow the blueprint of this present administration, it means all the monies invested in these industries are gone”, he stated.
Supprting the motion, Mr. Friday Okpechi, member representing Obubura 1 State Constituency and co-sponsor of the motion, urged the House to be ready for criticism.
Okpechi noted that many people would criticise the House of wanting to sell government establishments to themselves but it was important to privatise the industries in the state as many of them have become moribund.
“Today, Water Board is not running the way it should because government business is no man’s business, hence, we see the lackadaisical attitude of people.
“We will have a lot of stones thrown at us for the privatisation of the industries in the state but i strongly believe that if this House align with the executive to privatise these ventures, it will be of immense benefit to the state”, he said.
Other members of the House who supported the motion said all over the world, government does not do business, they only created policies that allow businesses to thrive.
They said state government should go back and look at the privatisation law passed in the state in 2001 and commence effective privatisation of the old and new industries in the state to raise money to cater for social amenities.
They however, warned that if industries in the state would be privatised, it should be done with sincerity of purpose and honesty.
Also supporting, the Speaker of the Assembly, Eteng Williams, said that some of the structures the state is trying to build is not achievable owing to the dwindling revenue of the state.
“The Garment Factory alone takes between N18 to N20 million monthly to maintain and pay salaries yet the state is not getting anything from it.
“There is a need for us to act now because when this government leaves in 2023, what will be left for our children.
After the debate, House Committee on privatisation qas mandated to look into the matter and report to the committee of the whole.