My dream for Cross River State is to see the state liberated from economic slavery. A state that is striving, booming in terms of development, economic, human, capacity and mental growth.
My desire for Cross River State is to see a state that is out of educational backwardness. It is on record that no nation can do well without a solid educational foundation. Singapore did it, Lee Kuan Yew set the standard and today, Singapore is reaping the effort of just one man. Cross River University of Technology and ITM Ugep must be given the needed attention they deserve to function well.
I desire to see a state that has a working health sector. We have what it takes to move Cross River State to the next level. Like I have always said, Cross River must delve into medical tourism. We have the Marina Resort, the Agbokim Water Falls, Tinapa, Carnival Calabar, Oban Hills, all within Calabar. We do not have any excuse of saying the distance is either far to access the ranch or other parts of the state. We can make do of what we have. Our General Hospital in Calabar can be made into a world class medical outfit where we can treat terminal diseases such as; Prostate Cancer, Kidney Failure and Transplant, Liver, Heart Transplant, Glaucoma, IVF (For women) , Fibroid, Ovarian Cancer, a diagnostic center and many more.
Believe you me, if we focus on just the General Hospital Calabar, Cross River State would bounce back in terms of Tourism. Like we are aware, our sister state, Akwa Ibom, has delved into almost all we held close to our chest.
Today, they have a standard hospital, a world class stadium, Airport and good roads. For us to attract visitors into the state and boost our IGR, we must immediately focus on Medical Tourism. Like we are aware, Nigeirans travel all over the world just to access good healthcare, but with an affordable and quality health system, our country men and women would throng into the state and those from neighboring countries too can have access to quality health services and relaxation.
The Cross River State of my dream is one that needs a railway from Calabar to the Northern part of the state. A speed train. I am not in any means saying the vision of the Governor in building a super highway is out of place. But rather than build a super highway, what we need is a train that runs very fast. We can build a rail track to Cross River North and down the ranch, while having terminals in say Ikom and Ogoja. Not forgetting to negotiate with the Federal Government for the repair of our already existing road. That way, it saves cost and time.
The good people of Cross River State are industrious, as a young man, I have had the privilege of interfacing with many people and I feel sorry for my state. We do not need to work too hard, what we need is to package the Bakassi fish and cray fish into a world class fish and crayfish. We can have our fish in big stores across the country and even export them to neighbouring countries. Packaging the Bakassi fish and Cray fish is one we must do. Stores like Shop rite, Next Cash and Carry, Spar, other food stores can buy from us. Nothing would gladden my heart more than walking into a mall say in Abuja or Lagos and seeing Bakassi fish , Ogoja yam, Ogoja rice, Ugep garri, Bekwarra Vegetable Oil, Ikom Beverage or Okpoma salt.
The issue of roads is one we can work on the existing roads by probably patching them or going into rural roads. Also, rural electrification is very important, my home Egbe-Mbube is in darkness and it pains me when I go to my village and see that we do not have a road or electricity. These very simple things are what the people of the state need.
With a functional and reliable security system, we need not worry much. I was perplexed recently when the state was thrown in a cult bath. And a very fine young man in my home Ogoja, Modey, was killed. Never again must we loose fine young men and women as a result of cultism and other social vices in the state. The security of the lives of our people must be Paramount and it is not negotiable at all.
Prince Thomas Abi Jr.