Dear Hon Commissioners,
I write to Congratulate you all on your swearing in as Honorable Commissioners of Cross River State. I wish to commend Governor Ben Ayade for carefully picking you all as his cabinet men that will move CRS from third world to first world. Let me also remind you all my Honorable Commissioners that you people were chosen out of the multitude to serve our dear State because of you all are perceived to be men and women of content and character who have what it takes to move Cross River State higher to the next level of our developmental struggle. And so I charge you all to work for the growth of our State and speedily too.
Hon Commissioners, let me remind you all that there is no time for merriment. The task ahead is daunting. The people of CRS expect to see remarkable changes in the months ahead. I also commend some of you who have hit the ground running by resuming into your new offices. That is a good start. But in assuming your new responsibilities, I urge you all to set your goals, aims and objectives and achieve them in record time.
You all must understand that if Governor Ayade fails to deliver his promises to the good people of CRS, it is you people that have failed. I urge you all to bring bold and big ideas to the table. Our State today is in dire need of money. It is expected that as Commissioners, you all will bring your experience to bear by sourcing for investors and bringing innovative projects that are aimed at boosting the CRS economy.
Sirs/Madam, the CRS people over the years have been branded as civil servants and as such the State has been called a civil service State. As the captain of your various ministry, it is your responsibilities to champion a course that will leverage the Cross River People.
The Honorable Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Anthony Eneji, you can recall that we had an extensive discussion on the needs of the people of the State. Our State has a lot of Agriculture produce, ranging from Cocoa, groundnut, palm oil, cassava, rice and many more. I will expect that the groundnut in your home local government be converted into vegetable oil. The CRS cocoa has been poorly utilized and taken to Ondo. Sir, please, work out measures that cocoa can be packaged into tins and sold in large quantities. Let me also draw your attention to the large rice deposit in Bansara and some other parts of the State. It is now on record that Cross River State is set to have the first rice city in Africa. I plead that you set up programmes on how our young men and women can fit into the rice project. I also urge you to package and brand the Cross River rice into appreciable forms that can be eported to other countries of the world. Prof. Eneji, we do have a lot of palm oil, cassava, I plead that special attention be given to oil palm in the state. The cassava in the State needs to be packaged into flour. We need not waste our resources. It is your responsibility as a sholar, to help bring your health of experience to bear for the betterment of Cross River State.
The Hon Commissioner for Education, Hon. Godwin Ettah, you are believed to be a man of high moral rectitude. A vibrant and intelligent man who has produced two first class graduates in your household. Sir, we hope to see Cross River students coming out with first class. We need you to help change the syllabus in schools in Cross River State. We need to see practicals been taught in our primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Laboratories, libraries and other equipments been provided in schools in the State. Proper and good learning environment for our students. Scholarships to the best brains in the State. And many more. Education remains the bedrock of any society and so I urge you to help improve the standard of education in State. Please deliver Sir.
Dr. Inyang Asibong, you have a lot of expertise in public health and have worked with many international agencies. Please, we need to see our hospitals been able to carry out heart transplant, kidney, liver, orthopaedic, IVF, oncology, ENT treatment in the State and many more. We need to see CRS shining in terms of medicals. We need to see more health centers in the State. General hospitals in the State having up to date equipments. Well trained doctors and other medical personnel in our health sector. There is also the need to key into medical tourism. The State is well known to be a tourism destination and it is only natural that we improve our health facilities for tourist to come for medical tourism in the State. I beseech you to work closely with the governor in order to achieve the vision of putting Cross River in the world map with other developed nations of the world.
The Calabar Carnival is already here. The Honorable Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Mike Eraye. You are known to be a man with a sound background in environmental issues. I plead that you work swiftly towards keeping our streets green and clean. We need to have a dirt free carnival. There is also the need to look into the erosion that has eaten most parts of the State. Riverines have taken over our once most cleanest city in Nigeria. Sir, I charge you to carry out an environmental impact accessment of the State. You have to also work closely with the Executive Secretaries of Urban development areas in the State. Set your goals and achieve them in record time Sir. We need a clean and green Environment in the State in the months ahead.
Recently Cross River State has been covered with a lot of potholes. From Calabar to the hills of Obanlikwu, the State is surrounded with potholes. Honorable Commissioner for works, Engr. Osim Asu, you need to work assiduously in saving our people from dying of road accidents. The Carnival Calabar is here with us. Please speedily carry out repairs on our roads. Our streets and towns are now death traps for commuters. I plead that you bring in your team of engineers immediately into the field. You need to work in order to put CRS on the world map.
The Honorable Commissioner for youth, Mr. Asu Okang, let me say a big congratulations to you on your appointment as Commissioner for youth. My brother, Asu, you have to work. You need to revive the ministry of youth and sport. You to bring in young men and women who are savvy as your think tanks to help you pilot the affairs of your new ministry. You need to carry out sporting activities. You need to be vocal. You need to speak for the youths of the State. Let me remind you that our sporting facilities are not functional. The Calabar stadium needs some work, the Ogoja stadium has long been abandoned, the Ikom stadium needs to be revived. There is the need for youths to trained on skill, appreciable skill that are technical based. You need to also work closely with the Commissioners for gas, petroleum and solid mineral on ways on our youth can be absorbed in these ministries. Better still, trained in these areas. My brother, you have to also work with the student bodies, National youth council of Nigeria, civil societies and youths from CRS who have what it takes to add value to our State. My brother, you are the face of the young men and women in our dear State. You must work hard and fast too.
Our State today needs to be rebranded in terms of the proliferation of Information. Honorable Commissioner for Information, Mrs Rosemary Archibong, you need to quickly safe CRBC and the Nigeria Chronicle from dying. You need to digitalize the ministry. It is very unfortunate that our State still highly analog. You need to provide modern equipments for CRBC and the Nigeria Chronicle. Let me draw your attention the hard truth that the ministry has failed to deliver in the past. CRBC has not been able to proliferate information in every quarter in the State. Please you need to work. You need to put our State on the world map. Do not fail us. There is also the need to sell government programmes and also holding regular press briefing with the press. You are the mouth piece of governor Ayade, you must handle disseminate information timely and accurately Ma’am.
Most parts of the State are still in darkness. It is the desire of the Governor Ayade led administration to electrify the State. My boss, friend and brother, Hon Thomas Udam, let me bring to your notice that some villages in the State are in darkness. My own village is darkness. I plead that you set your goals, targets, and achieve them in good time. You need to source for investors that would develop our power sector. You need to bring investors that would build an independent power plant in the State. You need to provide transformers for communities in darkness. I have always known you to be a vibrant man and I am very optimistic that you will achieve great milestone. We hope to see steady electricity in the State as you hit the ground running. I will advise that you work with the minister of power by creating a synergy between your ministry and the federal ministry of power. It will yield great fruits Sir.
The CRS Laws are very obsolete and requires to be reviewed. Hon Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Joe Abang, it is the desire of the Cross River people to see you enforcing the law as the chief defender of the law in the State. You have to aid the speedy judgement of crimes. This will help in decongesting our prisons. I trust that you are going to perform.
Cross River State needs money. Honorable Commissioner for finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong. Please you need to bring your experience to bear. You need to source for funds for our State. You need give Governor Ayade financial advice that will leverage our dear State. You have done very well in the private sector, please boost our economy quickly.
Leaving Calabar and heading to other parts of the State, we do not have taxis. Hon Commissioner for Transport, Hon Savior Nyong, I plead that your ministry provides means of transportation for our people. The State need taxis in the northern and central parts of the State. You need to create a means of providing car loans and tricycle loans for our people. It is very important you that in order to aid the ease movement of people in the State.
Cross River State is blessed with so many solid minerals. Hon Commissioner for Solid minerals. Hon George O’ben Etchi, you have to help diversify the Cross River economy by properly utilizing and making good use of the solid mineral potentials in the State. You need to carryout a thorough survey on the solid minerals. Lest you forget, the solid minerals in the State has the capacity to leverage Cross River State. And so, you must work, you must make a difference.
The people of Cross River hope to see remarkable and speedy transformation in the months ahead.
I trust God has brought you all for the emancipation of mankind.
I wish you all well and a successful tenure as Commissioners.
Prince Thomas Abi Jr.
Is a Public Affair Analyst /Social Commentator