The Organized Private Sector, OPS, in Cross River State, is charging state governor, Ben Ayade to come up with an economic blueprint to revive the state’s ailing economy, as his administration approaches her one hundred days in office.
A press statement which contained this demand was issued yesterday, August 3, 2015, by the Executive Secretary, Calabar Chamber of Commerce, Kenneth Asim Ittah on behalf of the Chamber President, Thelma Bello and the Organized Private Sector in the state made up of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, MAN, National Association of Small & Medium Enterprises, NASME, and the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists, NASSI.
OPS congratulated “the new government on reaching 100 days in office and its widely publicized signature projects; the deep sea port, the super highway and garment factory, and extended its best wishes to the governor and all Cross Riverians, calling for good governance, better expenditure quality, constructive spending priorities, transparency in the governance process, enhanced security of life and property, investment friendly policies, promotion of democratic ideals and the primacy of the rule of law”.
It also stated that “the blueprint was required at this critical time to define the policy directions of the new administration, as members of the organized private sector”, adding that the OPS would be waiting for its release to enhance their strategic planning, investment decisions and investors’ confidence.
Additionally, it continues, “Now that the administration has had 100 days to settle and onboard itself, the private sector eagerly awaits Governor Ayade’s economic blueprint that would define the policy directions of his administration and the immediate constitution of an executive council to drive the administration’s policies and plans”.
“It is very critical for a clear policy objective, strategic plan & investment direction to be crafted for the state in order to enhance and promote private sector investment decisions and investors’ confidence. Major business decisions have been put on hold over the past eight months because of the political risk associated with a transition regime. The first half of the year was characterized by deep uncertainty which slowed down the momentum of economic activities in the state. This new political dispensation offers the state a huge opportunity to bring about the desired change in all facets of our lives – the economy, socio-political climate, quality of life, value orientation and governance quality”.
It came clear that, “Gov. Ayade’s administration currently enjoys tremendous goodwill due to his pro-business and pro-people stance and we urge him to take full advantage of this goodwill to immediately commence the charting of a new course for the state’s economy. Four years is a very short time and the clock has been ticking”.
Bello hopes that in the next couple of days, the organized private sector would like to see the unveiling of a blueprint and a clear roadmap especially in agricultural sector reforms, interventions in ailing infrastructures like roads, healthcare, housing and education sectors, investment drives and incentives for attracting private sector investments.
According to the President, the OPS also will like to see a concerted intervention from the government and the private sector in the long protracted dredging of the Calabar port channel.
Other areas the Organized Private Sector would like government to release guiding directions are, sectoral policies – to drive growth and economic diversification; key initiatives – to reduce the cost of doing business; creation of jobs; meeting contractual obligations, outstanding contractor and salary arrears and security of lives and property in the State.
The statement finally submits thus,” clarity in respect of the above was very crucial to the economic restructuring of the state, since the momentum of economic activities need to be rebuilt in earnest and urgently”.
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