By: Louisa Tatey,CRS-MOI Officer reporting from Min. of Commerce

In a concerted effort to re-awaken the consciousness of the business community in the State to the many investment opportunities of Maritime sector in enhancing Economic growth, the Cross River State Government, has  organised an  enlightenment seminar tagged " Promoting Economic Growth through Export and Maritime Business"

The programme , which was packaged by the Ministry of Commerce In partnership with Calabar Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture,took place at the Conference Hall, Prof.Eyo Ita House, Calabar.

In her remarks, the Commissioner for Commerce, Mrs. RoseMary Archibong, said  the enlightenment seminar, was the maiden outing of the Ministry of Commerce In line with Governor Ayade’s vision of emancipating Crossriverians aimed at changing the people's mentality of monthly salary based expectation,to ensuring that Crossriverians get involved in the non oil and gas sector.

The Commissioner, maintained that the industrialisation drive of Governor Ben Ayade, made it essential for the creation of the Ministry of Commerce In order to underscore the expediency of getting Cross River people involved in regional and International marketing adding that the  Ayade-led Administration has set up so many Industries across the State, informing that most of this Industries, have  started yielding fruits like the Tooth pick factory, , the Rice seedling Multiplication Industry and the Garment factory which has been contracted to supply a huge  number of NYSC Uniforms amongst others.

Mrs Archibong ,stressed that the  enlightenment seminar,was meant to energize and also get the public more informed on the dynamics of Port busibesses  as the State  plays host to the Calabar Port and is also endowed  with various types of exportable goods and services.

She also said "we must know the opportunities and possibilities of various levels of  Port businesses so that Crossriverians, having seen what the Governor has put  in place, as a gate way to prosperity would be well informed and also be in a better position to embrace all the Commercial avenues that are available".

The Commerce Commissioner called on the Federal Government to speed up the dredging of the Calabar Port and also hasten the completion of various roads construction especially the Calabar-Itu Ikot Ekpene road that leads to the South Eastern part of the Country where there is so much commercial actives going on and also the Calabar - Ikom-Ogoja-Katsina Ala roads to ensure more corridors of realising the many commercial commodities not only to other States but also to other Countries in the sub region.

In his declaration address, the Chairman, Cross River State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, Hon.Chris Njar Mbu, who was also the Chairman of the event,  said he was delighted to be part of the seminar,which was the first of its kind in the State,and commended the Commissioner for Commerce,Mrs RoseMary Archibong, for  keying  into Governor Ayade's quest on economic emancipation of Cross River State.

Hon.Njar also informed that  he gave primacy to the event, because  the Commissioner for Commerce,was associated with the event, adding that  with  such a good outing, Crossriverians, will be  assured that the economy of the State, is resting on the right shoulder.

He further  stated that  with the  synergy of the Ministry of Commerce, NPA and CALCCIMA the State  economy,will be  boosted  in no distant time and hinted that  in line with the  emancipation resolve of the State Government, a certain  number of  youths in the State,will be  empowered  through the Green-Money innitiative  to go into Agriculture  as the Government  has promised to be off takers  of their various produce.

The Lawmaker extended a hand of  friendship  to all Stakeholders especially those in the Maritime sector,  promising  that the State will  partner the Maritime  sector to ensure that the sector, is moved to  a robust state where Crossriverians, would benefit from the sector's activities.

In his Goodwill  message, the Port Manager,   Calabar Port, Mrs.Marie Asien,  congratulated the Commissioner on her appointment, and described  her as an amazon  who has served the State creditably tin different various capacities

The Port Manager, who was represented by the Head,Corporate and  Strategic  Communication,NPA Calabar,Dr. Chijioke  Ukadike, commended  Governor Ayade’s  commitment  towards the transportation  sector and highlighted  Ayade’s  history  on   transport infrastructure  to include;  the Ayade  Motors,as well as  the  super  highway and Deep Sea Port which were the key signature projects of his first  tenure.
Dr. Ukadike maintained that  such events,  was apt as it will go a long way to expose the youths and Crossriverian  in general, to the  opportunities  that  lie beyond the  shores of Nigeria  as well as avail them  the opportunity to  target   best products  for export.

He also hinted  of plans  to get some major Cameroon  based  cement  factories to   seek for  raw materials  (clinker) from Cross River State in order to boost the State economy,emphasizibg that  the raw materials  has  been found  to be surplus in the State.

Dr. Ukadike,called on the Federal Government, to  step up  trade relations  and activities  with African  Countries  along the Golf of Guinea  in order to enhance  our revenue,promising  to convey all  reports concerning the event, to his Boss.

The maiden seminar, featured  renowned  guest speakers  drawn  From the  Ministry  of  Women Affairs, Ministry  of Solid Minerals, Ministry  of  Agriculture   the Director.General Trade and Investment Promotion as well as the Private sector.

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