Contrary to fears that Cross Rivers brown project Tinapa resort and the billions that went into it have gone down the drain, the former economic adviser to he Governor of Cross River State Dr Francis Ntamu says the state planning committee headed by him, came up with a plan to revive Tinapa and other moribund projects in the state.
Dr Ntamu who stressed that government is a continuum while speaking in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Abuja, said the 30 year plan tagged Growth and Development plan 2018- 2048 , contained a blueprint for turning the economic fortunes of the state around with a provision for review every five years.
“You find that there is a common plank that connects the three administrations, after all its one government,government of Cross River state. What we have done is to build upon to ensure that the founders dream on Tinapa, convention center, the Obudu cattle ranch and our agricultural landscape is fulfilled.
Dr Ntamu said the state is blessed with lots of economic opportunities.
“Cross River enjoys the benefits of a blue economy, green economy and a brown economy, which is not common with most subnationals in Nigeria. Most states in Nigeria are not bound by water like Cross River which gives us opportunity for fishing, Maritime transportation ,shipping and others”.
Commenting on the numerous projects of the Ben Ayade Administration which some refer to as unrealistic, Ntamu says the projects are not only feasible but going concerns providing employment for indigenes. He said the garment factory produces uniforms for paramilitary and others.
“The garment factory is providing opportunities for over 500 workers. If you scale beyond that,there is the hybrid teachers training college Biased which is redefining teachers training education in the form and manner that collaboration is reached already with the NTI.
Talking about other massive infracstructural development which are on the back of public private partnership arrangement. Cross River is one of the few States in Nigeria with institutional arrangements for public private partnership”.
In the area of agriculture, he said the state has achieved a lot in the past four years ,following its blueprint has provided for a seamless process from farm to Market.
“There is connection between the farmers , the midstream players, the processing, packaging and upstairs to the market as the case may be using a guided regime.The same has been done with other commodities like banana.
If you look at the rice mill, all of a sudden, Criss River within this administration has become the cornerstone, the destination for rice production. The rice seedling factory is now feeding a lot of states across Nigeria with improved disease resistant rice seedlings. We have a massive rice mill in Ogoja.
“Those familiar with Ogoja will appreciate that before now, due to the collapse of Bansara mill, rice from Ogoja was milled in the neighboring states like Ebony,Abakiliki such that UNIDO had to fund a new factory.
Responding to Fears that the projects will increase the debt profile of the state, Dr Ntamu said the type of partnerships being formed are equity investments which provides for investors to recoup their moneys from the yields of the project.
He stressed that there should be inclusion in policy making to ensure that the actual needs of the people are met. He also stressed the need for laws and legislations backing the blue prints as well as synergy between MDA’s and agencies involved in policy implementation to ensure actualization of plans. Cross River state according to him has enacted laws backing their PPP arrangements, as well as a Bureau for public, private partnerships.
Dr Francis Ntamu , currently the MD/ CEO PPP chapels has a Doctorate degree in economics with a background as private sector specialist with the African development bank.