From Idongesit Inyang
As a prelude to the forthcoming Carnival Calabar in December this year, Cross River government has staged a second dry run with a charge on the seven bands to interpret the year’s theme to reflect the importance of agriculture in the economy of the state.
This year’s theme is Agro-Industrialization, and Governor Ben Ayade while flagging off the second dry run of the Carnival recently, said he was delighted that his administration’s industrialisation drive has yielded quantum fruits for Cross River.
Represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, Ayade said,”We want to focus this year’s carnival on agro-industrialization and you all know what has been done in that area.”
According to him, “We have established over 30 industries across the state. We thank God that those industries are beginning to function especially as concessionaires have taken possession of them.”
He urged the carnival bands that in trying to elucidate the theme, they should not fail to point out the fact that agro-industrialization means that there must be various raw materials, which must come from agriculture to supply those industries.
The governor maintained that it has become imperative for the state government to place critical emphasis on agriculture to ensure that Cross River continues to produce crops in which it has comparative advantage to enable the industries to function smoothly.
Hear him, “We do not want to remain as raw material producers, we want to grow a step further. Our aim is to leap frog the state from a third world to a first world and I think we are doing so.”
The executive secretary of the Cross River Carnival Commission, Mr Austin Cobham, explained that the second dry run was a prelude to the main event in December.
Cobham said the theme of this year’s carnival has broadened the understanding of locals and the entire country of the economic direction of the Gov Ben Ayade-led administration in Cross River.
He said, “The theme of this year’s carnival, ‘Agro-industrialization, has brought to the understanding of people what this government has done in the area of agriculture and job provision”.