Senator Geshom Bassey, representing Cross River Central, has commended Governor Ben Ayade over his tourism initiatives, especially the just concluded Northern Cross River Festival.

Governor Ben Ayade

Bassey, who is the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum, said  Ayade’s progr-ammes will turn around the economic fortune of the state.

He congratulated the governor for introducing the NorthFest to give the people of the area sense of belonging in the state’s tourism development.

On the importance of the programme, he said, “It is a tribute to our governor, Prof. Ben Ayade. We congratulate him for another fresh idea. I think the whole idea is to have balanced tourism offerings in every senatorial district in the state.  “As you know, in Calabar, we have festivals including the Obong of Calabar festival and of course the Calabar Carnival among others. In the Central Senatorial district, we have the yam festival in Ugep which has been taken on as one of the tourism offerings for the state government.

“I think the idea is to also have something at the Northern Senatorial district to complete the other tourism offerings we have in the North. Of course the most famous is the Obudu Cattle Ranch but that is more of a destination but this is a tourism event.

“So, I want to congratulate the State Government and the governor for this innovative thinking and I am sure the NORTHFEST will be a huge success.”

On the performance of the governor in the past two years, he said, “I think the governor has shown that he is a very vibrant guy and hard working. He is in the office and closes very late. So he is a hardworking governor. He has come with a lot of ideas particularly on investment projects that he feels will change the fortunes of the state in terms of internally generated revenue, projects like super highway and the port. The governor is full of ideas.

“ But we also encourage him and he has said that he is going to now focus in the next two years on what he calls low hanging fruits, the bread and butter projects like rural electrification where he has done very extensive studies and about to commence on a massive rural electrification programme.

“He is about to build hospitals in every senatorial district, he is doing a massive rural development projects on rural roads and of course  water, he has entered into negotiations to hand over the state Water Corporation to private sector to run.

“So, in these next two years his focusing is on the fundamental projects, the basic projects that touch the lives of everybody and you will see a huge impact on the lives of Cross Riverians over the next two years.”

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