By Emma Unah
FORTY-six industries and companies established by Senator Ben Ayade the Cross River State governor between 2015 to 2021 have been earmarked for privatisation.
These industries include high-profile ones like the multi-billion naira Cocoa Processing Industry at Ikom, the Rice Processing Factory at Ogoja, the Cally Air Airlines, a pharmaceutical company in Calabar among others.
An aide to the Governor on Privatization, Mr John Odo, who made this known on Tuesday while inaugurating a seven-man technical committee to collate and analyse results of the referendum organised to sensitise and seek the option of the public on the privatisation exercise said, unlike previous administrations which carried out the sale of government companies and assets without seeking public opinion, the Ayade government is raising the bar by asking the people to have a say on the exercise.
“There are three options in the questionnaire and these are complete privatization, government/private sector partnership, and government complete ownership of our industries. I call on people of the state who are interested in owning any of these industries to form cooperatives or engage technical partners to take ownership of the industries which are our commonwealth.”
He said extensive sensitisation has been carried out by reaching out to traditional institutions, religious organisations, trade unions, organised labour, and student bodies with large volumes of responses being received both online and print from members of the public.
“The privatisation council has extended an invitation to our Advisor, KPMG and relevant MDAs namely, Due Process and Price Intelligence Bureau, State Auditor General, State’s Bureau of Statistics and Investment Promotion Bureau and Public-Private Partnership to witness and as well monitor the exercise’
Onah said the Privatisation exercise will be very transparent and the public would be kept informed of development regularly to clear any grey areas.
“We will follow due process and observe right privatization methods to ensure our core investments are not abandoned post-privatisation so that generations yet unborn can benefit from our resources.”
He called on the technical committee to speed up the process for the collation, analysis, and submission of the survey results.