Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has been awarded the Blueprint Newspaper Governor of the Year award for 2021.
The event took place Thursday at the prestigious Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Ayade clinched the award in recgonition of his giant strides in agro-industrialization.
The Blueprint 10th anniversary/Impact Series and Award is one in a series of awards, having won Vanguard, TELL, Leadership, Businessday, Authority and Champion newspapers awards won by Governor Ayade.
Ayade, the newspaper said, emerged after a highly competitive evaluation process conducted by its board of editors.
The award organisers noted that Ayade singled out for “his relentless and remarkable efforts to create a sustainable economy through aggressive industrialisation with a view to decoupling the state from over reliance on federation allocation, where it earns the second least allocation in the federation.
“According to Blue-Print Newspapers, the award became necessary to recognize Ayade’s “commitment and demonstration of political will in the development of the economy of Cross River State, through massive industrialization which has changed the narrative of the state from a civil service state to an agri-business hub despite limited resources”.
While extolling Ayade’s pragmatic and purposeful transformation in all segments of the state’s socio-economic lives which include industrialization, agriculture, physical infrastructure, education, health care and welfare, the organisers observed that Governor Ayade’s deep vision was responsible for the birthing of numerous completed and on-going industries in the state, leading to the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs with consequential prosperity on the people.
“All these industries, when mainstreamed, are expected to not only turn around the economy of Cross River, wean the state off dependence on monthly federal allocation, but also set her on the path of financial independence”, the organisers said.
Presenting the Best Governor on Agro-Industrialisation award to Ayade, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan commended the governor for showing examplary leadership and sincere commitment to transforming Cross River state.
Thanking the organisers for the award, Governor said: “The import is that it is going to challenge me to do much more for my people and most interestingly, because we are bringing innovations into industrial revolution, particularly in the agric subsection.”
“I think Cross River will have a lot to show for this. Besides, the state has a vast landmass and I think that this award will challenge me to develop more of the landmass and bring food sufficiency to the country.”
Significantly, Governor Ayade said the award “also goes to show that I was right, that APC was the right place and which is why it is ready heralding a lot of good luck and a lot of awards; an indication that it is goodluck all the way.
“I am barely two weeks in the party and I am getting recognitions and I think that is great for me and I think that it’ is also a motivation that I should take advantage of this award and do mire. It highlights the fact that we moved to APC to actually effect the change which is the symbol of our great party”