[By ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar]
The Cross River State governor Ben Ayade has challenged the pioneer students of the state’s fabrication academy to build flyovers and a local refinery in the state.
The governor made the challenge in Calabar while commissioning the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa in Calabar.
The academy, which is state government owned, will take off with N400 million as well as 500 pioneer students.
The governor stressed that the academy will bridge the dearth of skilled manpower in the state and
decried the practice where skilled jobs and construction projects are outsourced.
He hope that with the setting up of the academy the trend will be reversed.
He said: “The state is going to challenge the first 500 students to build a flyover at the MCC junction and another one within the school.
“I want the academy to fabricate the first 100 percent indigenous refinery.
“I went to the Odukpani junction where we are building the spaghetti flyover and none of the engineers and iron benders were from the state.
“No tiller during the construction phase of the garment factory was from the state.
“Who are the people who are going to run the factories we are building, where are the skilled men, are we going to set up factories and allow others to come and run these factories.”
The governor said skill is the key and the future has moved from intellectualism to action.
Ayade, who said that he will also learn a skill in the academy, stressed that the factory is not for those who are educated but for those who want to be employers of labour.
The Commissioner for youth development and skill acquisition said the academy will reduce the threat of insecurity, hunger and deprivation.
He added that the sustenance of the factories the governor has set up will be derived from the skills derived from the academy.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Professor Comfort Obi said the academy will give youths in the state the opportunity of a lifetime.
Obi, who was represented by Professor Mike Okom called on youths to take advantage of the academy, which will be the tangential hub to supply every industry in the state.