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Senator Professor Benedict Bengiousheye Ayade, governor of Cross River State was neither born great nor had greatness thrust upon him. But with so much resilience, he toiled, strived and persevered to achieve greatness.
Born in a sleepy village of Kakum in Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State, on March 2nd, 1968 to Pa. Peter Akinsheye Ayade, a public servant with the Water Board and wife Beatrice, both of whom were devout Catholics, little Benedict began his early formal education at St. Stephen’s Primary School Obudu, from where he proceeded to the then famous Government Secondary School, Obudu.
In Obudu, where he grew up among his rural folks, young Ben witnessed searing pain, grinding poverty, frustration and privation first hand. He learned how to run in the bush hunting games with his peers.
Extraordinarily brilliant, deeply focused and resolutely determined, Ben excelled in his secondary education and in no time secured admission into the nation’s prestigious and premier university, the University of Ibadan, to study Microbiology, where he bagged an MSc.
With his yet insatiable appetite for learning, Ben enrolled for a PhD and capped it up with a PhD in Environmental Microbiology, winning the Best Doctoral Dissertation Award in Environmental Microbiology from 1990 to 1994.
With his appointment as a professor at the Delta State University, Abraka, there was no looking back for the consummate scholar, teacher, inventor, accomplished politician and philanthropist. Like a Prophet without honour at home, Professor Ayade’s research interest in global warming in Africa took the world by storm. He would later be invited and honoured by the Japanese government for what was famously adjudged as “an outstanding research” coming from Africa. The significance of this award was that it served as a watermark of his outstanding scholarship at the University of Ibadan, where the authorities had a decade earlier, adjudged Professor Ayade’s doctoral research as “ground breaking”. For his howling and outstanding performance in office in just two years as governor of Cross River State, he was conferred with the Vanguard Man of the Year on March 11, 2017.
Having left an inimitable mark in business and the academia, the stage was perfectly set for an odyssey into politics. His political voyage earned for him an appointment as Chairman of the State ecological fund, Chairman International Institute of Environmental Research and a member of the State Poverty Alleviation Board.
Consolidating on this distinguished service, Professor Ben Ayade took the political stage by storm, when in April 2011, he decided to throw his hat into the ring to contest the senate seat on the platform of the PDP.
Regarded as a dark horse, he trounced other candidates to the seat to become a senator representing the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State in the 7th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
With so much yet to offer his people by way of service, Ayade dared to dare by leaving lawmaking to take on the daunting task of governing a state like Cross River.
Running on the PDP platform, Ayade beat all other contestants and won as governor in the April 2015 governorship election.
With a successful business spanning construction, transportation and hospitality industry, among others, followers of his brand of politics which he tags “Politics with Ethics”, believe that Professor Ayade’s adventure into politics is actuated more by his unquenchable passion to give back to the people.
As a philanthropist, Ayade is a man full of empathy and therefore, is usually propelled to lend a shoulder for others to lean on.
A leader with an I-can-do-spirit, his abiding philosophy is that once you put your soul above your problem, your body will follow through. It is this attitude and thinking that has so far helped in his successful and resourceful management of the state culminating in a medley of titles as “Salary Master”, “Promise Keeper”, “Labour Friendly Governor”, “Investors Friendly Governor”, “Environmentally Friendly Governor”, among others.
Given his styling leadership quality that has enthroned good governance in the state in just two years, Governor Ben Ayade recently bagged the award of Vanguard Newspaper as well as Tell Magazine Governor of the Year, 2016 respectively among others.
Ben is happily married with children to Dr. (Mrs.) Linda Ayade.
His hobbies include reading, playing or watching games and dancing.
BORN : 1968
PROFILE : Prof. Ben Ayade
weburl : https://www.govbenayade2019.org
PROF. AYADE QUOTES
QUOTES FROM A VISIONARY LEADER
Put your soul above your problem and your body will follow
----- Prof Ben Ayade
The sweetest retaliation is reverse vengeance
------- Prof Ben Ayade
Failure is the other side of success. Just flip it
----- Prof Ben Ayade
Every obstacle is a spectacle. Just tackle it
----- Prof Ben Ayade
Anything money cannot fix the intellect would fill
----- Prof Ben Ayade
Success and failure share the same start .The end of one is the start of the other ----- Prof Ben Ayade
You are only defeated by difficulties you acknowledge
----- Prof Ben Ayade
There is strength in restrain
----- Prof Ben Ayade
COCOA PROCESSING PLANT
COCOA PROCESSING PLANT
Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, started a 30000 tonnes per anum cocoa processing plant in Ikom.
equipment for the plant is already been delivered, and the governor has said the factory will soon be ready for commissioning.
While inspecting the project, the governor said “I am really impressed. As you can see, intellectual money is on display here. From what I have seen, the contractors deserve excellent pats on the back. This is what we call commitment and consistency,” the governor remarked.
He said the plant has the capacity to process cocoa beans to chocolate bars.
“Again, we are going to be the first in Africa as this is the first cocoa processing plant that will process cocoa beans to chocolate,” he stated.
He said with the delivery of the equipment, his vision for cocoa revolution in the state is crystalizing.
The governor, who said he knew from the first day he was sworn in, what he needed to do to enhance the economic well-being of the people, said the plant will bring about value-chain addition to cocoa, which will ultimately enrich cocoa farmers in the state.
“This is the spirit of intellectual money and Cross River ultimately will be proud that I knew where I was going from the beginning. I am following an agenda that at the end of my eight years in office, when every single citizen of the state remembers my days, he or she will say this young man had a great vision.
“For all the years gone by Cross River has been producing cocoa for other states to bear the name because we did not have an off-take mechanism, we did not have a programme by government to buy off the cocoa at good rates. So, outsiders used to come in and buy the cocoa from us and grade it as cocoa from their own state.”
The plant, which will soon be operational, now offers cocoa farmers in the state “the opportunity, platform and industry to process their own cocoa, giving a premium value for money. A cocoa house is going to be built here. Once you have a cocoa farm, you just come here, collect money during harvest, we take your cocoa, so you have money for the product and you don’t have to go to bank to get a loan.”
RICE CITY PROJECT
The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has expressed optimism that the state’s economy will soon record a giant leap with the expected generation of over N70 billion yearly from the state’s Rice City project.
Speaking during the test run of the project at the rice factory situated at the Ayade industrial park, Calabar, the state capital, he said the project stemmed from his determination to free the state from over dependence on federal allocation.
The Cross Rivers Rice is the largest and first of its kind in Africa.
Ayade said the Rice city was one of the signature projects of his administration and will be certified ready for commercial activities in June.
The governor disclosed that the rice seedlings were natural with no chemical, adding that it was time other states and the federal government patronized the facility.
According to Ayade, “When I told Cross Riverians that my ambition was to restructure the state from over dependence on federal allocation, I truly meant it because with projects like this; we are going to generate more revenue for the state…we are partnering with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to ensure that most of the seedlings are acquired from here.”
The governor expressed his delight that the state was on the path of economic independence even “after we lost our oil wells unjustly. We now have an investment that needs federal patronage.”
Ayade explained that should the state enjoy full federal patronage, the Rice City will achieve a yearly turnover of 70 to 100billion Naira.
He thus called on the federal government to focus on the procurement of rice seedlings from Cross Rivers state because, in his words, “we have no competitor”.
He disclosed that everything about the project was wholly local content with no foreign impute, adding that the factory can produce for 24 hours per day.
Describing the project as the biggest rice seedling factory in Africa with a perfect automated irrigation method, Ayade further disclosed that it would employ over 500 workers when operational.
Some state governors, he said, have already indicated interest to place demands.
“The rice seedlings that will be produced from the factory will be called “Cala 77” because it is very natural and totally organic”, he said.
CROSS RIVER GARMENT FACTORY
The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade built one of the largest garment factories in Cross River state, it is able to produce over 3000 jobs. has received applause from the Cross River Garment Factory workers for empowering, training them from the scratch to become professionals in the apparel industry. So far, the governor who is passionate about women and widows has employed thousands of them into the garment factory.
The garment factory recently produced large quantities of matricultation gowns for the Lagos state university, and is presently producing for governemnt and non governmental organization, military and paramilitary alike.
“We produce clothes, military clothes, school uniforms, branded T-shirts, pyjamas, sport wears and more. And we are coming with more”, One of the staff boasted.
This projects which is the Cross River Garment Factory presently has a staff number of 3,000 and an additional 1,000 persons to be absorbed soon, it was commissioned by acting President Yemi Osinbajo who commended Governor Ayade for creating an avenue for employment and money generation in the state.
The first ultra modern monorail in west Africa was built by Gov. Ben Ayade in calabar, cross River state.
Cross River State recorded in April the maiden ride of its ultra-modern monorail. The 1.1-kilometer, single-track shuttle runs from the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort to the Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) at the Summit Hills.
The monorail using an Intamin P8 electric powered passenger shuttle train composed of ten passenger cars and two equipment cars (total of 12 cars per train) and a seventy-eight total seating capacity is available at the Summit Hills to care for transport need of residents and visitors to the place. The train shuttles passengers between the CICC and the Tinapa complex while allowing access to Studio Tinapa, Tinapa Shopping Center, and the Tinapa waterpark and provides a quick alternative access connecting Tinapa to Summit Hills. The monorail station is set just off the CICC building to give access directly to convention activities.
For Phase 1, one monorail P8/78 with a maximum capacity of 78 seated passengers serves altogether three stations.
A driver operates the train. However, the safety of the train is ensured by the Intamin Automatic Train Guiding System ATGS, which will allow an automatic protection of the train. This system monitors the speed of the train to ensure a level of safety at any point on the track.
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