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Monday, 2 November 2015

World Bank grant: C’River, farmers bicker over $26.34m

Ayade
FARMERS in Cross River State are at log­gerheads with the state government over delay in the release of the 26.34 million US dollars World Bank grant.
The farmers, number­ing about 250 women and youths in agriculture in the 18 local government areas of the state, also expressed worry that the development might affect the state’s food produc­tion.
The grant is aimed at boosting food production and security in the coun­try through the commer­cial agriculture develop­ment project (CADP) in Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Cross River states.
Daily Sun checks indi­cated that the fund was allegedly released to the state government early this year, but farmers al­leged inability to access the grant.
The aggrieved farmers pleaded with Governor Ben Ayade to release the funds immediately to, not only enable them go back to farm, but to also fore­stall losing the funds in subsequent years.
Also, Angela Umoh frowned on the delay in releasing the funds, stressing that the initia­tive, which brought hope to them as rural farmers was becoming gloomy.
But Governor Ben Ayade denied freezing the account where the money was paid into, explain­ing that the money was intact and added that for any fund to be released to the various projects there must be due process.
Meanwhile, barely two weeks after President Mu­hammadu Buhari flagged off construction of the 260km superhighway in Cross River, German quality control experts have arrived the state to ensure strict compliance with international best practices.
Speaking to newsmen in Calabar, yesterday shortly on arrival, some of the ex­patriates, Frank Neobaver and Mr. Gauther Honisch said they were eager to kick-start the projects, which they described as iconic in Africa by ensur­ing quality delivery and on time.
They promised to bring the over 10 years of pro­fessional expertise in bridge and road construc­tions round the world to bear to deliver a project that will not only meet international standard but speak for them.
Chairman, Cross River State Infrastruc­ture Company Ltd, (IN­FRACROSS), Lihwu Eugene Akeh, pointed out that there was need to bring quality control engineers on site because the state needs endorse­ment of their signatures to be sure of quality of roads to be delivered.

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