Governor Ben Ayade has promised Ekang Community in Akamkpa local government area, Cross River State, which shares a border with the Republic of Cameroon, that Government’s palliative, both Federal and state will reach them.
The Governor, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources Ntufam Okon Owuna led a detachment of the Covid-19 Enforcement and Response team to meet with the Village Head and his Cabinet members, women group, youths and Security agencies at the Ekang border Post.
There are reported cases of Coronavirus in the republic of Cameroon but Cross River State has not recorded any case despite the cases in Nigeria and Governor Ayade has since intensified awareness campaign to interior communities of the state after placing a lockdown order on all land, air and sea borders to the State
Ntufam Owuna visited the Ekang community on Easter Sunday on the governor’s behalf, spoke with the community members in their Local dialect about the COVID-19 pandemic, the preventive measures and the ways the State Government is Cushioning the impact of the “Stay at Home” order.
The Commissioner also used the opportunity to distribute to the various groups, the face mask produced in the State Garment Factory as well as the hand sensitizers from the State Government to all the groups.
He appealed to farmers in the community, particularly those who have their Farmlands across the border to stay at home while those who have their Farmlands within the Nigerian border area to observe relevant instructions and directives of government while applying their trade.
He told them about the importance of the Social Distancing directives, the use of face masks and also advised on the importance of hand wash and the use of the hand sanitizer.
In response from one of the groups’ leaders, the youth leader of the Ekang border Community Mr. James Ntui thanked the state government for the awareness campaign and pledged the support of the community vigilante group in achieving government objectives and in ensuring compliance with the lockdown Order.
He, however, requested the prompt delivery of the planned palliatives from the government.
Meanwhile, the Cross River State Government has commenced the disbursement of N79 million to activate the implementation of 21 micro projects across some communities in the state as part of multi-sectoral intervention to Covid-19.
The communities are Atakpa, Calabar South; Ebuafen and Ayikang Iye in Bekwarra; Abijang and Agbokim Mgbabor in Etung and Okweriseng, Ashikpe, Betukwel and Bebuawhan in Obudu local government area among others.
The State Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr Inyang Asibong, while presenting cheques to the benefiting communities in Calabar, urged them to hasten the implementation of the projects.
Asibong advised them to lay emphasis on standards and specifications with a view to meet global best practices and to further reduce poverty and unemployment in their domain.
The projects are a counterpart-based fund project between the World Bank and the Cross River State Government.
The World Bank Assisted Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) is under the state Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), which the Ministry of International Development Cooperation (MIDC) Coordinates.
The micro projects include the renovation of classroom blocks with motorized borehole and improved toilets, equipped with ventilations within the communities.
Also, the provision of 1.5KVA hybrid solar electricity and panoramic solar street lights, the construction and equipping of health post, and the construction of solar powered borehole as well as culverts across the nine communities.
Asibong told the beneficiaries the efforts of the state government, for paying the required counterpart funds as a requisite to earn the World Bank’s support at the critical time of need for lockdown in Nigeria.
Also speaking at the event, the Acting Manager of CSDA, Mr Fidel Udie, explained that the micro-projects were identified by the communities as necessary interventions to alleviate poverty in the areas.
He said the project would directly pull the State and Federal Government closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and called for the judicious use of the funds to meet the set objectives.
Some of the community leaders who expressed their gratitude to Gov. Ben Ayade for the quick interventions during the lockdown, promised to take full ownership of the projects for overall sustainable development adding that, the projects would reduce poverty and create employment for the people of the state.
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