By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has announced the introduction of a waste to wealth programme commencing from the first quarter of 2019.
The grogramme according to the governor is meant to create employment opportunities for youths and generate organic fertilizer for the farmers in the state.
Addressing government house press shortly after mounting one of the newly acquired thirty mowers for the cutting of grasses at the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar on Friday, governor Ayade said the initiative was to bring the state at par with modern cities where waste generation is seen as wealth creation.
The effort, according to him, was to improve the cleanliness of the environment using the mowers meant for the greenery of Calabar metropolis.
He promised to improve on the green and clean nature of Calabar, the Cross River State capital before the annual Carnival Calabar in December.
Ayade also announced plans by the state government to establish an organic fertilizer plant, adding that shipment of the said plant’s components has ready been done, and now awaiting arrival in Nigeria.
In his words, “indeed there is a new system coming into Calabar, it has already been shipped. In few weeks time you will see people struggling to sell their refuse because we are installing a plant that processes urban refuse into bio fertilizer to do away with the inorganic fertilizer that has cumulative negative impacts on human health”.
“In no distant time, once you have your refuse, you will hold back the bag until you are paid before you release. So, Calabar will naturally become clean and once we achieve that level, once everybody has imbibed the habit we will then move to the next senatorial district”.
Continuing, he said “we just launched the process of motorized mowing and we are deploying more of these machines round the city because the dry season is setting in and it is important that we keep our lawns clean preparatory to our annual Carnival while ensuring that it stays green all through the season”.
“We cannot continue to create jobs by creating slaves. There is no amount of job provision that will reduce our people to want in body and in muscles, spirit and soul.
“With this launch today, I want to assure you that you won’t find any person from Cross River having to use a machete to cut grass in a very slavish and atavistic manner because it is old fashion and a wrong way of creating jobs”.
According to him, “for a man to take a machete and work a whole day under hot sun in the name of cutting grass just because you have a landscaping department in the Ministry of Environment is wrong and I think it has to stop and Cross River State must always live in line with world’s styles which is what informed the deployment of the mowers to save workers’ energy”.
Further justifying the initiative, he explained that, “when you decide that you want to create jobs and you choose to ask your people to go and manually cut grasses as a way of creating employment, that will be a forced job, there will be no job satisfaction, no efficiency and so, in order to make them enjoy the pleasure of a digital era, we have decided to order hundreds of mowers from Germany just to ensure that grass cutting in Calabar, maintaining and keeping of our lawns tidy are properly done thereby moving the workers away from the manual effort to a motorized process”.
While encouraging members of his cabinet to emulate him in ensuring greenery restoration, he stressed that, “ i am proud as a governor to mount the mower because it gives me great sense of pride and joy each time I see those beautiful green lawns. So, if I can do this I believe everyone should join hands with me to succeed in this campaign to keep Calabar as the cleanest in Nigeria”.