Calabar - Gov. Liyel Imoke of Cross River has announced plans by his administration to establish a palm oil refinery that will employ some 7,000 workers.
He made the announcement on Saturday in Calabar while featuring in a radio programme tagged “Two Hours with the Governor” produced by Cross River Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC).
Imoke said a foreign investor had indicated interest to set up the processing plant that would refine palm oil into vegetable oil and other edibles.
He said the establishment of the refinery was in line with the commitment of his administration to to ensure food security in the state.
He said the plant would occupy 50 hectares
`The governor explained: `I saw the company in Singapore that will come and put this refinery in place.
“In one location alone, the company employed 16,000 people, meaning that if it is here in the state, it will engage as many as 7,000 Cross Riverians, thereby reducing drastically our unemployment rate.
“The state is blessed with agricultural produce; all we need to do at this point in time is to ensure that they are converted into industrial purposes rather than just leaving them for household and immediate use; we need to think of tomorrow.’’
The governor also announced that he had laid the foundation stone of Portside Industrial Park at Esuk Utang in Calabar, where industrial activities were currently taking place.
He lauded the commitment of the private sector in complementing the industrial efforts of the government, adding that partnership with the private sector would ginger confidence in the system.
Imoke said the private sector had already invested N800 million in the portside project at a period when the government had yet to invest in it.
He solicited the cooperation of the people of the state in regulating the activities of tank farm operators at the state industrial areas, adding that orderliness must be introduced to the system to promote investment.