Calabar – The Cross River Government says it has commenced the rehabilitation of a total of 83 kilometres stretch of roads in the various cocoa estates across the state.
Mr Oscar Ofuka, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Cocoa Development, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Sunday.
Ofuka said the road rehabilitation projects were in line with the determination of Gov. Ben Ayade-led administration to make cocoa the main stay of the state’s economy.
He listed the projects as the 20.1-kilometre Abia-Bendeghe Road and the10.5-kilometre roads in the cocoa estates located in Abonita, Etung Local Government Area of the state.
Others are the 30.5-kilometre road in Ikom cocoa estate and the 20.2-kilometre road in Cocoa Farm Plantation estate.
“The commencement of the rehabilitation of the access roads to the estates was to show the level of importance the state government attached to the development of cocoa.
“There is the need to keep the promise of the governor during his electioneering campaign that he would not privatise cocoa estates in Cross River.
“The commencement of the exercise across the estates shows government’s desire to make cocoa farming in the state maximally productive and rewarding.
“This will enable beneficiaries of the small holders’ scheme in the sector to reap the dividends of democracy,’’ he said.
Ofuka, who is also the Chairman of Cross River State Cocoa Management Team, warned those given the cocoa farms not to sub-let them to others.
He assured that the technical management team would make cocoa seedlings available to all the farmers to revive the estates.
Ofuka said that the state government was concerned about the long neglect of the estates over the years and was determined to turn them round. (NAN)