Cross River Government says it has started the process for the privatisation of two oil palm estates in the state with a combined size of 7,146 hectares.
The process began on Wednesday, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in Calabar, the state capital, with the opening of bids for the palm estates – Boki Oil Palm Estate and Nsadop Oil Palm Estate.
Boki Oil Palm with a size of 1,735 and Nsadop Oil Palm with a size of 5,411 are both located in Boki Local Government Area of the state.
Mr John Odo, Chairman of the State’s Privatisation Council, who supervised the bidding process, said that due process would be followed in privatising the two government-owned assets.
He said the privatisation was to ensure efficiency in the running of the estates, create jobs and also improve on the internally-generated revenue of the state.
He lauded the state governor, Ben Ayade, for the approval, adding that past administrations had tried privatising the estates but were unsuccessful.
The chairman said that the council would ensure that the same successes recorded in previous privatised government assets were replicated in the estates.
“All the assets privatised by previous governments are doing well such as Unicem and Transcorp. We don’t want ours to be an exception.
“The communities where these estates are situated had in time past prevented government from privatising them, but are now calling on government to ensure the success of the privatisation.
“We are sure that when the privatisation comes into fruition, the communities will be the highest beneficiary in terms of employment and infrastructural development,” Odo said.
Mr Patrick Odok, a representative of one of the bidding companies, promised to transform the palm estates to meet the modern day reality and the needs of the host communities.
“We are very serious about our investments; we mean business, we are here to bring transformation, create jobs and change lives.
“We are not bringing anything less to Cross River.
“All our technical partners are aware and are also ready to take up responsibilities if we win the bid,” he said.
By Ehigimetor Igbaugba