Besides having a mantra for giving bogus names to annual budgets, actions of the Cross River state, Governor Benedict Ayade, seems to be synonymous with the destruction of state-owned companies as well as legacies established by successive governments, with an alleged land grabbing antics already mapped out for the Cross River State Property Development Estate (CROSPIL) next in line to be.
The Cross River State Property Development and Investment Limited (CROSPIL) adjudged to be the oldest publicly-owned business enterprise in the state established in 1969 under the military administration of Late Brig. General UJ Esuene, houses more than 5000 lands and housing documents for the state government, private organizations and individuals.
However, in an alleged bid to establish the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa in order, findings showed that on September 2nd, 2019, Governor Ayade with his usual long convoy, appeared at the CROSPIL Head Quarters located at 1 Bishop Maynagh Avenue, State Housing Estate, Calabar and gave the management and staff of the company a 7 days notice to quit their jobs and vacate the company’s premises as he intends converting it to the permanent site of the Construction Academy without.
Not minding that the company is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and operates as a legal entity under the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) hence having fixed assets and liabilities, a source who is in the know revealed that on Wednesday 18th September 2019 thugs suspected to be acting on the orders of the Governor invaded the premises of the company at about 7 pm and demolished the perimeter fence separating it from other adjoining properties.
Determined to bring the company to its knees, it was also alleged that the Governor in his usual way of grabbing any land pleasing to his eyes regardless of whose ox is gored, ordered the suspension of the provision of subventions and imprest for the running of the company as well as the non-payment of staff salaries for more than six months.
Perhaps oblivious of the fact that the company holds Global Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for all its properties across the state as well as issues Deed of Sub-Lease to buyers on the purchase of any of its properties, SecretReporters learned that despite the social distancing policy occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was alleged that Governor visits CROSPIL Headquarters with long convoys mostly comprising of 40 cars as well as a barrage of aides and security details in preparation for the acquisition of the company’s property under the pretext of establishing the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa.
With a high record of non-completed projects since the inception of his administration in May 2015 despite the proposal and approval of several gigantic white elephants project like the Superhighway, Bakassi Deep Seaport, Spaghetti Flyover, Obudu International Cargo Airport, Cali Vegas with very huge budgets, there are speculations that the Construction and Fabrication Academy of West Africa will soon be abandoned like every other project for another white elephant project.