The Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, has ordered all political appointees to henceforth wear only clothes made by the Calabar Garment Factory.
Governor Ayade gave the directive on Thursday in order to boost the factory’s patronage and make it economically viable after being presented with some samples of finished products from the factory, including uniforms of some paramilitary outfits.
As from June 2017, Governor Ayade said he would start wearing only clothes made from the factory, enjoining all other appointees and Calabar state indigenes to follow suit.
“Starting from today, all executive members, all appointees must be in clothes made from the Calabar Garment Factory and this is official. By the close of next month, anything I put on my body will be made from the Cross River Garment Factory. That is my sincere commitment to the state and the 3,000 young people working in the factory.
“Cross River is a leading state when it comes to lifestyle. So, definitely, we are going to be leading in terms of fashion. We are expanding into uniform production for schoolchildren and as you are well aware, we have had people from neighbouring states asking us to produce uniforms for them in hundreds of thousands.
“We are focused on getting the very best in Cross River garment Factory and of course, the school uniform. In no distant time, Cross River Garment factory will be the main fashion industry and company to beat. And if you are not dressed by Cross River Garment factory, you’re not dressed at all,” the Governor said.
On the power source for the factory, the governor said, “As you can see, the garment factory is extremely busy and we are working on providing renewable energy to support the factory to run at low costs.”
Already, the first batch of clothing from the factory has hit the market with the production of blazers, jeans trousers and shirts.
Just recently, to address the high youth unemployment rate in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its South-South Entrepreneurship Development Centre (SS-EDC) in Calabar, graduated some young people who were trained to become entrepreneurs.
So far, the CBN SS-EDC which is a driving a programme aimed at helping youths learn new skills to create micro-enterprises, has graduated 488 entrepreneurs.
The centre runs programmes that expose youths to business opportunities, assists them in accessing financial resources and markets, getting the necessary accreditation, and encourages them to make economic decisions. The technical training is supplemented with business advice and training.
Over the years, the SS-EDC has trained over 9442 participants out of which 3560 businesses have been established and expanded, creating a total of 9,816 direct and indirect jobs. The centre has assisted 3035 entrepreneurs to access over N1.6 billion ranging from N50,000 to N10 million.
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The CBN says it operates in the consciousness that the country’s economy cannot move forward unless MSMEs are supported to thrive and create jobs.