Ayade threatens to revoke cocoa concession licence


Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has warned that the State government will revoke the concession licence granted to a private agro-allied firm if they fail to meet the terms of the concession.

Ayade’s government concessioned the newly established Cocoa Processing plant in Ikom to AA Universal Agro Industries Ltd, owned by Chief Chris Agara, as part of the effort of his administration to revamp the economy of the State.

Speaking to journalists in Calabar on the concession, Ayade said, “The Cocoa processing plant was established by our administration as part of our industrialisation policy. The concessioning is geared towards recalibrating and growing Cross River’s economy.

“The concessioning is dictated by economic realities.”

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“Government expects to see chocolate bars from the company soon and if after three months none was produced, the concession will be cancelled”, Ayade warned.

He disclosed that the bidding process was open and competitive and that the company came out tops apart from being the only indigenous company that indicated interest and took part in the process.

Speaking earlier, Agara said he was proud to be part of the success of the industrialization policy of the governor, assuring that the Cocoa plant will commence production immediately.

“I can assure we will not disappoint. We have a modern facility that would produce the best finished product that the world, and particularly Cross Riverians would be proud of.

“Within the next couple of weeks or months we will be ready to hit the market”, he assured.

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