Governor Ben Ayade says he has set aside N500 million as soft loan for workers in the local government who wish to go into farming to access, saying his government will work with officials of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to facilitate access to the loan.
Ayade made the pledge in Calabar after he was presented with the “Award of Excellent Performance in Governance,” by the national President of NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel who call on the Governor to continue in office beyond 2019
The governor, who said the loan was interest-free, pointed out that being workers at the grassroots level, they needed loans to enhance the agricultural push of the state government, explaining that with the gesture of government, the workers will find some comfort in the rural areas.
“For those local government workers who want to go into farming, I have set aside N500 million as interest free loan so as to ensure that your stay in the local government is not in vain. I will work with your union leaders to ensure that any serious person accesses the money,” the governor said.
Earlier, the national president of NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khail had told the governor that he was in the state to join his colleagues to appeal to the governor to contest the 2019 election, noting that the award that was presented to him was in view of his concern for the local government workers.
The NULGE leaders said if the governor does not accept their call for him to run for 2019, they would take him to court or come back in a larger number to do something else.
Kalil said the endorsement of Ayade was from the depth of their heart and “we are one of the most vibrant union in the country and for us to come here today appreciating you to come out in 2019, you should know we are genuine. We are happy for your prompt payment of salaries and promoting of local government workers when your colleagues in other places are busy downsizing.
“In Kaduna many of our colleagues were sacked, hence we are appreciating governor Ayade because he is friendly to workers in Cross River state. The discrimination in our system is so much hence people are going away and they don’t even allow you to grow but Cross river state is not so…here we are pampered.
“We call on you to declare that you will run again in 2019 and we come here bearing in mind you will accept our request and if you refuse, we will come back in large number to show anger”.