Inaugurates 28-member cabinet
Due to the importance he attaches to the tourism sector, the Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has created the Ministry of Tourism and assigned himself the portfolio of Commissioner of the Ministry of Tourism, even as he inaugurated a 28-member cabinet.
The newly constituted state executive council, the largest in the history of the state, includes the state secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Godwin Etta, who holds the portfolio of the Commissioner for Education.
The 28-member cabinet has Mr. Joe Abang, Justice, Chief Offu Anya Ministry of ICT, Engineer Dan Osim-Asu, Works, Hon. Gabe Orji, Water Resources, and Hon. George O’ben Etchi, Solid Minerals.
Others are Hon. Francis Etta, International Donor Cooperation,
Mr. Oliver Orok, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Hon. Onoh Ulafor, Local Government Affairs, and Mrs. Rosemary Archibong, Information & Orientation.
Engineer Mike Eraye was assigned Ministry of Environment, Victor Adugba Agwu, Special Projects\Special Duties, Prof. Anthony Eneji, Agriculture, Mr. Sunday Achunekang, Rural Transformation, Establishment & Training, Hon. Saviour Nyong, Transport, Dr. Alice Alok Ekwu, Ministry of Climate Change.
Also sworn in as commissioners were Mr. Edem O. Effiom, Social Welfare\Housing, Mr.Chris Nja, Ministry of Gas Resources, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong, Finance, Mr. Asu Okang, Youths & Sports Development, Mr. George Ekpungu, Ministry of New City Development, and Dr. John Inyang, Ministry of Lands Development.
Also appointed commissioners were Mr Peter Egba, Commerce & Industries, Mr Thomas Udam, Ministry of Power, Mrs Stella Odey, Women Affairs, Dr Inyang Asibong, Health, Hon Itaya Nyong, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and Ntufam Edim Inok Edim, Ministry of Infrastructure.
Most residents of the state have however, faulted the governor’s decision to enlarge the state executive council largely because of the financial crunch faced by the state.
A Calabar based legal practitioner, Chief Utum Eteng, told this newspaper that ‘there is no wisdom in the governor’s action’ especially now that states are doing all within their powers to cut cost of governance.’
Chief Eteng said the governor would have reduced the number of existing ministry to make governance easier instead of running an ‘over bloated cabinet.’