The Cross River International Collaboration Economic Summit is a significant milestone in the transformation of Cross River State’s economy. We need new approaches and platforms like this summit for setting strategic directions and working smarter together towards attracting the much-needed investments for development and wealth creation in Cross River State.
I congratulate His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria, Sen. Prof Benedict Ayade, the Cross River State Government, and the organizers of this Summit for their vision in holding this gathering.
It is a great delight to have some of the most important stakeholders with us. A warm welcome to all of you who have made an effort to come here. It is illustrative of the fact that the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta, PIND Foundation and other stakeholders support your dream and quest of continuously seeking economic development and growth opportunities locally and internationally.
PIND’s economic development interventions in the Niger Delta
PIND Foundation is a Nigerian non-profit organization established by Chevron Corporation to build partnerships and equitable development in the Niger Delta. At PIND Foundation, our overarching strategy is built on the belief that no single organization alone can solve the complex and interconnected challenges in the Niger Delta region.
We have adopted the partnership approach based on the fact that it enables organizations to combine resources, capabilities, and technical expertise with others for greater collective impact. And our program areas covers economic development, peacebuilding, capacity building, and analysis and advocacy.
Under our economic development program area, we’ve facilitated the creation of over 12, 501 jobs in aquaculture, cassava, palm oil, and business linkages sectors. Our interventions in the agriculture sub-sectors and business linkages for SMEs have increased the productivity of up to 72,801 farmers and SMEs and we leveraged over N3.1 billion in new investments through fostered partnerships.
With State Governments, we support strategic and regulatory reform through things like facilitating investment reports to aid the ease of doing business, providing technical assistance through the production of sector-specific strategies and agriculture policies, reforming MDAs through organizational assessments to improve performance, and helping develop long-term development plans.
In Cross River State, through our economic development interventions, we have helped create additional jobs and income for farmers adopting best farm management approaches and improved fish pond practices. For example, in 2018 alone, we reached 1, 047 numbers of farmers and SMEs in Cross River recorded an increase of over N240 million in income for farmers and created 592 additional jobs.
PIND–Cross River State partnership
PIND-Cross Rivers State’s partnership started in 2016 and was codified by the signing of an MOU to support the State in her development effort. Part of this support was to provide technical assistance in the development of a 30-year Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) for the State.
The GDS launch mention
The GDS has been finalized through an inclusive and participatory approach. Some of the key partners involved in the process include:
We are excited that many of these partners are here for the launch today.
Call to action and conclusion
The effectiveness of innovative approaches to sustainable development hinges on the commitment, active collaboration, and synergy among all stakeholders. It is a pleasure to see so many eager and enthusiastic stakeholders in development who want to contribute to this noble cause and we are glad to be counted as a partner in progress. Once again, I congratulate Cross Rivers State and all stakeholders at this summit and wish us fruitful deliberations.
This speech was presented by PIND’s Executive Director, Dr. Dara Akala, represented by Deputy Executive Director, Olatunji Idowu.