By G9ija

Cross River state government has concluded plans for the privatisation of two oil palm estates with a combined size of 7, 146 hectares.

The process kick-started Wednesday in Calabar with the opening of bids for Boki Oil Palm Estate-Borum and Nsadop Oil Palm Estate all in Boki Local Government.

The Oil palm estates include Boki Oil Palm with total size of 1,735 and the Nsadop Oil Palm with a size of 5,411.

Speaking during the bid opening, Chairman of the Cross River state privatization Council, Mr John Odo who supervised bidding process said due process would be followed in privatizing the two government-owned assets.

Odo noted that the aim of privatising the estates was not only to ensure efficiency in the running of the estates but to grow the State economy, create jobs and also improve on the internally generated revenue of the State. Which would in no small way boost the economy of the state.

The Chairman lauded Governor Ben Ayade for the approval adding that past administrations have tried privatising the estates but the processes were unsuccessful

He explained that the council was out to ensure that the same successes recorded in previous privatised government assets would be replicated in these estates.

His words: “All the assets that were privatised by previous governments are doing well; Unicem, Transcorp, among others. We don’t want ours to be an exception by doing even better.

“This is the reason why the communities where these estates are, have been calling on government to also do same with the estates. You will recall that these communities had in times past, prevented government from privatising them but with the seriousness we have shown, they are willing and ready to see the process through.

“We are sure that when this comes to fruition, the communities will be the biggest beneficiary in terms of employment and Infrastructural development of the area because things like schools, hospitals, and other facilities would be sited in the communities.

One of the representatives of the bidding company, Mr Patrick Odok assured that if they win the bid they would raise the bar of CSR in the line of oil palm estate business.

Odok said that his firm was not just interested in transforming the estates but making sure international best practices were adhered to the latter.

“We are very serious about our investment, and we mean business, we are here to bring transformation, create jobs and change lives.

“We are not bringing anything less to Cross River. All our technical partners are aware and are also ready to take up responsibility if we win the bid,” he said.