By Our Reporter
Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) Cross River State Chapter, inaugurated new Executives that will pilot the affairs of the association in the Cocoa value chain industry in the State.
The inauguration which was held in Five-Two- Zero Kolanut Conference Center, Calabar culminated in the presentation of Award of Honour as Grand Patron of CFAN Cross River State to the Executive Governor, His Excellency, Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu by the National President of the Association, Comrade Adeola Adegoke.
Speaking during the event, Cross River State Governor who was the Special Guest of Honour and ably represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Owan Enoh reiterated government’s commitment in the development of Cocoa value chain and advancing the industry to a more viable economic sector, which will reposition Cross River State as the largest Cocoa producing State in the country and beyond.
Prof. Anthony Enoh who attended the event on dual capacity, assured the farmers of his support to the new leadership, adding that the leadership of CFAN shall constantly have close engagements with the State Governor inorder to address critical challenges affecting the industry to increase production of cocoa in the state.
In his address, the Chairman of the Occasion and Former Commissioner for Special Duties, Hon. Patrick Ebam Emanghe congratulated the new Executive members on their emergence as leaders and enjoined them to be intentional about the welfare of members.
In like manner, The National President of CFAN, Comrade Adeola Adegoke charged the new EXCO to consolidate on the milestones recorded so far by his predecessor.
Adegoke noted that Cross river is already positioned to overtake other states of the federation in the production of Cocoa as the state posseses a very high cocoa friendly soil capable of producing the entire quantity of the country’s production put together.
He therefore appealed to the State Government to create an enabling environment for Cocoa Farmers in the State to thrive, stressing the need for value addition in the industry.
Pledging his support to the new Leadership, the National President announced the hosting of the 3rd Cocoa Festival, 2024 in Calabar.
In his acceptance speech, the newly inaugurated State Chairman, Dr. Ramsey Tiku Ebam Ndep thanked members and other Stakeholders for their support and highlighted on the blueprint of his administration, stating that he shall be committed to members welfare in his tenure, adding that his administration shall open up inter-multi- ministerial collaboration with relevant MDAs in the State to drive the process
Among other areas of interest, Dr. Ramsey Ndep advocated for the rehabilitation of Cross River State School of Produce Technology located within the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Development, assured that he will ensure Climate Smart Agricultural practices in the production of Cocoa while also discouraging the wanton destruction of the ecosystem by farmers in the sector.
He concluded with a pledge to justify the confidence reposed on him to lead the affairs of the association and called for members and Stakeholders support.
Goodwill messages were also received from the Paramount Ruler of Boki Local Government Area, HRM. Otu Fredalin Akamdo and the National Vice president of Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mr. Ejor Bisong
Those inaugurated were:
Dr. Ramsey Tiku Ebam Ndep- Chairman, Sunday Ekekeh- Vice Chairman, Comr. Jones Emangha Ekwom- Secretary, Chief Jerry Agbor- Assistant Secretary, and Barr. Efiok Ekpenyong- Organizing Secretary.
Others are Emmanuel Ukwu- Auditor, Ndifon Takim Obim – Assistant Auditor, Financial Secretary Obi Owan,
Nseobong Effiong- Assistant Financial Secretary, Elder Gabriel Okimba-Treasurer, Martins Isong-PRO and Mary Takim- Assistant PRO.
Similarly, Chapter Chairmen were also inaugurated as follows:
Pst.Njor Duke Assam- Etung, Pst. Elias Ajah Oduo -Boki, Mr.Raymond Agbor Nsor-Ikom, Thomas Omang-Bekwerra, Chief.Okpa Oyira- Obubra, Chief Inyang Ekpeyong-Biase, Mr.John Obanghe- Yakurr, Chief. Abila Sylvester – Obanliku, Mr.Francis Ntui Etta- Akamkpa, Chief. Rt.Hon.Etim Asido-Odukpani, Mr.Godwin Agim- Obudu Local Government Area respectively.
Upon administration of Oath of office, the respective Leaders were presented with certificates of their various offices.
Notable dignitaries at the event include: The Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Hon Johnson Andiambey Ebokpo represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ekpe Bassey, Chairman of Cross River State Cocoa Allocation, Rehabilitation and Development Committee, Prince Cosmos Ebori Nku, Former Commissioner in Cross River State Forestry Commission, Mr. Okoma Inyang among Others. Royal Fathers from the Cocoa producing Communities graced the event which also featured cultural dance.