Ben Ayade, the Governor of Cross River State stated on Wednesday in Calabar during an interaction with journalists that the annual Calabar carnival is not a profitable venture.
According to him, as a maritime state with a lot of natural resources and a good climate, Cross River had no business being poor.
“I took over a state that was basically a civil service state, happy with dancing on the streets during the Christmas periods in the name of carnivals which does not really yield much to the state.
“Experience has shown that the money we spend on hosting the carnival is far more than whatever comes into the state after it.
“Unfortunately, it is difficult for many people to see the big dreams of the governor and prefer the filling of potholes, planting grasses, hosting carnivals and paying salaries.
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the reasons the carnival was cancelled last year and this year.
Ayade added that if the state must grow, it must go beyond just being a civil service state with the salary mentality.
He also spoke about stopping the proposed privatisation of the 34 state-owned industries in the three senatorial districts of the state.
“In the interim, a management team will oversee the industries while ensuring that they are not just functional but viable to the state,” he said.
Ayade called on the people of Cross River to take advantage of the industries in creating wealth for themselves.