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Home » National » Sen. Otu: The Journey So Far

Sen. Otu: The Journey So Far

When Sen. Bassey Otu assumed office on May 29, 2023, he wasted no time in hitting the ground running, as he immediately constituted sectorial transition report review committees to, amongst other things, review the state of affairs, recommend and proffer possible structural adjustments in MDAs, policies and programmes that will help his administration leave legacies in the sands of time.

For Otu, the need to have a full understanding of the existing government structures served as a guide to provide the right interventions, deploy the right policies and programmes in the implementation of The People’s First Mandate.

Let’s look at the swift interventions in the various sectors of government:

Sustainable environmental strategy: Calabar and, indeed, Cross River State, has always been known for her serenity and cleanliness: the ancient city has won several national awards in the past as the most clean, green and serene city in Nigeria.

Immediately the governor assumed office, as part of efforts to restore the clean and green status of Calabar, he set in motion the evacuation of refuse waste and garbage from the metropolis and reintroduced the sweeping of streets, a quick intervention aimed at restoring the cleanliness, serenity which Calabar and the state is generally known for.

In his determination to confront the issues of waste disposal, he visited the overflowing dumpsite at Lemna, Calabar and directed that the dumpsite be put in proper condition, while arrangements for another dumpsite is underway.

The dumpsite has been remodeled and currently serves its environmentally-friendly purpose.

To enhance the effective and efficient monitoring of indiscriminate refuse disposal by residents as well as ensure robust evacuation by relevant government agencies, the governor introduced a new refuse disposal guideline.

The new guideline mandates residents to dispose-off their waste between the hours of 6pm and 10pm daily to give room for evacuators who are expected to affect the final clearance of such waste from dumpsters to designated disposal points in the wee hours of the morning.

Otu also directed the Calabar Urban Development Authority (CUDA) to, effectively, mobilize its staff in their day-to-day cleaning of streets and desilting of gutters where necessary to allow for easy and free flow of water in the drains.

The most visible impact of the course of action this administration has taken so far in respect to the environment is the disappearance of heaps of garbage on major streets and highways in the Calabar metropolis.

Since May 29, there is consensus that a new Calabar that is clean and green is emerging. Thousands of young men have been gainfully engaged in ensuring that the goal of an enviable sustainable eco-friendly environment is achieved by the cutting of grasses, tree pruning and flowers trimming. As part of environmental safety measures and due to incessant cases of old trees falling on cars and pedestrians alike on the roads resulting in injury and sometimes death, old trees are being removed and new ones replanted as well areas of the metropolis abandoned and left unkempt for years now wearing new looks.

Road rehabilitation and ancillary measures

As a measure of ensuring zero potholes on the roads in the metropolis, Gov. Bassey Otu directed the immediate rehabilitation of pothole filled roads. Although the rain has been unrelenting and delaying the work progress, work has since begun in MCC, Eta Agbor, Murtala Mohammed Highway etc with the potholes quickly disappearing.

The governor also approved the construction of a 2km long road network at Nyong Edem in Calabar South and reconstruction of the Lemna Road within the dilapidated axis of the dumpsite.

While the Lemna intervention is 12inch thickness of concrete, the Nyong Edem road network is 9inch thickness concrete and is being done according to specification and in strict compliance to international standards.

Further, the state government is in talks with the World Bank on erosion control especially in the state capital while on its own, work is soon to commence on the failed drainage along the strategic Yellow Duke Road.

State library

In his effort to encourage reading and research in the state amongst students, Governor Otu’s directive to revamp and digitalize the dilapidated Calabar library is ongoing. Construction work has begun and a befitting and functional library with an e-section will be ready soon.

Governor’s office remodeling

Moved by the deplorable state of the Governor’s Office, Prince Bassey Otu directed the renovation, remodeling and total overhauling and proper modernization of all departments and units in the Governor’s Office Complex, turning it into a 21st Century smart office.

Work has since begun and reconstruction is ongoing. The contractors have assured that the complex will be ready by December 2023.


As part of his mandate to ensure zero-crime rate in the state, Governor Otu has taken significant steps in combating crime and insecurity to restore its pride of place as one of the safest states in the country.

The governor with the help of President Bola Tinubu has facilitated the deployment of a Navy warship to the Cross River State waterways and the move is already yielding dividend as the criminal elements made of pirates and kidnappers are on the run.

To demonstrate his government’s seriousness in tackling the insecurity, a reward of N5million has been instituted for whistleblowing against kidnapping and other capital crimes.

Street lighting

In order to restore proper lighting of the streets in the metropolis, the governor took measure in ensuring proper functionality of the street lights. First, he directed the repairs and replacement of all defective street lights, work is ongoing as most defective street lights have been fixed and fully functional.

Since his assumption of office, the streets have assumed proper illumination at night and have contributed to reduced cases of criminality.

Workers welfare

Determined to resolve the plethora of issues affecting civil/public servants including the implementation of promotions and other critical issues, the governor directed a comprehensive staff verification and audit of the payroll. This exercise has thrown up a considerable number of ghost workers and non-TIN holders.

The implication is that with the weeding out of the ghost workers, the state can boast of saved income as well as an increase in the number of tax payers from PAYE.

Further, the administration has embarked on first phase of palliative distribution to all segments in the state and is in the process of unveiling a comprehensive palliative rollout to alleviate hardship occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal.

Uncompleted projects and revamping of state legacy assets

One of his campaign promises was the completion of all uncompleted and ongoing projects in the State. On assumption of office, the governor embarked on an inspection tour of the uncompleted projects in the state. To this end, he visited the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Wanihem-Ukelle Road project, the Obudu Cargo Airport where he reiterated his commitment to complete all ongoing projects. Work on the Obudu cargo airport is ongoing.

Gov. Otu also inspected the dilapidated Ranch Resort, Cultural Centre Complex and the Calabar International Conference Centre (CICC), while work is ongoing in the CICC and the Cultural Centre, the governor’s synergy with the federal government has seen the visit of two ministers to the Ranch Resort with a view for the central government’s intervention. Similarly, the state has concluded plans for the total overhauling of the popular Marina Resort to give it the much needed revamping.


Strategic locations of the Calabar metropolis are currently undergoing rehabilitation and makeovers The Millennium Park and other notable landmarks are benefitting from the intervention with a firm assurance by the governor that the beautification project will be sustained until Calabar regains her place of pride as Nigeria’s tourism destination.

The Prince Otu Factor

In the annals of history, there are leaders whose actions reverberate far beyond their time in office. They possess the rare ability to envision a society where government takes absolute responsibility in the welfare and protection of citizens, providing infrastructure and an enabling environment for economic growth.

His purpose-driven leadership style is seen in every step aimed at encouraging investment, stimulate economic diversification, and promoting long-term economic growth.

There is no denying the fact that the person of Sen (Prince) Bassey Otu is warm and affectionate. He is widely acceptable across tribe and party lines. He is a governor without boundary, spiritually inclined and embodies assurances of better days ahead. He does not pretend to be what he is not, neither does he promise what he cannot do.

No sooner he mounted the saddle than he started engaging everyone on the way forward. He promised to chart a new course for Cross River development through a six-pillar roadmap, which includes Human Capital Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Arts, Culture and Tourism and Governance. Not in the first 100 days but during his four years in the saddle.

SPBO quickly showed a transparent determination to boost the State’s economy, by commencing talks with agencies of the Federal Government and development partners across the globe. He has set the agenda of prosperity and development in all sectors with emphasis on the welfare of the people.

SPBO has started strong, he is going on strong and Cross River State, under the administration of SPBO, will achieve tremendous results.

Nate Otaba is Special Assistant on Communication to Gov Otu

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Posted by on Sep 7 2023. Filed under National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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