As part of measures to cushion the economic impact of lockdowns following the outbreak of coronavirus, the  Cross River state governor, Sir Ben Ayade Tuesday commenced the recruitment of 8,000 youths for a flat salary of N30,000 a month.

The flag off, which is in furtherance of the governor’s promise to give 8000 youths automatic employment, took place at the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar.

Speaking at the event tagged Job Carnival, the governor explained that the initiative was geared at teaching the youths how to fish rather than handing them fish.

According to him, “It is difficult to continue putting food on people’s tables. If today I bring you bags of rice, beans and everything else and tomorrow I do the same, by the third day you are becoming a beggar.

“Any man who loses his identity and integrity, who cannot work with his own style has lost humanity and that is what makes you a human being.

“And so I do not want to turn my people to beggars who will depend on the gift of food. Rather, I have invented a system of only giving food to our old parents, the physically challenged, those who cannot farm , those who cannot fish because you don’t give fish to a fisherman.”

The governor said as a leader, his duty was to ensure that no Cross Riverian goes to bed on an empty stomach.

His words: “A young man with all the energy cannot be allowed to waste it, you can only engage that energy. If you give him food with all that youthful energy he will still exert it either on something good or bad.

“So, we need to take that energy you have and convert it into value. That is why we are gathered here today, even though we do not have enough but we care enough. We have to show compassion and care.” He said he had to personally flag off the

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