Cross River State Government has disclosed it plans to make cocoa a major crop for export in the next few years.
The Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu stated this when members of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) led by the National President, Mr. Sayina Riman paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Calabar.
Professor Esu, who remarked that Cocoa remains a major revenue earner for the State, maintained that in recognition of its importance, the State Government had created a Department of Cocoa Development with a Special Adviser to oversee its expansion.
He frowned at any crisis in the Cocoa industry that will jeopardise the revenue accruing from the product to the State, reckoning that Government will not allow any action by individual or group to sabotage its efforts towards cocoa development in the state.
The Deputy Governor expressed the hope that, the outcome of the meeting will move the cocoa industry to greater heights.
The National President Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Mr. Sayina Riman, said the essence of the visit was to intimate the Government of the effects of multiplicity of Cocoa Revenue points which according to him, have affected huge revenue generation to the state.
He remarked that, the State is the most preferred cocoa destination in the Country which is why, the Association will continue to partner the state in Cocoa Development and production.
The President promised to synergize with Government to address all issues relating to the revenue collection from the Cocoa industry with a view to putting an end to the effect of the multiplicity of revenue points.
Mr. Riman explained that, Cross River is the highest Cocoa producing state in the country with the best quality cocoa bean.
The visit was attended by the Commissioner for Agriculture and National Resources, Professor Anthony Eneji, the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Tina Agbor, the Chairman, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Dr Ukam Edodi was also present.