Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Cross River State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium for the upgrade of Tinapa Lakeside Hotel in Calabar and Obudu Ranch Resort in Obanliku Local Government Area.
Under the MoU, which was signed on Wednesday, the consortium will reconstruct the two facilities so as to optimise their tourism values in the state and Nigeria in general.
The agreement was signed on behalf of the state government by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Joe Abang, and the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Eric Anderson.
Speaking with journalists after a brief ceremony in the state Ministry of Justice, Calabar, Principal Partner, Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium, Mr. Kanu Signor, said the consortium in collaboration with technical partners from South Africa and Spain, will invest N5billion into the projects.
â€œWe are here to sign the MoU with respect to Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and Obudu Ranch Resort. The two locations are the most primed tourist destinations in Nigeria. As investors who are in partnership with our foreign counterparts from South Africa and Spain, we have decided to invest in the upgrade of the facilities and bring it to what it is meant for.
â€œWe intend to hit the ground running by January. We are going to invest N5billion. The construction will start as from January. We intend doing a bridge that will link Tinapa with Calabar International Conference Centre to ease vehicular access. So, we are looking at doing substantial work within the first 12 months and we would not shut down while doing the construction work,” Signor said.
In his comment, the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism said that the facility upgrade will further bring the tourism potentials of the state to limelight.
â€œWe have entered into an agreement with Mac Creeds and Tom Consortium to take over the management of Obudu Ranch Resort and Tinapa Lakeside Resort. In Cross River, we are known as one destination for tourism. This agreement will only affect the hotel element of Tinapa Business Centre and not the entire facility, â€Anderson said.
A renowned pioneer Director-General of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Professor Anya O. Anya, said the Nigerian experience showed that gigantic government projects were better managed by private concerns.
â€œExperience in Nigeria show that government could start and complete projects but do not often run these projects profitably. The projects we have in Cross River State, (Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and Obudu Ranch Resort), are visionary projects that will now require the private sector expertise to manage them profitable.
â€œThese consortium will be investing up to N5bn in these projects in collaboration with international hotel managers. They will train our people to run projects after the next five years. In five yearsâ€™ time, it will be Cross Riverians that will be running these two institutions,â€ Anya said.