Financial News Highlights May 2, 2024 – Cross River State Draws Investments, ETC

Cross River govt draws investments towards Obudu mountain resort, Calabar carnival 

Driven by the mission to generate more revenue from tourism and hospitality, Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has begun strategic moves to attract investments towards Obudu Mountain Resort, formerly known as Obudu Ranch Resort and Calabar Carnival.

The Obudu Mountain Resort features an annual Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race which attracts many athletes, tourists and visitors to the State as well as Calabar Carnival usually held in December as part of Yuletide celebrations.

But, such an internationally acclaimed sporting event has long been abandoned, the Resort was poorly managed and Calabar Carnival was not actively conducted until the emergence of Bassey Otu as governor of Cross River State.

Efforts Of The Governor To Attract Investors To Obudu Resort

Governor Bassey Otu has therefore cleared all arrears of the Resort staff’s salaries being owed between 2015 and 2018 as all the 149 staff of Obudu Mountain Races had been paid up till date.

Speaking on the efforts of Government to resuscitate the Obudu Mountain Resort’s economy, Austine Cobham, Executive Secretary of Cross River State Carnival Commission, declared that Governor Bassey Otu had started looking for investors to invest in the State’s tourism and hospitality sector through Obudu Mountain Races and Calabar Carnival.

Cobham noted the State Government had given indications to hands off total sponsorship of Calabar Carnival which started in 2001 by the Government of Donald Duke, saying, “international investors and corporate bodies to take up and sponsorship of different aspects of the carnival in the ensuing year 2024”.

The Executive Secretary added that the State Government had expanded the carnival with more creative additions and would want it to be self-sustaining, noting they had planned to hold luncheon with investors, sponsors and other critical stakeholders next month to outline different areas of involvements.

He said Cross River State Government had started preparations for this year’s carnival earlier than usual because they had listed out arrays of programmes to energize the carnival.

“We have begun to develop carnival infrastructures all over Calabar even as we are strategizing to expand and internationalize the carnival with different segments.

“These segments need sponsorships. We need more investors. The governor has disclosed that Government can no longer fund all aspects of the carnival. The Government wants it to be self- sustaining”, he said.

Abubakar Ewa, Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, noted that the ecotourism would be part of this year’s carnival as many tour sites would be developed to attract more tourists and visitors to the State.

He added that plans were afoot to train hoteliers and others in the tourism and hospitality business in order for them to key into the Government’s plans and programmes.

 

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For more details, do well to read the printed copy of business day newspaper or better still read the soft copy in the business day

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