NEW projects designed to buoy socio-economic activities around Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort have been unveiled by the Cross River State government.
The government has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU) with Bank of Industry (BoI) for a N500 million financial life-line for small and medium scale enterprises in the state.
The projects to be located within the new neighbourhood of Tinapa are a modern Calabar International Conference Centre, hotel, new Tinapa Media City for movie production, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Park, International Finance Corporation (IFC)-powered hospital, a private university, a new golf course, and a carnival village.
Governor Liyel Imoke, who described BoI as a worthy partner in the state’s efforts to develop the private sector, said the loan had the potential to create wealth and jobs, thereby transforming the socioeconomic landscape of the state.
Imoke said the agreement was signed at the appropriate time because the state had comparative advantage in some sectors, especially in the hospitality industry.
The governor disclosed that Cross River had made incentives available to the private sector’s operator to promote the economy, adding that facilities were in place for clusters around Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort to stimulate economic activities in the area.
According to him, the new plan would drive activities within Tinapa as the new road to the resort would bring it nearer to the city by reducing the distance by 12 kilometres.
The governor hinted that the state plans to engage the bank in the generation, distribution and transmission of energy from its proposed power plant, which small and medium scale enterprises could benefit from it.
The bank’s Managing Director, Mrs. Evelyn Opotu, said the outfit had the responsibility of powering and supporting small and medium-scale businesses because they are vulnerable.
She said the N500 million would be given to the beneficiaries directly and disclosed that the state was chosen because of its leading role in the tourism sector.
The Special Adviser, Investment Promotion, Mr. Gerald Ada, said the loan was made available after the state had paid its 50 per cent counterpart funding of N250 million, and identified areas of emphasis to include agriculture, manufacturing and tourism while the interest rate would be friendly.