By Bassey Inyang
The Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, wants the federal government to speedily complete the ongoing renovation, expansion and remodelling of the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar.
Imoke made the call when he received the National President, Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), Mr. Okewu Benjamin Sunday and other executive members of the association in Calabar.
Imoke said the call became necessary in view of the fact that the state had started preparation for its annual carnival, which will draw a lot of traffic in and out of the state capital.
The Governor said the delayed renovation work was hampering the free flow of traffic, thereby restricting some major economic-tailored activities at the airport.
“We are positioning Cross River State as an economy that is service driven and has traffic all year round.
“The Calabar Festival alone helps us grow our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) up to 50 percent, so we need to sustain this with world class infrastructure at the airport and other major entrances to the state.”
Imoke stated that the ongoing renovation and expansion work which will also include the installation of runway lighting system is very critical because it will beef up the safety standard in line with global practice that draws the desired traffic especially as the festive period draws near.
Imoke said: “With the revitalization of the Tinapa Business Resort, following its acquisition by Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Calabar needs a standard airport, a functional Free Trade Zone and free flow of ships within the Calabar channel to harness the huge potentials in the tourism subsector to grow the economy of the state.”
Imoke said the state government is ready to partner the association and any other reputable organization within and outside the country with economic fortune, saying, “If Cross River State, especially Calabar presents an opportunity for you, please don’t hesitate to take it.”
He promised to sustain the already existing cordiality between the state and allied association for mutual benefits.
In his remarks, National President, Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) said he was in the state to explore possible areas of collaboration through, which they could bring some of their International events to the state.
Sunday said they decided to partner the state because it has carved a niche for itself in the area of tourism development.
follow us on twitter @crossriverwatch
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.