By Kanjal Godshield
The Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke on Monday unveiled a 5000 Multipurpose Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) to boost tourism in the state.
Imoke said the Centre was designed to increase business activities at the Tinapa Business Resort and to connect the resort to the Calabar city center through a Monorail.
“With the monorail linking the CICC and Tinapa, tourists can connect Tinapa through the convention center and this will boost business and tourism.
“We are trying to create additions to the Calabar Carnival as a means of making tourism the mainstay of our economy,” Imoke stated.
Mr Nzan Ugbe, Special Adviser on Events Management said that the multipurpose CICC has reached 90 per cent completion, adding that some of the coaches for the monorail have already arrived.
Ugbe added that 20 international conference proposal have been received, adding that 12 have been approval pending the final completion of the center.
“I can tell you that even before we finished the center, people have started booking from across Africa and Europe,” he said.
The SA further said that measures have been put in place to ensure proper and continued maintenance of the center after the contractors have handed over in August.
He also disclosed that the center would host the May 29th handover ceremony to the incoming administration in the State.
Mr Reginald Longdon, the Project Manager of Courteny Michael Partnerships, the firm handling the Centre said, it was designed for ultimate flexibility.
Longdon noted that the Centre was inter-connected with audio visual systems in all the halls and a press gallery including VIP rooms.
“You can have a meeting of up to 5000 people all over the building in different rooms/halls with the audio visual.
“We have facilities here that cannot be found anywhere in the world,” he stated.
He however, said that frequent rainfall was one of the challenges the company faced during the construction of the center.