Cross River Government has announced plans to build a beach resort in Calabar and houses that are dependent on renewable energy source for the displaced people of Bakassi.
Speaking during the inspection of Nsidung Beach in Calabar South, the governor, Prof Ben Ayade disclosed that construction work will start by the second week of September this year.
He said “it is obvious that as Cross River State continues to blaze the trail in tourism, we must develop our waterfronts in such a way that we find maximum value.”
The governor said funding for the project has been secured with a team of investors already setting aside three million dollars for the project.
Governor Ayade said the resort will complement the 2016 Calabar carnival, even as he hinted that a boat regatta could be in this year’s Calabar Festival calender.
Ayade who unveiled a resetlement plan for the residents of the waterfront noted that “I do not believe in the demolition of any property without adequate compensation,” adding, “it could have been any of us in that slum. As such, it is our own responsibility, divinely provided for in God’s own law that you must be your brother’s keeper.”
Announcing the Deputy Governor Prof Ivara Esu as the desk officer for the project, Ayade disclosed that government will provide houses under its social housing scheme, for those that will be relocated from the waterfront.
He said the social housing scheme planned for the slum dwellers will show the sensibility, sensitivity, softness and care expected of a responsible government.
Continuing, the governor said: “Such houses will be given to them at no cost. The theory that there is no free lunch is not true. For us in Cross River State, we do have free lunch.”
Earlier on arriving at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport from Abuja, Governor Ayade had disclosed a partnership between Calabar and the city of Dortmund in Germany with the sole aim of building houses that are dependent on renewable energy source for the displaced people of Bakassi.
His words: “Having shared the concern of the displaced people of Bakassi who by circumstances have found themselves as refugees in their own ancestral homes, the people of Dortmund think it is imperative to support Nigeria and indeed Cross River State to find a place for the people of Bakassi.”
Ayade also stressed the need for Nigerians to support the government of President Muhammad Buhari especially on the agricultural sector, as a means of getting the country’s economy out of the woods.
Photo caption: Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade presenting a souvenir to Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Ms Hadezia Bala Usman during a courtesy call on the governor in Calabar yesterday