Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade Wednesday described the state as an investors’ haven saying private sector participation was key to its economic growth and pledged his government’s continued efforts at attracting investors to the state.
Ayade who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of Indigo Hotel, a Five-Star hospitality facility, along the Murtala Muhammed Highway Calabar, commended Manoj Jagtiani, the Chief Executive Officer of Indigo Hotels for opting to invest in Cross River.
According to the governor, “there is no doubt that Indigo Hotel will not only boost tourism in our state but also create employment for our people.
“We will continue to create the conducive environment for private investments in Cross River, Cross River remains an investors’ haven.
“This hotel is bringing something very special. We can’t be saying Cross River and indeed Calabar is the centre of tourism in Nigeria when indeed we don’t even have a hotel that we can identify as a Five- star hotel for guests to stay in.
“A lot of investors coming in will start looking for where to sleep. I have a special regard for my dear friend, Mr Jagtiani who thought it necessary to invest in Cross River State”
Describing the Hotel as “something that is iconic and defines Calabar as an iconic, beautiful and outstanding city”, Ayade appealed to the Management of Indigo Hotels to stick to the seven months completion target for its Calabar branch.
He further urged the company to also consider setting up branches in the Northern and Central parts of the state.
Earlier in his speech, Jagtiani, a Sri Lankan, said the Management of Indigo Hotels was grateful to the governor for allowing the company to expand its business to Cross River.
“This dream would not have come to reality without the special efforts of His Excellency and all involved parties here”, Jagtiani said.
With branches in Abuja and Lagos and now expanding its frontiers to Calabar, Awka, Abakaliki and Port Harcourt, the Indigo boss explained that the Calabar branch when completed will be the city’s first-ever Five-Star Hotel.
He said he chose to invest in Cross River “because of its hospitality, its warm and friendly people and because Cross River is the safest state in Nigeria”