Calabar in Cross Rivers State continues to retain its attractive allure, not just for the fanfare of its renowned festival, but for its Summit Hills, an area overlooking Tinapa, where a self-contained city is on the rise
Those visiting Cross Rivers State this December are not limiting their visit to the usual places; they are taking a few steps further. They are not just fascinated by the cleanliness of the cities in the state and its rich culture, the Summit Hills area of the state has become the new attraction.
“The most exciting Real Estate Project in Nigeria is already alive and breathing in Calabar, It’s called Summit Hills. Those who have seen the ongoing work there marvel at the vision of the man behind it. It is certainly a City of the Future, where everything is available,” said Mallam Abdullahi Mohammed, who visited calabar recently to participate in its annual carnival.
True, a new city is rising in the Summit Hills of Calabar that is expected to connect Tinapa through a mono rail by the time the work there is completed in November 2014.
Although still in construction phase, the project is expected to be comparable in size to the Canary Wharf Business District in London, United Kingdom or the Lower Manhattan district in New York City, United States. The site will include a nature reserve for endangered species of monkeys native to Cross River State along with nature trails.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to the State governor, Christian Ita, “The Summit Hills Development is a vision of the Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, to build an economic engine that creates jobs, increases the economic potential and builds on the strengths of Cross River State.
“The new Summit Hills Development Area is being developed in phases. The first phase which is ongoing features the construction of the main road, followed by the Calabar International Convention Center (CICC) and the CICC Hotel. The second stage is the development of the residential area and the hospital. The third phase will see the completion of the golf course, clubhouse, and additional residential areas. The fourth and final stage will be completion of the remaining residential area. The new Summit Hills development will be self-sufficient in the delivery of power generation via a local power plant situated in the vicinity.
“The dedicated power plant will provide 24-hour power supply to the new Summit Hills development as well as all visitors and guests at the other facilities within the development.
“Also, a state-of-the art hospital, carnival village and efficient transport system will be part of the summit Hills.” So last week, the Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Mallam Lamido Sanusi Lamido decided to visit the Summit Hills to see for himself the progress of work at the site, especially because of the lever it will provide to the local economy.
And after a few walk around the complex where a gigantic city is springing up, Sanusi applauded the initiative describing it a good thing to happen in Cross Rivers State and Nigeria.
Sanusi, who was accompanied by other top management staff of the CBN to tour the Summit Hills, spoke to news men and showered praises on Imoke for striving to develop a service driven knowledge based economy.
He said: “I have to commend Cross River for its consistency in Tinapa, Carnival and the International Convention Centre which are intended to bring economic development. You can see how wonderful and beautiful the surroundings are, look at Tinapa and the shopping mall. As you get to the shopping mall, you see a recreation centre and within a few minutes drive, you have a golf course.
He continued: “I wish the government of Cross River and others the best and assure them of the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria as they try to diversify the economy.
“As we move away from agriculture, this is good for Nigerian economy as a new sector. It is good for Cross River as it will help create employment. It is also good for Africa as it provides us with opportunity to attract more tourists’, he said. According to him, ‘We go to Livingstone, we go to Alexandra and hopefully, Calabar will soon be the Mecca for tourism.”
On the economic relevance of the 105-bed specialist hospital also under construction within the complex, the CBN Governor noted that it will attract foreign exchange, saying patronage at the hospital will boost the local economy.
‘We are always giving support. Today, we are starting our Bankers Committee and we give advice and support and will continue to do that,” he said.
Also, Sanusi has said the Bankers Committee which was formed in 2009 has found a home in Cross River State. According to Sanusi who paid a courtesy call on Imoke in Calabar recently, the committee after its inaugural meeting in Abuja in 2009 decided to move to Calabar in 2010 and since then Calabar has become its permanent venue. He said: “We took the decision because the town is peaceful, quiet, clean and there is less distraction as well as the wonderful support that we have received from the state.”
The 105 bed specialist hospital under construction at the Summit Hills according to Imoke is being done as public private partnership initiative between the Cross River State Government and an International concessionaire, UCL Healthcare Services Limited, with an estimated cost of about $40 million.
Accordingly, Imoke said that “the government is contributing a capital of 3.2 billion naira, while UCL HealthCare Services Limited will provide the balance of the financial requirement as its equity contribution in the spirit of Public Private Partnership”.
The 105-bed Calabar Specialist Hospital, Imoke said would enable the state achieve its drive, passion and commitment to providing first-class health care services to the people.
Medical Tourism The governor stated that the aim of constructing the specialist hospital was to make its capital city, Calabar, synonymous with the best quality health care available in Nigeria and any part of the world at a reduced cost.
He said: “We are acutely aware of the immense importance of this project, which will not only transform the medical landscape of the state but will also ultimately enlarge the profile of health care delivery in the region and country”.
He explained that the health sector needs to be revamped due to challenges such as professional competencies, infrastructure, operational and managerial capacities.
According to him, building and equipping specialists’ hospital across Nigeria would reduce what he described as “the vast increase in the importation of health care services not only from Europe, but India, the United Arab Emirate, South Africa and Egypt.”
Specific Services Imoke said: “When completed, the Calabar Specialist Hospital will offer comprehensive services such as gynaecology, obstetrics, paediatrics, internal medicine, general surgery and orthopaedics, laboratory services, basic neology as well as cardiology with plans to include oncology in future”.
“It is also to offer services in dermatology, urology, eye surgery as well as advanced dental surgery. There will also be gatekeeper clinic offering primary health care services, which would be a referral mechanism for the specialist hospital.”
The Golf Course The premier, golf course, designed to retain the natural idyllic setting of the area is as much a golfers dream as an exciting walk, it is situated on the western side of the main access road. It will feature lush fairways, an extensive driving range and natural features that provide recreational opportunities for residents who wish to play close to their home as well as guest of the hotel and the CICC.
The Clubhouse The Clubhouse at the Summit Hills will offer a spectacular elevated view of the Calabar Channel and surrounding wetlands. Club amenities will include a cafe, restaurant, catering facilities, pro shop, changing facilities, private meeting and VIP rooms. The Monorail
A monorail using electric powered passenger shuttle trains composed of ten cars and a seventy-eight total seating capacity will be available at the Summit Hills to care for transport need of residents and visitors to the place. The train will shuttle passengers between the CICC and the Tinapa complex while allowing access to Studio Tinapa, Tinapa Shopping Center, and the Tinapa waterpark and provides a quick alternative access connecting Tinapa to Summit Hills.The monorail station is set just off the CICC building to give access directly to convention activities.
Clearly, with the Summit Hills project, the Cross River State government might just be making a statement to the rest of the world that a good thing can come out of Nigeria.