As part of value addition to the state’s tourism offering, the Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has announced plans to build a beach resort in Calabar. Speaking during the inspection of Nsidung Beach in Calabar South Local Government Area of the state, the governor disclosed that construction work will start in 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 had been secured with a team of investors already setting aside $3 million for the project. Governor Ayade, said that the resort will complement the 2016 Calabar carnival, hinting that a boat regatta could be in this year’s Calabar Festival calender. Ayade who unveiled a resettlement plan for the residents of the waterfront, said: “I do not believe in the demolition of any property without adequate compensation. It could have been any of us in that slum.
As such, it is our 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 said that government will provide houses under its social housing scheme, for those that will be relocated from the waterfront. He said that the social housing scheme planned for the slum dwellers will show the sensibility, sensitivity, softness and care expected of a responsible government. “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, Ayade had announced a partnership between Calabar and the city of Dortmund in Germany with the aim of building houses that are dependent on renewable energy source for the displaced people of Bakassi.