By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”The Tinapa Shipping Line, which started operations Monday as a cargo vessel to serve the Tinapa Business Resort and neighbouring state, made its maiden voyage to the dormant Calabar Sea Port in Calabar, Cross River State.
The shipping services, a collaboration between the Tinapa Business Resort and Ropacorp Shipping Services, is part of efforts to ignite business at the Tinapa Business Resort and boost the economy of the state and the surrounding areas.
The ship, a 4500 metric ton cargo vessel owned by Mr. Robert Glover, a Cross Riverian, isÂ one of the four planned by the shipping line.
It came in from Italy, laden with diverse goods largely imported by operators at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort.
Managing Director of Ropacorp Shipping Services, Mr. Robert Glover, said the ship would ply Calabar and the West African coast every four days and would serve mostly business operators at the Tinapa and others doing business at the Calabar Free Trade Zone and beyond.
The vessel has the capacity to carry about 300 containers and would be manned by Russian and Ukrainian crew, who would in due time be replaced by a Nigerian crew toÂ conform with the provisions of the cabbotage law.
Managing Director of Tinapa Business Resort, Bassey Ndem, expressed hope that the development would bring about a huge economic impact to the operations of Tinapa and the state.
His words: â€œThe operation of Tinapa Express will rejuvenate the Calabar Port. The port here will enjoy all the fees, transport firms in Calabar and container handlers will benefit and there will be creation of other jobs, increase of economic activities will take place instantly.â€