By Dapo Akinrefon
BUSINESS and leisure activities at theÂ Â $50 billion Tinapa Resort in Calabar, Cross River State have improved tremendously, a few months after the Federal government approved and gazetted the operational guidelines.
Apart from state governments which have now chosen to hold their conferences and retreats at the resort, some foreign concerns are also taking advantage of the serenity and ambience of the Tinapa to do business and recreate.
Managing Director of Tinapa, Mr Bassey Ndem, who made this known in an interactive session with journalists said that â€œover 100 containersÂ have come into the Tinapa over the last three months. These are goods that are not in the absolute prohibition list including general cargo; electronics, textiles, building materials, home wares, consumables and so on. Those are the ones coming in now.â€
In addition, he said, â€œBut we are talking to other people that want to bring machineries. Somebody has brought in papers, another person rods. Many goods are coming in now. In fact, Tinapa is getting out of the woods and there are about 53 different companies operating at the Tinapa now.Â The Amber Tinapa is ready and has been in use. The Water Park, the biggest in Africa is ready and in use. So, why should I go and look at another water park at Orlando or anywhere else when this one is available?â€
Ndem stated further that prior to the release of the gazette, a number of people had come in to make enquiries about taking shops, but it was not possible to consummate the deal because the operational manual had not been released by then.
The Tinapa boss, however, encouraged those wishing to do business at Tinapa to take advantage ofÂ the low rentage the resort offers mindless of the many incentives available.
â€œIf your business is going to complement our model, we are ready to give a yearâ€™s rent free to such a person or company coupled with other mouth_watering attractions.
Our rents are not out of the reach of the people willing to do business in the zone. People should appreciate the fact that Tinapa has become a destination for the young and the old, because we have the largest Water Park in Africa, the largest games arcade in Nigeria , you wonâ€™t find it in Lagos or Abuja. We have one of the nicest hotels in this country, Tinapa Amber Hotel . The environment is serene and unique, a first_class grassed, flowered infrastructureâ€, he noted
Ndem disclosed that two emporia out of four have been rented out to investors while 27 out of 53 line shops have been collected for diverse business transactions just as the Amber Tinapa Hotel, Sea World Arcade and Water Parks, both the biggest in West Africa, have commenced businesses with almost all the clients applying for land to build their residential apartments which are major signs that positive things were happening at the Tinapa.
While calling for the dredging of the Calabar River Channel, dualization of the gateway roads to Calabar and improvement of facilities at the Calabar airport, he lamented that about a year ago, the only shipping line in Calabar withdrew its services while importers of goods into the state resorted to Onne and Port Harcourt ports because of bad roads and shallow level of the Calabar water channels.
According to Ndem, Tinapa intends to acquire three more ships as well as increase its freight from 4,500 to 36,000 metric tones so as to serve the South_South, South East and the North East zones effectively adding that the management has the hope of floating a Tinapa Airline in future.
File…..tinapa April 1, 2010