Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Whither Tinapa?

It seems all is not well at Tinapa. I heard a few months ago that the Cross River State government is paying a hefty chunk of its monthly budget on interest payments to service the debt taken on to finance the thing. Then last week a friend came back from a visit there the week before to look at business opportunities. The place is deserted apparently. Another friend is pulling out too. Oh dear.

Apparently, there are issues about its legal status as an export zone. Will Tinapa end up being an elephant painted white with Duke written on the side, or can something be done to salvage the idea? Will "Africa's Premier Business Resort" become Africa's premier balls-up, or can smart brains and joined-up thinking make something of it all? If it cannot be a trade export zone for whatever reason, perhaps it could be turned into a retail/casino palace serving local and international tourists, a la Sun City? The point is, Cross River still has a lot to offer for tourists - Calabar is relaxed and has lots of culture (although undeveloped in terms of tourist infrastructure), Obudu, the Drill Ranch and primeval tropical forest are a short hop away, Cameroon is just across the border etc. All is needed is a bit more thinking, and another chunk of money...


Modibbo,  6:06 pm  


Reading your intro I am reminded of the Canary wharf saga in UK. It was kicked off at the height of Thatcher's 'Can-do' Britain in the 80's by Canada's Reichmann brothers.

It then collapsed in the property bubble and the bros went bust. They then repackaged the deal, refinanced and relaunched in 1993. The rest history as they say, and today its an overwhelming sucess.

Whether this story of redemption is replicable in Calabar - who knows. But as you say the local environment still has huge potential.

Maybe Duke should come out of obscurity to save his project.


Anonymous,  6:10 pm  

I think the support the project garnered under OBJ is gone as Yardy seems intent on destroying everything obasanjo did, good or bad. So the duty free status of tinapa is gone now and they have to regroup. your idea sounds good but it will cost the state a lot to re-brand the place

oo,  12:46 am  

Yah, hopped over to Tinapa a few weeks ago to support the cause only to find beautiful wastelands, complete with customs officers standing in front of the only two open stores in the complex to prevent them them from selling to the few and the brave who made it out there. Apparently, they haven't been "gazetted" whatever the hell that means.

I would call it a shame in any other place in the world, in Nigeria, its business as usual.


guerreiranigeriana 4:39 pm  

oh no!! awful!!!...i hope the redemption scenario can and does play out...

Anonymous,  6:01 pm  

can't a lawsuit resolve this issue between CRS and the Feds

culturalmiscellany 8:43 pm  

It needs transport! Its miles from Calabar and not exactly easy to find as you can't see it for miles after turning off the main highway.

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