Governor Bassey Edet Otu of Cross River state has presented One Million Naira each to ten hotel owners in Calabar as special grants to support them ahead of the coming annual Calabar Carnival/ Xmas festivities fixed to commence from 1st December 2023 to 1st January 2024 with the theme: “Empowering Hotels, investing in Excellence”, is a testament to unwavering Commitment to Sustainable Tourism and a belief in the Potential of our local business.
This assertion was made in Calabar during the presentation of One Million Naira cheque each to the ten beneficiaries of the grant after an extending screening exercise with the combined team of the Hoteliers Association with the Managing Director of Cross River State Tourism Bearue, Prince Ekpenyong Ojoi to Cross River State Chapter members of Hoteliers Association as helping hand to ensure they maintain their tourism facilities to standard.
He also remarks that “Tourism is the sole property of the Private sector” and that he is only the man in charge of the state Tourism Bearue and his role is limited to ensuring that the standard of tourism facilities is vigorously sustained for the reason of future attraction. As the central referee in the tourism sector of the state, his key role is towards effective service delivery for satisfaction.
Also speaking before the presentation is the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Elvert Eyambem who was represented by Hon.Eneji Abang representing Ikom 1 State constituency expressed delight at the gesture while promising that the lawmakers will join forces with the state chief executive to ensure that the initiative is sustained.
He further explained that the state Assembly is aware of the insecurity situations in the past such as kidnapping which was a major threat to the survival of the tourism initiative of the state and he declared that the tenth Assembly have already created a law to make such criminal activities to be a capital punishment of death sentence when the culprit is caught.
In his brief remarks, the Cross River State Chairman of the Hoteliers Association, Mr Charles Ogar expressed gratitude to the governor; Senator Prince Otu for his forthrightness to keep to his campaign promise of revamping the tourism sector as the first of its kind in the state as compared to the past eight years of trauma in the industry.
Mr, Ogar recalled that had initially expressed doubt at the sincerity and ability of Governor Otu to release the sum of #10 million as grants to hoteliers as a first of its kind and that he is overwhelmed and this a testimony or the confirmation of Governor Otu’s claim of “Sweet Prince” and the mantra of “Season of Sweetness”, he added.
He vowed that the Hoteliers Association would ensure that they set up a committee to effectively monitor the beneficiaries of the grant who emerged after severe scrutiny purely on merit out of the over 300 hoteliers to help carry out basic renovations of their tourism facilities.
However, the ten hotels that passed the litmus test of the combined team are Pyramid Hotel, Diamond Crue, Royal Bit Hotel, Channel View Hotel, Global Dream Hotel, Tourist Castle Suits, and Ahkira Lodges. Formula Executive Suits, Le Chateau Hotel and Calcom Hotel.