CROSS River State Commissioner for New Cities Development, Mr George Ekpungu, has disclosed that over 50,000 tourists from around the world are expected to visit the Calasvegas city during the 2016 Annual Calabar Carnival.
Ekpungu said this when he led his management team on a visit to the traditional rulers and elders of Nsutan community in Calabar South Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the objective of the visit was to inform the community chiefs and elders of the state government’s plan to transform the `twin island’ into Calasvegas city for tourism purpose.
The commissioner, who was also accompanied by his colleague from the Ministry of Social Welfare and Sustainable Development, Mr Oliver Orok, said that the city would be completed for use during the 2016 Calabar carnival.
He explained that the Calasvegas city, which would be accessed through a boat ride across the marina beach, would be equipped with modern day facilities with a view to meeting the expectations of tourists.
“My chiefs and traditional rulers, I am here today to solicit your support and cooperation in view of the state government plan to transform the twin island into Calasvegas city.
“Every community belongs to the owners; this city cannot come into limelight without your support. Tourism is one of the most essential commodities that Cross River has.
“Governor Ben Ayade is determined to develop the state with a view to attracting more investors for business and leisure. I appeal to you to support the development of this city.
“When fully developed, over 50,000 tourists that would be in Calabar for the carnival would be taken on a boat ride to visit the city.
“This will generate revenue for the state and the host community will also get royalties. We are putting in place adequate security for tourists that will visit the city,” he said.
Responding, HRH, Etubom Macah Archibong, Clan Head of Nsutan Community, expressed happiness over the proposed plan by government to turn the community to city.
According to Archibong, the marina beach was the home of tourism in Calabar, saying that the natural and friendly environment of the beach was worth exploiting by tourists who may visit Calabar for business or leisure.
Another traditional ruler in the area, Mr Ekpeyong Effiong-Iyamba, said that the development of Calasvegas city would further develop the community and thereby boost economic activities within the area.
Other traditional rulers, who spoke during the visit, also pledged their support for the development of the city.