Imoke Pleads With UN Over Bakassi Resettlement
The State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, has pleaded with the United Nations to pay greater attention to issues of Bakassi resettlement with a view to ameliorating the sufferings of displaced persons in the area.
Imoke made the plea in Calabar while receiving the United Nations Needs Assessment Team and officials of the National Boundary Commission (NBC) who were in the state on a visit to Bakassi Local Government Area.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Efiok Cobham, noted that the decision to cede the Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroun was activated by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, the United Nations and other witnessing nations, and maintained that the consequences of that action should be jointly addressed by all parties.
In an executive summary presented to the team, the State Government listed areas where the body pay could intervene to include health, education, infrastructure and economic empowerment.
Source: Leadership, 21st December 2011.
‘How Imoke tackles C’River’s development challenges’
FROM ANIETIE AKPAN, CALABAR
GOVERNOR Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has adopted the team player approach and genuine commitment to service in order to touch the lives of many people, according to one of his aides.
For example, his administration has carried along civil servants as seen in the payment of N18,000 minimum wage, which earned him a national award for being one of the first governors to do so, Imoke’s Chief Press Secretary and Special Assistant on Media, Omini Oden Oden, stated.
Oden, speaking while receiving executive members of the state council of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) led by Uduak Ikang, described Imoke as a strong believer in change, rural transformation, provision of primary healthcare and reformation in public transportation.
He emphasised that the ongoing overhauling of public transportation in the state was geared towards ensuring sanity on the roads and that universally accepted driving rules and regulations are observed.
Oden, who described Imoke as media-friendly, commended female journalists in the state, especially the executive of NAWOJ, for their commitment to the survival of the association and the interest in the profession. He added that the history of NAWOJ in Nigeria cannot be complete without its Cross River chapter because it is where it started.
Source: The Guardian, 1st November 2011.
At Obudu Ranch Resort, Reinvention is Key
There is no end to the provision of the latest aviation equipment at Bebi Airstrip and other attractions at the resort to make flights to the Obudu Ranch Resort smooth and safe, and relaxation at Obudu most comfortable, writes Jude Okwe in Calabar
Imagine the following scene: President Goodluck Jonathan, members of his cabinet and hundreds of other politicos and businessmen atop Obudu Ranch Resort enjoying nature at its most pristine. They are there for some brainstorming sessions on Nigeria's troubled economy and how to get it out of the woods. The secluded nature of the resort and its serenity fits such a presidential retreat. And they all flew in safety to the place.
This is, in fact, was just one of the good-natured delights at the nation's most prestigious tourist havens. The jealously protected plateau is the country's own Camp David. With its low and high-powered clientele, coveted privacy and all-year-round activities, the Obudu Ranch Resort in Obanliku Local Government Area, Cross River State, is idyllic and ideal for holidays, conferences, relaxation and sight seeing.
When the Cross River State government some few years ago gave a facelift to the resort, everything needed to make the temperate region truly a tourist destination was taken into consideration and provided, from good access roads, a well equipped airstrip, safari lodges for students and low income tourists, a water park at the base of the mountain, a cable car, canopy walkway and ultra-modern chalets, including a presidential lodge at the highest point of the mountain.
And there's no letup yet to the provision of facilities and equipment either at the airstrip or the resort itself. The Cross River State Government which invested over N17 billion in the development of the Obudu Ranch Resort is determined to make the place the most sought after by tourists. This explains why it has continued to introduce one new attraction to the other to endear the landscape to visitors and tourists.
The Bebi Airstrip constructed in the second republic through the effort of the then senate president, Dr. Joseph Wayas, an indigene of Obanliku has had its runway extended to over two kilometres to enable bigger aircraft land. Its control tower has been modernised with the entire complex fenced for protection. This massive renovation has attracted more airlines to the airstrip.
According to the Cross River State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, the Bebi Airstrip is better equipped than some airports in the country. “It has the most modern facilities like Instrument Landing System (ILS), Directional Beacon Navigation (DBN), and a runway with marked lines and strobe lighting which some airports operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria do not have,” Ugbe added.
Mr. Gabe Onah, the special adviser to Governor Liyel Imoke on Tourism Development, said in addition to the above facilities, the airstrip was being installed with Doppler Voice Omini directional Radio Range (DVOR) adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation in 1960. The installation exercise, he revealed, will last for three weeks and will further enhance landing and take-off at the airstrip before activities for this year's festive period commence.
Ugbe said the state government which owns the ranch resort and has invested so much in it was not ready to compromise on air travel to this earthly paradise. Hence government was ready and willing to meet the needs of the airstrip. The last quarter of the year is always the peak period of the state's tourism calendar. The mountain race in November and Calabar Christmas Festival and Carnival in December are all crowd pulling events, he added.
From November to the end of first quarter of the New Year, hotel rooms at the ranch resort are fully booked. This means traffic to and from this picturesque province in Nigeria is high be it by land or air. Aware of this, the state government provides everything necessary to aid mobility. The only access road to the resort is maintained regularly as luxury buses, cars and other vehicles ply it with tourists and visitors.
“This is an alternative resort for Nigerians who love going to The Gambia, Ghana, South Africa or beyond Africa for holidays. We cannot have a resort of this magnitude and not afford to develop it to international standards. We can't compromise the safety of our visitors, whether they travel by air or road. The cable car which conveys people up and down the eleven kilometre mountain of the resort operates under the watchful eyes of highly trained engineers,” the commissioner added.
Ugbe said preparations for this year's edition of the Calabar Christmas Festival including its famous carnival are in top gear. The festival, he added, promises to be the best so far as a lot will be on offer. A lot of innovations will be witnessed without the festival losing its traditional activities and value. It is hoped that these innovations will further draw more people to Calabar and other parts of the state, he said.
Recently, Governor Imoke took an inspection tour of facilities at the airstrip and gave a pass mark. He told newsmen after the exercise that the aviation equipment at Bebi Airstrip was fully functional, up-to-date and of international standard to handle flights as well as ensure safety. Government, he maintained, opted for additional state-of-the art facilities deliberately despite the fact that they were meant to meet aviation standards for an A-Class airstrip in the country.
Commenting on patronage at the resort, the governor said most corporate organisations, captains of industry, state governments, banks, companies, etc, now prefer to host their meetings, conferences, retreats and annual general meetings there because they find the scenery to be exceptionally beautiful, besides flying smoothly to the airstrip to connect to the top. Imoke himself makes use of the airstrip on a regular basis.
Also, the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company is rehabilitating the Ikom-Obudu Federal Highway ahead of the 2011 Obudu International Mountain Race on November 26.
Source: This Day, 30th October 2011.
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