Life has returned to Cross River’s prestigious Marina Resort which was shut down months ago following a boat mishap that claimed the lives of three students.
Reopening the resort in the late hours of Sunday, Gov. Bassey Otu said the relaxation and tourist centre was back and they would continue to develop it to international standards.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Marina Resort which houses the Slavery Museum and a moribund cinema hall, was shut down on Saturday, June 24.
This followed a boat accident that claimed the lives of three medical students from Ahmadu Bello University, Niger Delta University and University of Uyo, who visited Calabar for their annual health week, hosted by the University of Calabar.
Represented by Mr Elvert Ayambem, Speaker of the Cross River House of Assembly, Gov. Otu said apart from carrying out some major renovations in the resort, they had also beefed up security with a gunboat ready, 24 hours.
“What we have done here is very impressive, as you can see, fun seekers are already trooping in and I am specially happy with the presence of security from the navy and police.
“To residents of Cross River, a lot has been sunk into this resort, please add value and not destroy, learn to respect government policies which are for the good of everyone,” he said.
On his part, Mr Ojoi Ekpenyong, Managing Director, Cross River Tourism Bureau, said he was elated with the rebranding of the resort with 24-hour electricity, clean environment and ready service providers.
He called on people both within and outside the state to visit the resort and enjoy all it had to offer in a serene and secured environment.
One of the fun seekers, Dr. Fidelia Esu, who came with her family, told NAN that from what she saw in the rebranded resort, there is hope that the facility would go back the way it used to be.
“In those days, this resort was always lively, people were providing various services and making their money, it was an exciting time.
“I still believe we can boost tourism more in Cross River by going back to our rural communities and take up tourism activities from there.
“We have a lot in our local communities that can attract tourists to the state, this will go a long way in bringing development into our rural communities,” Esu said.