Officials of the Cross River State Government have handed out a N10 million grant to ten selected hotels in Calabar, in what is the first phase of a state government grant to hotels in the state to help them give their facilities a facelift before the commencement of Calabar Carnival festivities.
Ojoi Ekpenyong, Managing Director of the CRS Tourism Board, while making the presentation at the Marina Resort Calabar, informed those gathered that the grant is a directive of the state governor, Bassey Edet Otu.
He also came clear that while the grant may be considered small, it should be able to assist those selected hoteliers in making over their reception lobbies and fringe fixes in readiness for the huge number of tourists, guests and participants, expected in the state.
He further informed the gathering that a “similar gesture will be extended to some hotels in the central and northern parts of the state soon. “Please ensure that you apply this money properly”, he said.
Samuel Neji Abang, representing Ikom I State Constituency in the CRSHA, who represented the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Elvert Ayambem, informed that the legislature will enforce state laws in pursuit of peace, safety and cleanliness of the city during the carnival.
Abubakar Ewa, Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, also present at the event, listed number of rooms, hotel functionality, power facilities available, visibility, among others as criteria for selection of the ten hotels. He also promised that another set of hotels have been lined up to receive a second tranche of the grant.
“Every hotel needs help. Despite that we have over 300 hotels in the state, yet we appreciate the amount for the few hotels selected meantime. We assure that we will apply this grant judiciously as we prepare to receive visitors”, Charles Ogar who presides over the Hotel Owners Association in CRS, assured at the event.
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