Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke, has called on the Federal Government to ensure the speedy completion of the ongoing renovation, expansion and remodeling works at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar. Imoke, who made the call when he received the National President, Air-Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), Okewu Benjamin Sunday and other Executive members of the association in Calabar.
The governor said the call became necessary in view of the fact, that the state has started preparation for its annual Calabar Festival which would draw a lot of traffic in and out of the State capital, maintaining that the renovation work which has long been delayed has hampered free flow of traffic, thereby restricting major economic tailored activities at the airport.
“We are positioning Cross River State as an economy that is service driven and has traffic all year round…the Calabar Festival alone helps us grow our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) up to 50 percent, so we need to sustain this with world-class infrastructure at the airport and other major entrance to the state”, he said. He further stressed that the ongoing renovation and expansion works which will also include the installation of run way lighting system was very critical as it would beef-up safety standards in line with global practice that would draw the desired traffic especially as the festive period draws near.
He reiterated the state government’s readiness to partner the association and any other reputable organization within and outside country, saying, “If Cross River, especially Calabar presents an opportunity for you, please don’t hesitate to take it,” while promising to sustain the already existing cordial relationship between the state and allied associations.
Earlier, Okewu Benjamin Sunday, said he was in the state to explore possible areas of collaboration through which they could bring some of their international events to the state and further informed that they decided to partner the state because it has carved a niche for itself in the area of tourism development.
When www.calitown.com visited the airport early this week, noticeable structural defects in the work so far done have resulted in several leaking spots in the roof. At the check-in section of the airport, staff placed several containers in such spots to help collect water, even though it was clear that their efforts were producing little or no results.
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