Tuesday, 29 May 2018


I visited the most talked about TINAPA at last in the North of Calabar municipality, Cross River State. Tinapa was the brain child of the former Governor of Cross Rivers state, Donald Duke, to improve business and tourism, Tinapa costs is estimated to be over $450 million or about 415 million euros. It was developed in four phases under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) in the Calabar Free Trade Zone. It is located on approximately 80,000 square metres (860,000 sq ft). Tinapa is a community on its on with shops and warehouses, the entertainment area has a casino, digital cinema, children's arcade, restaurants, a mini amphitheatre, a night club and pubs, an artificial tidal lake that feeds from the Calabar River, a Water Park / Leisure Land and parking Space for 4,000 cars.

There is also an open exhibition area for trade exhibitions and other events, and a movie production studio commonly called Tinapa Studios. There is a 243-room international three star Hotel.

The resort also has a truck terminal, and it is powered by an independent power plant.

Like most projects in Nigeria, TINAPA stands like a white elephant project today, on my visits, most of the shops were under lock and keys, few people moved around, nothing is happening there.

The reason I was told is because the Cross River State and the Federal government are fighting over who owns the right to operate a free trade zone policy there.

Dr James at the swimming pool section

The Federal Government is yet to approve the operating procedures and guidelines. Like when two elephants fight, while the free trade zone policy lingers, the interest rate payments on the construction cost of the complex is rising.

My take here is that the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as the Cross Rivers State Government should leave no stone on-turned to resuscitate Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort, the time is now and not tomorrow.

Dr James at the kiddies section  

Gov Donald Duke with Dr. Raphael James

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