The abandonment of Tinapa is the greatest disservice from my successors – Donald Duke
By Frankie Ifop, Calabar
Former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald has lamented over the deteriorating status of the legacies (especially Tinapa Business resort) that he left behind as Governor.
Duke who stated this in Calabar on Sunday during a book launch on the title ‘Cross River at 50: The People and Events that shaped it’ by Ekpe Esien Ita (an elder statesman), regretted that the infrastructure has been allowed to waste, adding that the nonusage of Tinapa was the greatest disservice his successors have done to the state.
His word: “Tinapa has not been put to use and we shot ourselves on the foot when we did not put it to use. Government is continuous and the successor is always smarter than the predecessor.”
Recalled that PARADISE NEWS had earlier reported that the sitting governor, Sen. Ben Ayade, had consented to selling Tinap (a project that cost the state over six hundred million dollars ($600,000,000) – a value that is now equivalent to two hundred and sixteen billion Naira (N216,000,000,000)), to a US-based company, ROPA Corporation in late June this year.
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In a letter signed by Jumbo, Margaret Unyalachie, Personal Secretary to the Governor, on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 and obtained by PARADISE NEWS, Governor Ayade decided to sell the entire Tinapa to Mr. Robert Glover, CEO/President, ROPA Corporation, Inc. of 8219 Candle Green Ct, Houston TX 77071, United States after indicating interest in acquiring it in 2018.
The letter with volume number, GOIS/17NOL.1/149, and titled ‘RE: EXPRESSION OF INTEREST TO ACQUIRE AND GAIN ASSETS OF TINAPA IN CALABAR, NIGERIA’ was to notify the above firm of the final meeting on the 16th and 18th of July, 2019 in Calabar, the state capital.
The letter read in full: “I write on the directive of His Excellency, Senator Prof. Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 11th March, 2018, wherein you expressed interest to gain the Iiquidated Assets of Tinapa with the associated licenses and assets.
“The Cross River State Government notes your interest in acquiring Tinapa and wishes to inform you that arrangements are on-going with the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to meet with you and chart the way forward.
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“Please be notified that the meetings between your good selves, the Cross River State Government and AMCON have been scheduled to hold between 16 and 18 July 2019. The meeting between the State Government and your organisation in Calabar, including a visit to Tinapa is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 16 while the tripartite meeting at Abuja will hold on Thursday, 18th July, 2019.
“Accordingly, kindly please furnish us with details of all the parties that shall be coming to Nigeria for this engagement from your organisation, to enhance a formal invitation and to also fast track the Visa process.
“We count on your prompt response.
“Accept the assurances of the warm and kind regards of His Excellency, the Governor”.
It was also rumoured that sometime in 2015, Ayade wanted to turn the business resort to a higher institution.
While the immediate past Governor Liyel Imoke tried to maintain the status quo of the multi-billion Naira project, he did nothing to sustain and put it in the path it was meant to be. Ever since then, the project has been in a constant deplorable state.