Work begins on $1 billion Cross River ‘Virgin’ city
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has initiated work on the $1billion ‘Virgin’ city in Calabar.The project, which would be cited in Etap Ayip Kasuk, in Calabar municipality, is in partnership with a Chinese firm, Mark Sino Construction Company Limited.
Performing the groundbreaking, Ayade said: “This project arose from the potentials of the deep seaport because, as the construction on the seaport starts by January 15, with 35, 000 workers at its peak, we need to provide accommodation and recreational facilities for them.”
The governor, who expressed confidence on the pedigree of the company to deliver said: “I have been to Jilin province, which is a fantastic place with very wide roads and well-built areas that make it far more civilized than America.
“I think we have a great opportunity to use my exposure and contacts to seek an alternative to the continuous dependence on federal allocation.”He canvassed going out of the scope to attract investors and people who would understand the philosophy because the ultimate aim of politics is to serve your fatherland.
The governor expressed the hope that the project would give the host community a sense of belonging through job creation.On recruitment of labour, he said emphasis would also be given to the host community. He said the place would be given a priority in the recruitment of workers, because “we don’t want to build an estate, which the community itself cannot afford to live in.”
Ayade added that some indigenes, whose income would improve as a result of the construction, might be able to buy property in the city.“Let it not be that we took the land because it belongs to government, invest on it and leave the host community too low, when compared to the accompanying development,” he said.He commended the investors for choosing the state for their investments.
He said: “You have made choice of the right state, the right city and the right approval, as this is going to be the fastest growing city with industries, factories, manufacturing plants and recreational centres. Of course, there is no where that would grow as fast as this community.”
The Chairman of the company, Wei Hengshan, who spoke through an interpreter, promised that the company would work according to specification to positively transform the lives of the citizenry.Also, the Clan Head of Kasuk 2 Qua, Ntoe Ededem Iyito, commended Ayade for his developmental projects across the state, and promise the community’s support for the project.
According to the commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, John Inyang, and his counterpart in New Cities, George Ekpungu, the ‘virgin’ city would be a tourist centre and an estate with European and African concept.