The Tinapa may one day, not only emerge as the Cross Rivers State Government’s waste, but a pointer to Nigerian insatiable appetite for greediness and profligacy!
Greediness to make a name or history as the head of a Government that achieved what others could not.
A government garnered Billions of Naira. The aim was to develop a trade hub. But, did the people adhere strictly, to the rules as prescribed the feasibility studies? .Or was there no feasibility studies before such gigantic project was embarked upon?
In any case, as the billions of Naira evaporated, solid structures constructed on serene, hospitable environment grew.
The Governor called his pet dream TINAPA. His enemies called it the TILAPIA. As the governor bows out gracefully, at the end of his tenure, the enviable tilapia lost focus, and neither would swim nor die. Today
The Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort complex in Calabar is today, a good example of a failed dream!
But if the former Governor was myopic; what do you say of the successor? Rather than correct the inherent mistakes of his predecessor and work hard enough to make the TINAPA serve its purpose; he has seemingly, merely distanced himself from it?
But the Governor is also a human being. So, perhaps, also wanting to make his own name,, has also begun the construction of another TILAPIA- sinking new billions of Naira into a stone throw of the earlier tinapa.
In other words, there would now be Tinapa 2, a stone throw from Tinapa 1.
perhaps, to quicken the real death of the fast decaying Tinapa. So that as the new Tinapa grows in status, those who developed the old Tinapa could grow green with envy.
Maybe, the current Government wants to prove a point; to show that he has a better fore sight and managerial skills.. Or to prove that he has no portion in his predecessor; by allowing a project developed and celebrated by his predecessor for Nigerians, through Nigerian money to waste!
Is the Governor in Calabar right? Is he proving a point? Is he wasting the people’s money?
What will happen if tomorrow another Governor comes, ignores his own ‘Tinapa’ (tilapia) to also go in ruins?
What happens if the new project also go into ruins?
Is this the way Governments in overseas reason, and they have advanced, so enviably?
The crew of the Maritime First was Calabar recently. To confirm the reported reaction of Customs Chief who was in a visitor to Tinapa in August, 2014. The Tinapa was truly in ruins.
The Customs Controller in charge of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states Command, Mr. Yekini Atoyebi, had earlier visited the Tinapa, as part of his official assignments: he could not believe what he saw. He was dazed and he wept. It was his first day at the site.
And so, with mist around his eyes, and an imaginable heaviness in his heart he approached the Government House in Calabar. There, he pleaded that the Government should do something about the old Tinapa.
He wept because of the stupendous amount of billions already sunk: and height of decay, waste and desolation already attained. The Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort complex in Calabar , which ought to have become a huge business hub in Africa was in ruins, under the watchful eyes of those who should protect it.
But Atoyebi is “a big man”. So he could speak at the Government House in Calabar, when he paid his maiden courtesy visit on the State Security Adviser, Mr. Rekpene Bassey.
He said he could not imagine how such gigantic infrastructure could be lying desolate in the country.
“When I went there some people in my entourage said I was crying louder than the bereaved, but to me, I could not imagine how such a gigantic infrastructure would be lying desolate when in some places such infrastructure could be bringing in revenue that can keep a state running for months,” he said.
An officer and a fine gentleman, the Comptroller urged the state government to do everything within its reach to ensure the resort functions.
Atoyebi is a lucky man. The Maritime First crew has no opportunity of speaking to Government officials, so we spoke with cab drivers and artisans.
Emmanuel Ebong wondered why the State should be so unlucky, to have come in quick succession, under leaderships who would rather, selfishly compete, instead of cooperating.
Just as a man drinking beer at a joint near the Nigerian Ports Authority blamed the development on witches. “My brother, na the witches o. You know they are very strong here!”. He refused to tell us his name. Perhaps, because of the fear of the witches!
The average man on the streets of Calabar is sad with the development. They all insist the current Governor can do something about it. Our crew agreed. The Government should do something fast, about it.
But would the Government do anything about it?
We know that to the Government, voices like that of Atoyebi could be wasting their time. There was nothing new outsiders can say, that it does not know already!
The Maritime First crew wished the Government of the Cross River States well.
The Governor, like Nero may be playing the flute today, while Tinapa lays in ruin, because he wants to build his own Tinapa. But let him know that historians are also waiting for him. His administration would one day end.
The people of the State are not the real losers. The real losers are Nigerians… It is their resources and dreams that is so far, gradually but consistently going into ruins!