Nigeria puts its investment hope in Tinapa

Posted On Wednesday, 10 March 2004 02:00 Published by
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The Tinapa project in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in southern Nigeria, would be a catalyst for investment into the impoverished country, President Olusegun Obasanjo predicted.

 

Olusegun Obasanjo

Abuja, Nigeria - The Tinapa project in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in southern Nigeria, would be a catalyst for investment into the impoverished country, President Olusegun Obasanjo predicted.

The leisure, shopping and hotel complex - the first phase of which will be completed at a cost of about $120 million (R788 million) by mid-2006 - will be funded by both equity (60 percent) and debt (40 percent).

The Nigerian public and private sectors are expected to take up the bulk of the equity and the South African financial sector will probably be the main source of debt funding.

Speaking at the official presentation of the project to some of Nigeria's most senior politicians in Abuja last week, Obasanjo said he was "100 percent behind the project".

He added: "If there is anything that is required at a federal government level to make the project a success story, then we will do it."

He said Tinapa could be seen as a catalyst for investment, development and African co-operation and would "bring Nepad [the New Partnership for Africa's Development, the continent's economic recovery programme] to our people and show what it can do and what it is all about".

Obasanjo, along with South African president Thabo Mbeki and others, is an architect of Nepad and chairs its implementation committee. 


Zora Madikizela, the Africa unit head of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), said she was impressed with the project but it was too soon to say whether the IDC would provide funding for the project.

She said the level of commitment shown by the Nigerian government, at both a state and federal level, was important, as was the fact that it had been endorsed by the Nepad secretariat.

"As an organ of state we subscribe to Nepad's objectives," she said.

Hesphina Rukato, the Johannesburg-based head of tourism and the environment in the Nepad secretariat, said Tinapa was a good example of a project that was "integrated and targeted at poverty reduction and economic growth.

"It fits into what Nepad is all about and ... is a good demonstration of a public-private partnership," she said.

"It is a demonstration that the Nepad approach can work."

About 40 South African business representatives were flown into Nigeria by the Cross River State government to look at the project.

They said that while they were impressed by the project's scale and design, they would need to see a lot more detail before they committed to it.

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