Ibom Tropicana: Tourism and Entertainment Redefined
16 Jun 2010: Ajibike Yusuf
In every nation of the world the issue of tourism is of great value, it cannot be under emphasized because it is regarded as a veritable avenue for economic gain. Tourism facilities have distinctive features which make them basically attractive sites, and uniquely special. Either natural or man-made, tourism is an avenue for maximum relaxation, entertainment and income generation. That’s what led the administration of Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio who is a visionary leader to give the state a facelift and project the state’s image to the outside world with the Ibom Tropicana Project, an entertainment, hospitality and business complex.
A middle age man named Mr Enobong Urua who was seen at the Udo-Udoma avenue staring at a wonderful edifice not of nature but of human and architectural prowess, could not hide his feelings any longer and shouted “Abasi” meaning God in his local dialect and started showering encomiums on the executive Governor, Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio for the wonderful infrastructural development he has bought to the state in such a short period of time. I got attracted by his comments and asked him why he was full of praise for the Governor he replied with a smile and said ever since he was born he has not witnessed such infrastructural development in a short period of time by any administration, that was why he could not hold his feeling after going round the town and seeing massive infrastructural development going on in the state and on getting to the Tropicana project site, seeing the pace of work going on there, he could not hold his feelings any longer.
As a journalist, being attracted to the so much talked about Ibom Tropicana project I had to do a lot of research to know the benefits of the project to the people of the State. I discovered that it has some features that will make it a place to be after its completion, going by the model and progress of work on site. It’s definitely a “Paradise on earth”. It has some distinctive features which include; 15-storey five star Hotel with 250 bedrooms, Galleria with multiple cinema hall, International Standard Theme Park with Water Falls, 10,000 Seater Dome/ Conference Center, complimentary services Monorail / Mini Disney, Shopping Mall and Employment Generation of over 5000 people.
The Five Star Hotel with 250 bedrooms is of course of international standard and can serve as a hospitality concern for people within and outside the state for lodging and accommodation. Various cities are noted for their hotels and with this projection definitely this hotel will be popular beyond the state thereby inviting patronage from outside the state. Godswill Akpabio’s administration wants to project this five star hotel alongside that of Ibom Le-Meridian and Golf Resort hotels thereby making Akwa Ibom a State with reputable hospitability facilities. With another hotel of international standard in place definitely one can say Akwa Ibom is a home away from home.
Also the Galleria with multiple cinema halls has made Ibom Tropicana above the classes of Silver birds Galleria in Lagos and Abuja. The six hall cineplex affords the opportunity to watch movies meant for cinemas, here in Akwa Ibom instead of going to Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt. The question is why go outside to catch fun when you can maximally be entertained here courtesy of Dr. Godswill Akpabio’s administration, who has turned the state capital into an entertainment city like Hollywood.
For car owners the issue of parking space is nothing to worry about because the international theme park is spacious enough and guess what? It is a beauty to behold coupled with a wonderful artistic waterfall which is placed strategically at the entrance of the complex, serving as a warm welcome to the arena. There is no question about security as arrangement is so well in place that there will not be any case of car theft or crime in the Tropicana arena and its environs.
Also one distinctive feature of this project is the 10,000 seater dome or conference centre, and I doubt if any state has this in Nigeria. This is definitely innovative and I am rest assured that many organizations, both local and International will be struggling to hold conferences in Akwa Ibom state. That means at a go, 10,000 people can converge and be seated comfortably for conferences and meetings without stress. Personally, I think Governor Godswill Akpabio’s administration deserves a round of applause for this wonderful innovation and land mark vision.
Another distinctive features is its complimentary services with monorail or what we can call a mini Disney for kids and teenagers for maximum fun and enjoyment, with this several children will flock around the Tropicana arena on weekends and holidays because this is one fun place children don’t want to miss. Instead of dreaming to go to Lagos and Abuja before catching such fun, one can do that here in Akwa Ibom and this is one section of the Tropicana that will be so busy with high patronage.
Findings have revealed that this is the most interesting and attractive, the Shopping Mall envisaged in this part of the world. It is obvious that it will witness a high patronage by the indigenes and visitors of the state. Products availability is not only the plus of the shopping mall but also the price affordability in contrast to Lagos and Abuja. This is the development Akwa Ibom people have been waiting for all their lives and Godswill Akpabio’s administration has brought it right to their doorsteps. Methinks therefore that Mr. Enobong’s bewilderment and praises are really worth the while.
Even with all the aforementioned points highlighted, the most significant attribute of the center is the economic value it adds to the life of the Akwa Ibom people viz a viz the creation of over 5,000 jobs for citizens, thus drastically reducing the issue of unemployment and takes a lot of people off the streets. So this infrastructural project, does not only bring tourism and entertainment, it also brings employment and betterment of life to the citizens of the state.
Presently with the level of work going on in the site no fewer than 1,000 Akwa Ibomites are working presently on the site daily. Also local engineers and artisans are being involved in the project. Who says the government is not providing jobs for her people?
Ibom Tropicana is a project that will give Akwa Ibom a facelift and projection to the entire world, making it a tourist attraction to Nigeria and indeed the entire world. This infrastructural development project has shown that Governor Godswill Akpabio means well for his people and will always embark on projects that will better their lives and create wealth for them.
Finally, I will like to emphasize and conclude that Ibom Tropicana is definitely a project worth investing and embarking upon, it has shown that it’s a viable project, which in the short and long run brings economic gains to the state and portrays its image positively in the league of states in Nigeria and beyond. All thanks to the amiable performing Governor of Akwa Ibom state Chief (Dr) Godswill Akpabio the visionary leader who works round the clock to make Akwa Ibom an enviable State among its counterparts. Like his slogan “Things are getting better” is evident even to the blind that Akwa Ibom has changed tremendously in the past three years compared to what it used to be before this administration. On this note I will like to join Mr. Enobong and other Akwa Ibom indigenes to say a big kudos to this performing Governor, Chief (Dr) Godswill Akpabio. As his people like saying, Governor Akpabios’s achievements have been unprecedented.
Yusuf, a youth corp member writes from Uyo, AKS