Calabar – The Cross River State government has presented a N1 million (one million naira) grant each to 10 hotels in the state capital, Calabar.

The award is courtesy of the Cross River State Tourism Bureau in its initiative tagged “Empowering Hotels, Investing in Excellence”.

Presenting the award at the Kada Cinema in Marina Resort, the Managing Director of the Bureau, Prince Ojoi Ekpenyong, said the presentation was testament to the state government’s unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism and belief in the potential of local businesses.

Giving details of the basis of the selection, Prince Ojoi said, “These 10 exceptional hotels were carefully selected based on their commendable efforts in staying up to date with licensing requirements and their potential for remarkable growth.

“Today’s recognition is not merely a financial grant; it’s a vote of confidence in your commitment to excellence, service quality, and the advancement of our state’s tourism landscape,” he said.

He said the 10 hotels will be closely monitored in alignment with the grant criteria and the minimum requirements of industry standard, saying the award, which started in the South, will go to the central and north in the first and second quarters of next year before returning to South before the Carnival.

He also commended the state governor, Senator Bassey Out, for his steadfast dedication to fulfilling promises outlined in the “People’s First” mandate.

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Prince Ojoi said the award presentation is a tangible demonstration of the governor’s commitment to fostering economic growth and empowerment within the state.

Also speaking, the speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Elvert Ayambem, said the grant is a welcome development.

The speaker, who spoke through Samuel Neji Abang, the member representing Ikom 1 State Constituency, said the assembly will come up with strong laws on security and cleanlines to boost the sector.

He also pledged that the 10th Assembly will cooperate with the Tourism Bureau and work in concert with stakeholders to ensure the success of the industry in the state.

On his part, the State Commissioner for Tourism, Abubakar Ewa, advised the beneficiaries to make the most of what they have received and join hands with the government to move the sector from strength to strength.

One of the beneficiaries, Charles Ogar from Pyramid Hotels, said no government had done what Governor Bassey Otu has done since 1999.