The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Army Properties Limited, General Umaru Mohammed (rtd) made this known during a meeting with Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State at the Government House in Calabar, Tuesday.
The investment, which will entail creation of access both by air and land as well as communication facilities, will open up the facility and attract the desired traffic from within and outside the country to enhance its economic status.
According to General Mohammed, who led other management staff of the firm to the meeting, “The Nigerian Army, just like their counterparts in the civilized societies globally is repositioning and now has a company that is exploring and fully harnessing business opportunities that abound in the country with the support of experts to participate in them.”
He said the establishment of the company has created opportunities for professionals in the army to contribute their quota in helping the army generate revenue that will help in making life more meaningful for its personnel…
“The essence of these whole investment and business is to add value to the army and to this end, we are recruiting credible Nigerians as partners to actualize this project with the sole aim of developing capacity which will in turn develop the system and society at large,” he added.
In his reaction, Governor Ayade who was excited about the new thinking by the army stated that it was a welcome development.
His said the partnership, when consummated, would open new vista of opportunities for the state and the people.
“We are expectant that Cross River State will now be a new corridor of business explosion that will show we can move Nigeria from its third world status to first world in four years. So this partnership should develop into a big wild fire that will ignite a new challenge in business horizon of Nigeria.
“Shortly after winning the election, I took my time to understudy the Disney World in Orlando and my strong conviction is that the least we can do here is to put a Disney .So you already have a minimum standard to meet if you cannot beat it. We should be in haste to get Disney started at the Ranch with a rain forest restaurant to complement.”
On the patronage of the facility to be upgraded, governor Ayade reasoned: “Nigerians have an appetite for exotic lifestyle because they work so hard, all they need is security, access and there is good life style, it will be flooded. We are 170 million people with a GDP of about $565 billion. We have a purchasing capacity that is strong. It may just be 10 percent that we will capture but that can translate into a large number in relative terms, and so everything is set for us to transform the Obudu Ranch Resort.”
Another issue which will complement the Ranch, according to Ayade, is access, by land and by air.
In that regard, he stated that the state was “building a 260 km superhighway from Calabar seaport to Obudu and evacuating into northern Nigeria, as we speak, construction work has started on the site and there is need for you to key in now because it’s a PPP project.”
He added that when the road is fully operational, it will reduce travel time to the Ranch from seven hours to one hour thirty minutes thereby making the journey a luxury one because the road will be adorned with modern signage and world class furniture on both lanes. He called on the company to also think of investing there.
“In addition to the new road, we are making provision for specialized tour buses that will take tourists to and from the Ranch Resort. Let me assure you that you will have bountiful returns on your investment in four years maximum.
“We are also designing and developing a deep seaport and over a thousand hectares of land have been acquired for port warehouses and industrial park. All these are investment opportunities for you and other genuine investors.