STILL ON CALLY AIR By Florence Kekong

Still looking for best places to visit to mix and mingle for business and leisure? Where to watch the thrills and frills of hospitality and let your heart loose with ecstasy and get all wrapped in much fun and pleasure? Destination remains, Cross River State-The People’s Paradise, uniquely the Enterprise State where business and leisure have a common ground. Little wonder, the ancient city of Calabar (Come and Live and Be at Rest), which is Nigeria’s first capital, even as the federal administrative powers have shifted from here, still remains the best place, ever, with none of its kind. Administrations past and present have always taken beautifying the State as priority, ensuring that it maintains its serenity. It is these concerns that saw one­time Governor of the State, Mr. Donald Duke, make several attempts at getting the entire features of the State wearing completely, Nigeria’s Tourism flagship. To this end, he tried to get a mono-rail that could make visitors to the State move with ease to the Tinapa Resort, from the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, as he envisioned full satisfaction for the huge number of visitors, tourists and business people alike, trooping into the State in their numbers. Also, the building of the Bebi Airstrip close to the Obudu Ranch Resort by his administration, is a clear indication that shows today that the present administration’s laudable initiatives are equally innovative and proactive, proving today that the deep analytical thinking of Governor Ayade and his Predecessors are all on one page-development of Cross River State with a view to maintaining its first position as best Tourism and Business Destination in the country.

Governor Ayade’s decision to grow the agro-business hinges on a well-conceived innovative system that satisfies the yearnings of the people of the State for improved standard of living. But Critics, as we know already, will always be Critics. They continue to assail and accuse him of wasting the State’s resources, engaging m gigantic and meaningless projects.

Their sleepless nights have been issues on how the procurement process of the Cally Airline was handled, controversy over ownership, structure Operational Model, terms of Agreement with Aero Contractors, Status of the Airline Operational Certificate (AOC), source of funding and all, you may think of. How the Airline is funded, is it on lease, or outright purchase and of course, the cost of the aircraft, how old, passenger capacity, and what have you?

That Cally Air is truly