is a business and leisure resort just north of Calabar
Calabar is a city in Cross River State, southeastern Nigeria. The original name for Calabar was Atakpa, from the Jukun language....
, south eastern Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...
associated with the Calabar Free Trade Zone
The Calabar Free Trade Zone is an area just north of the port of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria that is occupied by companies engaged in manufacturing, trading, provision of services and oil and gas related activities...
. It is being developed in four phases under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) promoted by the Government of Cross River State
Cross River State is a coastal state in southeastern Nigeria, bordering Cameroon to the east. Its capital is at Calabar, and it is named for the Cross River , which passes through the state...
. The resort is located by the Calabar River
The Calabar River in Cross River State, Nigeria flows from the north past the city of Calabar, joining the larger Cross River about to the south. The river at Calabar forms a natural harbor deep enough for vessels with a draft of ....
, contiguous with the Calabar Free Trade Zone.
The Tinapa Free Zone & Resort has facilities for retail and wholesale activities as well as leisure and entertainment.
For consumers, the resort has about 80000 square metres (861,112.8 sq ft) of lettable space for retail and wholesale made up of four emporiums of 10000 square metres (107,639.1 sq ft) each and smaller shops, warehouses, and so on. An entertainment strip contains a casino, digital cinema, children's arcade, restaurants, a mini amphitheater, a night club and pubs.
There is an artificial tidal lake that feeds from the Calabar River, a Water Park / Leisure Land and parking Space for about 4,000 cars.
Business facilities include an open exhibition area for trade exhibitions and other events, and a movie production studio commonly called "Studio Tinapa" or "Nollywood". It is set to become the most modern film production studio in Nigeria.
There is a 243 room international three star Hotel.
The resort also has a truck terminal, and gets power from an independent power plant.
Tinapa was initiated by Governor Donald Duke
Donald Duke was the Governor of Cross River State, Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. He received LLB degree in 1982 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria - Nigeria, the B.L in 1983 from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos and the L.L.M...
as a way to boost business and tourism in the state.
Over $350 million was spent on initial development.
The first phase of Tinapa Business Resort & Free Zone, Calabar, was commissioned on the 2 April 2007.
Tinapa is a 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) drive from Calabar by a roundabout route, but the Federal government is building a more direct 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) access road to link it with the city.
The legal status of the Tinapa Free Trade zone has been uncertain. It is owned by the Cross River state government, but only the Federal government can operate a free trade zone. Governor Liyel Imoke
Liyel was elected governor of Cross River State in Nigeria in April 2007, taking office on 29 May 2007. He is a member of the People's Democratic Party .-Background:...
appealed to the Federal Government to take a stake in the project, and to remove uncertainty about its status which is hindering investment.
He suggested that one approach could be to decouple the leisure facilities from the trading zone.
A February 2008 report by ThisDay
THISDAY is a Nigerian national newspaper. It is the flagship newspaper of Leaders & Company Ltd and was first published on 22 January 1995. It has its headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, Lagos State....
newspaper said the Federal Government had not yet approved the operating procedures and guidelines. The resort was almost deserted. The few shops that were staffed would not sell their goods out of concern that customs officials would then force them to close.
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...
report in 2010 showed that the complex was still largely empty, while interest payments on the construction cost of the complex were rising. Liyel Imoke told the CNN reporter that the state government was looking for private sector investors who could run the project more efficiently.
A March 2010 report in the Daily Champion
was optimistic. The report acknowledged that the project had suffered from bureaucratic delays, that there had been rumors of corruption and project abandonment, with key infrastructure incomplete.
However, the report said that 90% of infrastructure and facilities were now ready, and that shops were now selling duty-free goods. It also claimed that the resort was increasingly being used for business and government functions, as planned.
In September 2010 Imoke said the government was focusing on resuscitating the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort.
A May 2011 report from the Daily Trust
Media Trust is a privately held Nigerian newspaper publishing company based in Abuja that publishes the English language Daily Trust, Weekly Trust, Sunday Trust and the Hausa language Aminiya newspapers as well as a new Pan-African Magazine, Kilimanjaro....
was entitled "Tinapa is dying
". It said most of the shops had closed, and the other facilities such as the exhibition space and movie studio had not been used for a long time. The hotel was open but had hardly any guests. Only the water park was busy, since the reporter had visited during a school holiday.