Cross River State Government is to conduct a referendum on the planned floating of the state’s air and shipping lines. Already no fewer than 10 companies have made presentations to the Cross River State Government for consideration as transaction advisors for the procurement of aircraft and vessels for the proposed Cally Air and shipping lines respectively.
In a statement made available to our correspondent on Wednesday, the Senior Special Assistant/Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Ben Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita said the state will conduct a referendum on the project to allow Cross Riverians take the final decision on which bidding company will handle the project.
Mr. Ita said Governor Ayade noted, “We are going to have a referendum on this project; we are going to throw it back to the people of Cross River to make the final decision” also disclosed that “for proper clarification, the choice of this public presentation is to allay the fears and suspicion that we have as a state, having made a public declaration that Cross River State was going to run an airline.”
“The intention of running an airline was not only focused on making money, but the underlining philosophy is to drive traffic to Calabar, and to boost the economy and tourism potentials of the State.”
He said that Governor Ayade expressed optimism at the viability of the projects as expressed by the companies in their presentations, adopted five out of the ten companies for a successful technical evaluation and charged them to present their bidding for the project in two weeks time.
The companies which scaled through the technical evaluation stage are: Catalyst Gold innovation, Glory Airline, Travel essentials, Manyata engineering and Tropic Aviation.
The final bids are expected on the 15th of August where the companies are expected to present their financial bids for the procurement exercise proper.
It is estimated that with over two hundred thousand passengers expected to fly the proposed airline, the state stands to generate $6.17m annually from the operation of Cally Air.
In the same vein, the fishing trawlers as well as the shipping line have the potential to broaden the state’s maritime status while also earning massive income for the state.
He disclosed the names of the company that participated in the presentation for CallyAir included Catalyst Gold Innovations, Glory Airlines, Travel Essentials, Manyata Engineering, Dana Airlines and tropic Aviation.
Others who made presentations for the procurement of vessels and fishing trawlers included Lumberg Services limited, Strickland Services, Travel Essentials and Obyke System Consults.
Edem Edem, Calabar