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CRSG Partners Consortium To Digitalize Tourist Attractions, Expand Frontiers

Cross River Government has signed a partnership deal with Sterling Bank Consortium in its bid to digitalize the state's tourist attractions, improve content and expand the frontiers of its tourism sector for seamless, more effective and efficient service delivery, as well as elicit greater local and international patronage for the economic benefit of the State.

Signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the State Government and consortium, Wednesday, at his Ministry's Headquarters, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Chief Robert Ewa, described the partnership as a transformational and visionary tourism initiative that would catapult the sector to a whole new level.

Ewa noted that the event, which was attended by heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the tourism cluster and representatives from the Sterling Bank Consortium, has cemented over three months of fruitful deliberation between the two partners, adding that the MOU marks a major milestone in the present administration's resolve to put Cross River tourism on par with the bests in the world.

The Commissioner hailed Governor Bassey Otu for welcoming the bold initiative to digitalize the sector, describing the development as a step towards etching the state's huge natural endowments in the global map.

He explained that the exercise would tremendously contribute to the growth and development of the tourism sector, thereby boosting the State's Gross Domestic Product.

"Cross River State is blessed with natural endowments. We have lots of untapped potentials. This partnership deal with the Consortium will drive the process that will increase tourism traffic to the state; and the attendant benefits that will come from these activities would be huge," he added.

Presenting the Project's outline, the leader of the consortium and Chief Executive Officer of ICT Health Solutions Limited, Dr Henry Oyemaechi, stated that the partnership is consistent with the Otu-led administration's determination to govern in line with international best practice, hence the digitalization of the governance architecture of the State.

"He wanted the activities of government to be felt by all through technology which will cut across all MDAs," he added.

He commended the Commissioner for being a leading light in running with the Governor's vision and mandate concerning digitalization, describing him as an example for other to emulate.

The ICT guru revealed that the partnership would yield the activation of an online platform where all tourism attractions of the state could be accessed and learned about with just a click of a button. He informed that ICT Health Solutions would handle the digitalization aspects of things while Sterling Bank would providing the funding to upgrade existing tourism sites as well as prepare hidden and newly discovered attractions for public use, further disclosing that the unveiling of the project would be done in a few weeks to come.

Articulating his views, a stakeholder in the partnership arrangement, Chief Godwin Iyala, posited that every patriotic citizen owes Cross River a duty in its advancement, especially with a Governor who is passionate about human capital development.

He assured stakeholders of his commitment to the cause, with a charge for all hands on deck to see to the realization of theset objective.

In her remarks, the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Mrs Eme Affiah who presented the Modus of Operations to the partner, commended the effort of all parties, saying the Ministry is replete with adequate manpower to execute the task at hand.

Ebi Collins, The Beagle News