By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar

The Cross River State governent has begin the training and retraining of security personnel who would take charge of safety of tourists who would visit the state for the Carnival Calabar Festival, scheduled for December 28, 2023.

Managing Director, MD, Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Hon. Ekpeyong Ojoi, revealed this to newsmen yesterday in Calabar, while flagging-off the training of the security personnel.

The MD said that the training will better equip the security personnel with skills that will enable them take care of tourists who will visit the state for the mega ceremony.

Ojoi enunerated security personnel undergoing training to ensure the safety of visitors to include, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Civil Defense, VIO, Road Safety, Immigrations, Customs and private security services.

Ojoi said, “The essence of this training is to return Cross River State to that world class destination.

“The security men are our first gatekeepers, they’re the one who interact with our visitors, so we are here to let them know that they must welcome our visitors with a smile, they must do their jobs with love and with professionalism.

“The training is aimed at promoting a police friendly environment in Cross River. Whether you like it or not, when the police and other security agencies solve the problem on the road. With love, more people will come to Cross River State.

“The expectation is high, because there’s going to be a tourism policing in Cross River State. They’re all here as trainees, they will go back and train their colleagues.
Also, Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Rtd Hon Elvert Ayambem, lauded the MD for the initiative.

Ayambem said, “Most of the countries people do travel to, they don’t even have what we have in Cross River State and I’m thanking the governor very strongly for rejigging the tourism of Cross River State.

“This training is very important because if you travel to somewhere and you see a security personnel manhandling anyone, I’m pretty sure you won’t want to visit there again.

“So what the MD of Tourism Bureau is doing here today is very commendable because that simple lecture that is given to them and the cautiousness of handling the people coming into the state is paramount.

“The training is very important because there’s a way security personnel will handle a person and instead of bringing in tourist into Cross River State, they rather scare them away, so it’s a welcome development.”

In his remarks, the lawmaker representing Ikom state constituency 1, who doubles as Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon
Ayambem, assured that the monolith and the gods mountain site abandoned by previous administration would receive maximum attention from the present administration.

Also speaking, Vice President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, Justina Ovat, stated that the training will inculcate the spirit of hospitality and excellent service to drive exceptional guest experience during the Calabar Carnival.

Reacting, Director of Administration and Head of Traffic Management and Regulatory Agency, TRAMRA, Barr. Effiong Ekpo, challenged everyone who had undergone the training to be vigilant and be sensitive with issues that will border on the safety of guest visiting the state.

He said, “We are a peaceful people, Cross River is a peaceful state any day, any time; our doors are widely opened for guests to troop in and as a peace loving people, we are ready to receive everyone visiting the state to take part in the biggest Africa Street Party. My team and I assure you of better flow of traffic.”


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