Effiong Nyong, the former gubernatorial candidate of the African Democratic Party (APC) in Cross River State, has called on the Governor-elect, Bassey Otu, to review the state’s tax regimes and revive tourism. In a statement released in Calabar on Friday, Nyong urged the incoming government to take practical steps to attract investors and businesses that abandoned the state due to high taxes.
Nyong emphasized the importance of tourism to the state’s economy, noting that it has been the bedrock of Cross River State for years. He pointed out that there was a time when people’s residences were converted to apartments for lodgers in Calabar, but tourism has declined in recent years. He urged the government to create sustainable tourism initiatives to drive tourism all year round, citing the Bahamas, which attracts over 5 million visitors annually despite having a population of less than 350,000.
Nyong also spoke about the need for local government autonomy, stating that it is time to allow for its administration. He urged the state to stop running a back-pocket economy and to prevent nepotism from entering into the administration of the state.
Nyong criticized the outgoing administration, stating that incompetence and lack of capacity characterized its tenure. He urged the incoming administration to avoid these pitfalls and take proactive steps to address the state’s challenges.
In addition to these issues, Nyong also called on the government to tackle the issue of security, stating that it is imperative to restore peace to the state. He urged the government to work closely with security agencies to address the issue of insecurity, which has been a major concern for residents of the state.
Nyong’s call for a review of the tax regime in the state is significant as it comes at a time when the government is looking for ways to boost its revenue base. The state has been grappling with a dwindling revenue base due to the decline in oil prices and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
The incoming administration will need to take concrete steps to address the state’s challenges, particularly in the areas of tourism and local government autonomy. The state has huge potential in the tourism sector, and the government must tap into this potential to boost the state’s revenue base.
In conclusion, Nyong’s call for a review of the tax regime in Cross River State and the revival of tourism is timely and commendable. The incoming administration must take proactive steps to address these issues and tackle the state’s challenges head-on. With the right policies and initiatives, the state can unlock its potential and become a shining example of good governance and economic prosperity in Nigeria.